What Is Baking Blind And Do I Really Need To Bake Pastry Blind?

Baking blind is a method of cooking the pastry of a quiche, pie or tart BEFORE you add the filling – otherwise, the theory goes,  the pastry doesn’t cook, while the filling does and you end up with a soggy mess.

The good news for people with Agas and Rayburns is that we don’t have to worry about all that…. that is because the flat metal bottom of the roasting oven is so hot that it cooks the pastry while the heat of the oven cooks the filling. Fantastic! You especially don’t need to bother with baking blind if you use a glass pie dish (to find out why follow this link), and you prick the pastry with a fork several times (this helps to prevent bubbling).

Alternatively – if you are really determined to pre-cook your pastry and you have an Aga or Rayburn you can simply put your uncooked pie case in the bottom of the simmering oven at 120°C for 1¼-1½ hours.

However, non-Aga owners can replicate this by putting a very solid, robust, quite thick, flat baking tray on the bottom of their ovens at the same time as they start preheating them, and then do the same.

How to bake blind – if you really must:

  1. Grease your tart or quiche dish with butter, and line with your pastry.
  2. Put the pastry in.
  3. Chill it in the freezer for about half an hour if you have time.
  4. Pierce it with a fork in a few places to allow airflow and prevent bubbles.
  5. Cover the pastry with baking paper, butter paper (I find this very convenient even though it doesn’t usually cover all the pastry) – you can even use coffee filter paper or foil (make a few small tears).
  6. Fill with baking beans, rice, or lentils.
  7. Place in a 210ºC oven for about 12 minutes for a sweet pastry, or 15 minutes for a savoury one.
  8. Remove and allow to cool.

For a post on which is the best pie dish to use – metal, glass, ceramic…. follow this link.

For a post on pie birds – should you use them, follow this link.

For a post on how pies have developed over time, follow this link.

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