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I found a recipe by Brave Tart (Stella Parks) for pie crust that's blind baked at 350F. I'm using it for one pie but I have a Cook's Illustrated Dutch Apple Pie recipe that uses a different recipe for the crust and bakes it at 425F. The recipe calls for using white sugar to weight the crust when blind baking, which is really awesome because I don't have any pie weights and I've been really concerned about using dirty pennies.

I'm worried that the sugar will melt at this temperature. Will I need to find different pie weights or can I bake the pie crust for longer at the lower temperature and have it come out nicely?

  • The problem with using sugar is that you'll waste some of it. If you don't have pie weights just use a handful of coins. – GdD Nov 23 '17 at 8:45
  • @GdD waste? How? – Catija Nov 23 '17 at 17:31
  • You're pouring sugar in, then back out again, there's always going to be some lost @Catija. – GdD Nov 23 '17 at 19:34
  • I think a quarter teaspoon isn't much to lose. – Catija Nov 23 '17 at 23:06
  • The recipe is login only @Catija, so I couldn't see the amounts. 1/4 teaspoon doesn't seem enough to hold down a crust, but if it does then that certainly isn't enough to worry about. – GdD Nov 23 '17 at 23:11
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Unfortunately sugar decomposes at 367F/186C, so I don't think using it at 425F is a good plan.

That said, I think that lower-temperature blind baking will work on pretty much any pie crust recipe. I've used it on both the Stella Parks recipe you mentioned, and Kenji's easy pie dough and it worked fine.

The benefits of using sugar and of blind baking at a lower temperature are described in yet another article on Serious Eats. The lower temperature reduces the puffing and deforming, and the sugar is just easy and effective. None of it is associated with any specific pie crust recipe, so again, should be fine on the Cook's Illustrated recipe.

Of course, you can also always just pick your favorite plain crust recipe and use it on every pie you ever make that calls for a plain crust, even if it includes its own unique variation, and then you'll know exactly how to deal with blind baking it (with sugar).

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