Does anyone have any strong feelings on this? Is it really worth the extra step? I'm curious if anyone has ever done a side-by-side comparison of two pies (one parbaked, one not) to really know if any significant differences exist.
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Assistant Editor at Food52
It depends on what kind of pie you're baking! For custard pies or more-liquidy fillings, blind baking/parbaking prevents the crust from getting too soggy and/or not baking entirely (soggy crust = sad crust!). Here's a bit more about blind baking: https://food52.com/blog...
We just had Thanksgiving in Canada. I blind baked the crusts for pumpkin pies and was glad I did. No soggy crust under a custard, as Food52 noted in the first comment. It's such an EASY extra step, and I DON'T go out of my way for extra steps in the kitchen. (Plus we don't use pennies anymore in Canada so we all have loads of them.)
I did NOT blind bake for apple pies (though I did pre-sauté and caramelize the apples because the apple filling is so much better that way). I approximated a Kenji Alt-Lopez apple pie filling recipe (I omitted his squash).
Everyone loved the pies.
Happy pie baking and eating! :-)
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I pretty much always blind bake a single crust pie crust. (It's usually for a custardy filling, in any case.) I wouldn't blind bake a crust if I were going to have a top crust on the pie, because that would keep the crusts from melding together and sealing around the crust.