I found, over the years of baking many pies and tarts, when it comes to a single crust pie or tart, the bottom crust must be partially baked before filling and baking to completion. This is especially true of any pie or tart that cooks for less than 1 hour. If the crust is not blind baked (partially baked) the bottom never gets crispy and will be a soggy mess. I found out the hard way so I am going to save you the aggravation of having a soggy one crust pie.
The best weights to use when blind baking are dried beans or uncooked rice. When you pour the beans or rice into the foil lined pastry shell be sure you don’t get any in between the foil and the crust. Also, carefully lift out the foil lining so as not to spill any beans or rice into the pastry shell.
When using dried beans or uncooked rice, you can save them for repeat usage. Let them cool down completely and store in an air-tight container. Just be sure you don’t mistakenly use them to cook and eat. Label jar as rice for blind baking.
Preheat oven to 350° with rack in the middle of the oven.
Roll the pastry crust to fit your pie dish or tart pan. Crimp the edges decoratively and pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork at 1” intervals. (This will help to keep the crust from puffing up once your remove the weights and return to the oven.) Refrigerate 1 hour.
After 1 hour, remove the pastry shell from the refrigerator and line with foil being sure to gently press the foil into the nooks and crannies of the shell. Pour pie weights (dried beans, uncooked rice or ceramic pie weights) into the shell. Bake for 15 minutes, until crust is set. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil filled with the weights. Return the shell to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes for a partially blind baked crust or 25 minutes for a fully baked crust.
Unless otherwise stated, cool the blind baked crust completely before filling.