Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baking "Blind"

Many times I've been asked the question, "what does baking blind mean?" Since there have been many requests for the answer...I thought I'd address it here.

Baking “blind” basically means to use some kind of weighted materials to keep a pastry shell flat while cooking. I use dried peas or rice for this purpose, and keep them in a jar so that I use them over and over.

The best method is to line a pie plate or pan with your basic short crust pastry (see recipe below). Prick the bottom all over, place some aluminum foil or greaseproof paper in the bottom of the pie plate, and spread the dried peas or rice out evenly.This will weigh the pastry down during cooking…usually at around 400 degrees F. until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven, lift out the aluminum foil and contents, and return the pastry to the oven for about three minutes. The base of your pie shell should be flat. Allow it to cool, and fill the pastry shell with your favorite filling -- top with cream.

Basic short crust recipe:
2 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
¾ cup of shortening
About 1/3 cup of cold water.