Blind baking or “pre-baking” is a technique that is used when making pastry shells. Blind baking may seem to be an unnecessary step but if you are making a pie or tart with a wet filling it will ensure the base remains crisp rather than becoming soggy. Blind baking is also a useful technique when baking puff pastry shells since the puff pastry tends to fluff up when it is baked.Below is what the blog says, with notes on what Maggie said to do differently:
Follow these steps to a crispy, sealed pastry tart shell:
- Place your pastry into your prepared baking tin as per the recipe instructions.
- Cover the pastry lined baking tin with a clean tea towel or non-stick baking paper and chill for 30 minutes in the freezer to allow the pastry to firm up. (Maggie says at least 20 mins in the fridge, covered with cling wrap to prevent fridge smells absorbing into the pastry.)
- Using a fork, dock the dough (prick the base of the pastry case in a few places to prevent air bubbles from forming). (Maggie says you have to do this only JUST before baking or else it will just reseal.)
- Line the pastry case with a piece of non-stick baking paper (large enough to cover the base and go up the sides with an over hang).
- Place pie weights (dried beans or rice work just as well) over the baking paper (this prevents the base of the pastry from rising).
- Place in a preheated oven (temperature according to recipe) and blind bake for a few minutes less than the recipe suggests. (Maggie says 15 mins)
- Remove from oven and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Prepare an egg wash; and then using a pastry brush, brush the pastry case with the egg wash. (Maggie skips the egg wash.) Place back in the oven for a few minutes to set the glaze. This will create a beautiful seal in the pastry case, which will prevent the liquid from oozing out, and it will also give the pastry case a crunchy texture. (Maggie does place the pastry back in the oven for 5 mins to let the base brown a bit.)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes prior to adding the filling. (Maggie lets completely cool I think.)
- Add the filling and continue to bake for the time recommended by the recipe.