Expert Q&A

How to get the best pastry

I have a recipe that asks me to "blind bake" my pastry. What is blind baking?
Blind baking is a cooking term to describe baking sweet or savoury pie shells or pastry cases before the filling is added. If a filling does not need to be baked or is very wet, it may be necessary to "blind bake" the unfilled shell. Blind baking ensures that the pastry doesn't become soggy and unpleasant to eat after adding and/or baking the filling.
To blind bake, ease the pastry into a pan or dish, place on an oven tray; line the pastry with baking paper then fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or "baking beans" (also called pie weights). Bake according to the recipe's directions, then cool before adding the filling.
Pics: Rob Shaw/bauersyndication.com.au

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