Baking a pastry crust without its filling by weighing it down to prevent the pastry on the base from rising and then it will keep its shape.
Why blind bake?
- Some pies are baked with a filling and have a pastry “lid” on top and these don’t need to be blind baked.
- Some, like a quiche, have soft runny fillings and need the pastry part cooked before adding the filling to cook.
- Other pies you just want a bottom which is cooked, cooled and then you add a filling, for example a lemon meringue pie.
What you need
- Pie dish or cake pan
- Sweet or savoury pastry
- Baking paper
- Baking spray
- Uncooked rice (or lentils, or dried beans or baking weights) (Specialty baking shops sell baking weights called “loading” and these can be used over and over again.)
Lightly spray the inside of a pie or cake pan with baking spray. Gently ease rolled out pastry into the pan and trim with a sharp knife.
Line the pastry case with baking paper making sure is comes up the sides of the pie or cake pan at least 1cm higher. Carefully spread uncooked rice, dried beans or baking weights onto the baking paper. Bake as directed in your recipe and this could be to just part bake the pastry in which case you would be adding a filling then baking it further, or baking the pastry completely ready to fill on cooling.
When the pastry is either part baked as directed or fully baked, carefully remove the baking paper and the “loading” (dried rice, lentils or beans or baking weights). Note: The dried “loading” can be cooled and stored in an airtight jar or tin and used again several times before discarding.
The pie case is either ready to fill with filling and be baked further or set aside to cool and fill. As ovens vary even a fully cooked pie crust might need to be popped back in the oven for a few minutes to just crisp up the base a little.