What to Use If You Don't Have Pie Weights

usedriedbeansinplaceofpieweights.jpg
Use Dried Beans in Place of Pie Weights. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Pie weights are used to keep a pie crust from bubbling and shrinking away from the edge of the pie plate or tart pan when you're blind baking (that's fancy for pre-baking) a crust. If you don't own pie weights, there are plenty of things in your pantry that you can use instead. 

Just line the inside of your crust with foil or parchment paper, and fill it with dried beans, rice or popcorn kernels. Then, bake your crust according to the instructions in your recipe.

Your homemade pie weights will probably be too dry to cook and eat afterwards, but don't toss them out. If you save them in a jar, they can be used the next time you need pie weights.

No Beans, Rice or Popcorn?

You can also weight your crust down by nestling a second pie plate over top of your crust. If you decide to use this method, spray the bottom of the second pie plate with cooking spray, so it doesn't stick to your crust. Then, once you have your crust sandwiched between the two plates, carefully flip the whole thing over, and bake your crust upside down on a cookie sheet. This will prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes.

How to Blind Bake Your Pie Crust to Perfection

Remove the pie weights or second pie plate half way through the baking time. Then, dock the crust (poke holes in the crust with a fork) to prevent the crust from developing bubbles, and return it to the oven. This will ensure that the bottom of the crust gets a chance to cook fully, so it comes out golden and flaky.

 

Do You Bake Pies Often?

Then, you may find it worthwhile to add a set of pie weights to your drawer of kitchen gadgets. They cost very little, and don't take up much space.

Buy Pie Weights on Amazon

When you're baking a pie, the edge of the crust tends to bake faster than the rest of the pie/pie crust.

You can wrap the edge with aluminum foil to keep it from burning, but the foil tends to fall off every time you move the pie. A few years back, I bought a pie crust shield. It's a silicone piece that fits over the crust to protect it from the heat. It's adustable, so it fits many sizes of pie plates, and unlike the aluminum foil, it stays in place. It's been such a good addition to my baking supplies, and I've since added a second one to my collection.

Buy a Pie Crust Shield on Amazon

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