Q: What does "par baking" mean?
A: "Par Baking" simply means partially baking an empty pie shell without a filling. You would "par bake" a pie shell if your filling takes less time to bake than the crust. The most common pies with "par baked" shells are pies with lots of eggs in the filling.Think custard pies or quiche.
Pro Tip: Use pinto beans as pie weights as opposed to ceramic beads. They are inexpensive and get the job done.
How to "Par Bake" a Pie Crust:
Note: Pre-heat your oven to 350° with your baking rack placed in the middle of the oven.
Start with your pie dough ready to go. It should be in your pie pan of choice, edges crimped, and ready to be baked (hence forth this will be referred to as your "pie shell"). Place your pie shell in the refrigerator while you wait for your oven to pre-heat to 350°.
Once you oven has reached temperate, remove your pie shell from the refrigerator. Place it on a baking sheet and line your pie shell with a piece of parchment paper or even a coffee filter. Foil is fine too.
Once your pie shell is lined, fill it to the brim with pie weights or pinto beans (like we do!). Using pie weights (or pinto beans) will help your pie shell keep it's figure. They weight down the dough so it can keep it's shape and not slump, leaving you with a sad, shapeless pie crust.
Once your pie shell has been lined and weighted, place your baking sheet in the oven. Bake your pie shell for 15 minutes at 350°. After the 15 minutes is up, take your shell out of the oven and remove the parchment paper (liner), pinto beans (pie weights), and any remaining pie weights or beans that might have remained in your pie shell.
Pour your pre-prepared filling into your "par baked" crust. Continue to bake your pie at the temperature and time your recipe calls for.