Blind Baking 101

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So here’s my little blind baking for dummies crash course… This post comes to you after four tremendously ruined pie crusts.  From the wise words of Bill Gates, lover of pies,

It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.

Ok, so maybe I made up that he loves pie, but someone so smart just has to love a good pie… as long as it’s not an Apple pie… see what I did there?

But just so we all remember the kind of failure I’ve learned from, let’s rock a #TBT (oh, hey teenagers!) with this beauty:

photo 1

After that sort of failure, I had no where to go but up.  Here are a few things that I learned from my failures:

1.  Blind baking involves beans.  Or rice.  Or something.  You cannot just stick a pie crust in the oven.  Who knew?

2. If you do just stick a pie crust in the oven, the sides sink and melt and form into a pie-rock.  Which is nasty.  But maybe your father in law is nice enough to eat it with a smile.

3. Pie dough is sticky.  And easily ripped and mutilated.

4. I throw ugly temper tantrums when I ruin pies.

5. No one is really sure why it’s called “blind baking” but it makes me feel fancy so I do it anyway.

So here is your mini lesson based on my temper tantrums and trashed pie crusts:

Blind Baking 101

Blind baking is basically baking an empty pie shell.  This is necessary when you’re making certain cold pies that only cook briefly or using a filling that doesn’t bake at all.

1. Make some pie dough- get it nice and chilled, roll it out on some parchement paper, or a silpat, or a lightly floured surface (I just HATE cleaning up that flour… “lightly” or not, it still equals a gigantic cloud of floury doom).

2.  Line a pie pan with your lovely rolled out crust.  Form the edge of your crust by crimping, braiding, whatever.  I usually go back and sort of “lift” the edges so that they aren’t mushed down and you can get a pie server under them.

At this point, you’re going to look a little like this:DSCN0101
3. Now here’s the important part.  Line the pie crust with EITHER: 1) Some parchment paper or 2) Foil that you have lightly greased.  My butter crust is so buttery and sticky that it sticks like a bear,  leaving you with the lovely crust you see above.  I’ve had great luck with parchment paper.

DSCN01034.  You now need to weight your pie crust.  You can buy pie weights… psh… or not.  I sent my hubby to Kroger to buy a big and cheap bag of pinto beans.  There are a lot of them, if I drop one and the dog eats it I won’t cry, and they get the job done.  Once you use the beans you can’t cook them, but you can save them and use them a million more times. Your weights (whether that’s uncooked rice or beans or whatnot) need to completely fill the crust to support the sides and prevent the pie-rock I mentioned above.

5. Bake your crust for 15 minutes at 415°.  Take the crust out, and carefully remove your parchment paper and beans (set those aside so they can cool).  At this point your crust may be done.  I usually stick it back in the oven for between 3 and 5 minutes to make sure it’s all nice and toasty.

And… voila!  Happy Blind Baking to You!

DSCN0087

 

Coming up next… Grandma’s Frech Silk Pie!

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