Blind baking a pie crust is just a fancy way of saying: bake your pie crust before you fill it.
This is for pies such as chiffon, pudding, or meringue pies.
To make it, you just make the dough and put it in the pan like you normally would.
When you go to bake the crust, you will end up with the pastry puffing up with no filling to weight it down.
You can use different things to weight down your crust.
You can buy actual pie weights, but you really don't need to.
You can take large coffee filters or even a square of parchment paper and fill with dry beans or coffee beans.
The beans can be used many times over.
You could also use another pie plate set inside the pie dough.
I have used the dry beans, the pie plate, and also the fork pricking. They have all work successfully for me.
For butter crusts, I do prefer using the second pie plate method since I have found it to do the best job of making sure the crust doesn't shrink and slip.
Now to bake your crust, you need to preheat your oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
Let it preheat for at least 20 minutes.
When it has preheated and you have your crust weighted down, put the crust in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the weights or pie pan and prick all over with a fork. Do not poke all the way though the crust. You don't want the filling to leak through the crust.
Just make tiny pokes all over the crust.
Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
A butter crust will start to brown so watch to make sure it does not get too dark.
If you hear any water sizzling in the crust, it is not completely done.
So, if you don't hear any it is ready to come out of the oven.
The water in the dough needs to fully evaporate to make a nice crispy pie crust.
Happy pie baking!