By LeafTV Contributor

A simple pastry crust can transform a boxed pudding mix into a chocolate pie, or leftover chicken into a savory pot pie. You can bake an unfilled crust ahead of time and keep it in the freezer, or make it just before filling to bake a dessert or main dish. Choose a pastry or tart crust recipe or purchase pre-made pastry dough.

Prepared pie pastry with bakery materials in the background
credit: sugar0607/iStock/GettyImages
How To Bake An Unfilled Pie Crust

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The high heat keeps the crust crisp and bakes it quickly.

Step 2

Make your pie crust recipe or unfold a purchased refrigerated dough in your pie pan. Press the dough firmly into the pan.

Step 3

Crimp the edge of the crust with the tines of a fork, or crimp it by pinching it between your finger and thumb all the way around the crust.

Step 4

Prick the bottom and side of the pie crust with the tines of a fork, many times, close together, all over. This keeps the crust from puffing up during baking.

Step 5

Slide the pie pan into the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

Step 6

Check the crust—if it's bubbling up in any place, press down gently on the area with the back of a spoon.

Step 7

Return the pie crust to the oven and bake another 6 to 8 minutes. The crust should be light brown.

Step 8

Remove the pie crust from the oven and cool completely before adding the filling. You can also freeze the crust in the pan to use later.