Issues with blind baking for fully baked pie crusts

Joined Dec 14, 2016

I'm having some trouble getting my pate brisee pie crusts to come out consistent when blind baking them for fully baked pie crusts for some custard pie's we're going to be running at a new bbq joint that's opening in a few weeks. Right now i'm in the testing stage of getting my recipes and techniques locked down. I'm the baker there and this is my first time kinda being in charge of the baking, (very exciting and nerve wracking at the same time) This is the recipe that i am currently using 

1800 g AP flour

20 g salt

90 g sugar

1356 g frozen butter

672 g ice cold water

I mix the flour, sugar, and salt together, then i add the chopped frozen butter to the bowl and toss to coat the butter. Then i pulse the flour and butter in the robocoupe, about a quart and a half's worth at a time, till the butter is just slightly larger than pea size. i add the water and mix the dough by hand. lately I've been finding that I've had to add about 150 g more water to get the dough to just barely come together. its still very loose can crumbly, but squishes together if you squeeze some. 

I've been blind baking the pie shells at 425° for anywhere between 30 minutes and 45 minutes. i cant seem to get a consistent bake time for them. i have been using beans as weights and leaving them in for about 25 minutes. but even after i remove them, the bottoms of the shells are still puffing up like crazy. 

I've been chilling the unbaked pie shells in the walk in for about an hour or so. I've been kinda pressed for time, because our kitchen still isn't finished and I've been having to work out of another restaurant overnights while no ones there.

Also my crusts seem to be leaking a large about of butter during the bake, how is my recipe, should i make any changes to it?

I'd love any advice or suggestions. 

Thanks a bunch 

Joined Sep 21, 2001
Try cutting the butter small before adding the water. Also, what type of flour are you using? AP? Buy and use a softer flour.

Good luck.
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Joined May 5, 2010
I can feel your frustration.

If my conversion brain is working you have about 10 pounds of flour (3.968321) and a little less then 3 pounds of butter (2.989468)

Working with that much product at once can't emulsify properly without leaving the dough overworked.

That explains why your pie dough rises after your remove the weight. (I use pinto beans myself)

Since you are doing this in 1 1/2 quart batches, are you calculating the butter, flour ratio as much?

I have better results using unsalted butter as it allows me to control the salt. (all butters are not equal)

I too use cold but not frozen, cut into chunks.

I add the flour sugar and salt, then pulse until I see pea size pieces, then add ice water through the tube in the top with the machine running.

The amount of water in your recipe is a guideline, not written in stone, and depends on some factors. The amount of moisture in the air, how the flour was measured all have a factor on the dough.

I use just enough water to allow the dough to come together. I stop the machine and hand feel the dough. If it's still crumbles, it needs a drop or 2 more water. It's a feel experience.

I then remove the dough the a plastic sheet, flatten into a disk, wrap, then place in fridge.

When about to roll, the disk comes out to warm up a bit.  Usually 10 minutes depending on the temperature of the kitchen.

If I take it out and roll immediately it may crack.

As for the baking I too use 425 for blind baking. I use tin foil to line my pies, making sure the rims are covered as well as they brown the fastest.

I use 2 cups of beans per pie to insure enough weight and I leave the foil and weights on for the entire baking process.

I don't remove the weights at all during baking, and the shell browns nicely.

My advice would be to break down the recipe to an even MORE user friendly amount and simply repeat the process.

Hope I have helped
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Also my crusts seem to be leaking a large about of butter during the bake, how is my recipe, should i make any changes to it?

I'd love any advice or suggestions. 

Thanks a bunch 

I love the energy of opening a new place.

Lots of worrying and craziness and finally the calm before the storm when you think everything is tweaked and twisted to perfection but then... I start waking up in the middle of the nite to jot down yet another punch list lol.

Sorry drifted OT.

IME when all else fails...keep the dough as close to frozen as you can.

Freeze the butter then shred instead of cube (lay out on parchment covered sheet pan after and refreeze) then toss around in the drys until you have a shaggy mass then portion out, flatten and park in the coldest part of the walk in to hydrate.

Instead of chilling try freezing before blind baking.

This should hold things together long enuf for the heat to bake the fat into the flour before it can melt and leak.

Might be a good idea to check the oven temp as well.

A low oven temp is not a pastry dough's friend.


oops forgot the ice water part...
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Joined Dec 14, 2016
Thanks for all the great responses so far. I finally thought to check the oven temperature with an oven thermometer and even though it was a pretty much brand new oven in the kitchen I've been testing out of its off by about 50° , so when i had the oven set at 425° it was actually more like 375°. so I'm hoping when I go in tonight and bake off the next round of pie shells I should have much better luck 
Joined Aug 4, 2000
I blind bake for 45 minutes leaving the pie weights in for the full time, 45 minutes.  That is what has eliminated the swelling at the center floor of the shell.  Then the weights along with the parchment paper are removed and the shell baked for another 10 minutes for further drying.  Removed from the oven and allowed to cool I then brush the shell with egg wash (your choice  of ingredients) and bake for another 10 minutes or until browned and shiny.  And this method works every time for me.
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