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Prebaking, or blind baking, means to bake a crust before filling it. The technique is often used with single-crust pies. It is useful when the filling doesn't need to bake as long as the crust or would make an unbaked crust soggy. Some recipes have you partially bake the crust, while others call for it to be completely baked.
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Before a shell is blind baked, the bottom of the dough is pricked all over with the tines of a fork; this prevents the dough from puffing up as it bakes.
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The pie dough is then lined with parchment paper and topped with pie weights (the weights can be bundled in cheesecloth secured with kitchen twine).
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A foil ring can be used to shield the pie rim if it darkens too quickly. To make a ring, press foil into an empty pie plate to shape; trim outer edge, and cut out center, making a ring that's about 2 inches wide. Bake as indicated in the recipe. Let cool completely before filling, otherwise you could end up cooking some of the filling.