In the past, we showed how to make a really nice pastry crust for use with the fabulous Torteau de Chevre, and, while that is a really, really good dessert, with a wonderful crust, sometimes you need to make a crust for another type of dessert. Say, pie. Oh, go ahead, say pie. Pie. But, for some pies, you need to blind-bake the crust. So what is that exactly, and why do I do it?
Blind baking is baking a pie crust so that the crust is either partially baked or fully baked before filling. By baking prior to filling, you don’t end up with a crust that seems to have been attacked by the sog monster once your pie is done. Imagine having a beautifully-baked cherry pie with a soggy, raw bottom crust. Just at a guess, we think most people would be a tad underwhelmed. They would say something like, “pretty much just like a Dul-Mart cherry pie.” And you don’t want that, and we wouldn’t wish that on anyone, either. So, let’s scratch up a blind-baked crust.
Since the crust we are using comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table, you could say that these instructions are our interpretation of hers.
(And, if you’re wondering, yes, this post foreshadows tomorrow’s post.)
- 1 Tart dough, ready to roll
None. What would we say?
Roll out crust. For this, and many other crusts, we have found that it is easiest to roll out if you place the dough between two sheets of waxed paper. Just make sure to lift the paper off every so often to prevent creases from forming in the crust.
Place in pan. Once you have rolled out the crust to the proper size, place and gently form the crust in your pan or pie plate. Try not to stretch the dough, as it’ll spring back when baking.
Dock. With a fork, prick the crust on the bottom. This will hold the top of the crust down so you won’t have places where the crust “bubbles up.”
Line with foil. Lightly butter a piece of aluminum foil, and press it, butter side down, over the crust. Now you know why it’s called blind baking; you don’t see the crust bake. Many instructions call for pie weights to be spread over the crust at this stage. Not us; instead, freeze.
Freeze. Yep, freeze. Place the crust in the freezer and let it freeze for at least 30 minutes. By freezing the crust, you reduce the tendency for it to puff up in spots or to slump on the edges; hence, no pie weights needed.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Bake. When the oven is hot, take out the frozen crust, place it on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat, and center it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove foil. Take the crust from the oven and pull away the foil. If your recipe calls for a partially baked crust, you are done. Just let the crust cool on a rack. If you need a fully baked crust, continue.
Bake. Slide the uncovered crust back in the oven (still on the baking sheet) and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown.
Cool. Let the crust cool completely on a rack before filling.
This really works. By freezing the crust before baking, you don’t need pie weights (or dried beans) that some instructions have you use, and you still end up with a nicely-baked crust ready for your pie.