As summer pie season begins to blend into fall pie season, and as the new season of The Great British Baking Show has launched, bakers everywhere are faced with one common dilemma: It's pie season, and many pies require blind-making a crust. Whether it is a deep crust destined for a swath of something creamy, or a shallow tart shell that will be filled with fresh fruit, the blind-baked crust is an essential for avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom.
Pie is great, and summer is great for pie, but I would be lying to you if I said that I have the will and wherewithal to turn on my oven to make it very frequently. That's where the magic of the freezer and the refrigerator come into play. I'm not just talking about ice cream, though yes, it is definitely a great option for a summer dessert.
In the world of pie baking, you have two basic types of crust from which to choose: pastry or crumb. A pastry crust simply means you’ve created a dough—using some combination of flour, fat, and liquid—from which you can form a tender, flakey shell for your pie filling. A crumb crust is comprised of pre-existing food items—such as cookies or cracker-like entities (nuts are welcome too)—made into crumbs, tossed/coated with melted fat (typically butter), and pressed into your pie pan to form a shell.