Pie 101: What Does Blind Bake Mean? (And Other Pie Terms)

August 18th, 2016 by Elizabeth Nelson

Ever wonder what it means to blind bake a pie? Here’s a quick glossary for some commonly-used pie terms and pan types.

Pie 101: Basic Pie Terms


Blind bake: Partially or fully baking the pie crust without any filling. This is frequently done for pies that may not need to bake very long with the filling, so the crust will be done at the same time as the filling. There are also some pie fillings (like these delicious Chocolate Butterscotch Pecan Pies) that don’t need to be baked at all, so the crust is fully baked before adding the filling.

Cast iron: Yes, pie can be baked in a cast iron skillet! Wilton even makes a 6-inch cast iron skillet that is perfect for 1 or 2 people to share. The heavy cast iron gives the pie a nice crisp crust and keeps the pie warm and ready for a scoop of ice cream.

Cut in: When a recipe says to cut in butter or shortening, it means to use a pastry blender or two forks to work the fat into the flour mixture. The recipe will specify what size the pieces of fat should be (pea-size or coarse crumbs is pretty common). This method is what makes pie dough (and biscuit dough) so flaky—as the fat melts in the oven, it leaves behind pockets of air, which is what makes the dough flaky.

Deep dish: Seems kind of simple, but this type of pie pan will be deeper and have more room for filling than a standard pie pan. You’ll need to roll your dough a little larger to have enough for the bottom crust on this type of pan.

Double crust: Some pies, like pumpkin, are traditionally not topped with another layer of pie crust, but some (especially apple or other fruit pies), traditionally are. Try using fun cutters to add a little more decoration to the top of a double crust pie.

Egg wash: An egg beaten with 1-2 tablespoons water or milk is known as an egg wash. When brushed on top of the pie crust, it will give a nice shiny, golden brown finish.

Fluted crust: There are so many ways to make a decorative pie crust, but one of the most classic is to pinch the dough between two of your fingers and thumb. Using a pan with a wavy side, like the Decorative Pie Crust Pan is another way to easily add some flair to a pie. If you’d like to make smaller pies, get the same wavy pie shape with this Copper Wave Mini Pie Pan.

Pie pan: Many recipes will call for a standard 9-inch pie pan, like the Wilton Vintage Pie Pan.

Silicone: Silicone isn’t always used for baking pie, but colorful Mini Silicone Tart Molds are perfect for individual desserts and the colored silicone makes it presentation-ready with pretty fall colors. Try the Cranberry Pear Mini Tarts for a tasty fall dessert!


Tart pan: Pies and tarts are cousins, with crusts and fillings. Our Plum and Almond Tart has a creamy filling topped with beautiful slices of plums. Put in our Extra Long Rectangle Tart Pan, it looks upscale but is actually really easy!






Elizabeth Nelson Elizabeth Nelson is the Culinary Manager of the Wilton Test Kitchen. A graduate of the University of Missouri and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston, she loves developing recipes for Wilton’s product lines and websites, as well as testing out new and existing products in the Test Kitchen. Outside of work, she enjoys running and spending time with family and friends.

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