Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Weight of a Pie

I never know when I'm going to come across a cool accessory for my kitchen. I'm forced to be in condition yellow at all times just so I don't miss a great find. The other day I was in Home Goods and saw a box of pie weights tucked back on a shelf amidst the dry pastas and crackers. Yippee!
You can't just walk into Target and buy this stuff!

I came right home and tested them out. The idea with pie weights is that you can pre-bake a crust without all those holes punched into the bottom of your crust. If you did nothing, then of course the crust would rise into a fun, albeit useless dome. The holes allow the steam to escape without raising the crust. To use the weights means leaving your crust intact which is important if your filling threatens to seep through the holes. Also, sometimes the holes split the crust and it comes out cracked and broken. Or sometimes the holes seal back up and your crust still rises.

I did a test and was surprised with the results. I baked two crusts, one with each method, for the same amount of time and temp (15 minutes at 400 degrees). The pie weight crust was not fully cooked and didn't brown as nicely as the poked crust. Also, one box of weights wasn't really enough for my generous 9" pan. I think each method has advantages and it depends on your pie as to which one you should use. But remember to adjust the baking time.


  1. Using the pie weights creates the even distribution of pressure on the dough, but if the weights are not pre-heated, they will not allow the crust to reach cooking temperature in the same cooking time. You might try your experiment again with pre-heated weights.

  2. Thanks for the great hint Anonymous! Yeah, a new reason to bake a pie.