The blog of cooking-ez.com

What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?


What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?
When it comes to home-made desserts, tarts are always popular. They can be divided into two basic types: those cooked with their filling, such as an apricot and almond cream tart, and those where the filling is added after baking the pastry case, such as a strawberry tart or chocolate tart.

For tarts where the filling will be added later, we need to cook the pastry case "blind” , as pastry cooks say.

It won't do to simply to line the tart tin with the pastry and bake it empty – the pastry will puff up unevenly in big bubbles which will harden as they cook and the sides are likely to fall in. In short, a disaster. And this is even worse with puff pastry.

To avoid this problem when baking blind, we need to put something in the pastry case to weight it down and keep the base flat, and also hold up the sides. It needs to be easy to remove afterwards, too. Let's take a look at the various possibilities.
84K 8 3.9
Grade this page:

Last modified on: May 2nd 2017

What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?

1) Pie-weight chain

Pie-weight chain

This is a long string of stainless-steel beads which can be coiled in the pastry case. It's not too bad for keeping the bottom flat, but does little to stop the sides falling in.

2) Baking beads

Baking beads

These are either metal or ceramic and can be poured in to give an even layer in the pastry case. They are quite effective (just don't use the aluminium ones), even for the sides. But they tend to be fairly large, so not good for small tarts.

3) Dried lentils/beans

Dried lentils/beans

This method is as old as the hills and cheap: simply fill the pastry case with dried beans, peas or lentils – they are very effective.

Small tarts baked blind

Use lentils if you can, as their small size makes them ideal for all sizes of tarts, even tiny ones and vol-au-vents.

Of course, they can be kept and used again and again. I must have been using the same lentils for 25 years!

You will have noticed that I have a preference for lentils, but you should form your own opinion and see what works best for you.

Worth noting, whatever you choose:

- It's a good idea to put a sheet of cooking parchment between the pastry and the lentils or beads. This makes it much easier to remove them after cooking.
- To know when the pastry is done, check the edges: when the top of the pastry crust is nicely browned, the bottom of the case should be cooked.
- After baking, the bottom of the pastry case might well still be very pale, unlike the browned edge. If this bothers you, remove the lentils and paper towards the end of the baking time and leave the pastry to cook uncovered in the top of the oven for a further 5 minutes.
- Always leave a tart case to cool completely before filling, possibly on a wire rack, as this will help the pastry to stay crisp.

To sum up: For blind baking, lentils make the best pie weights. Line the pastry with a sheet of cooking parchment before pouring them in.

Note: When I say that the trick of using dried beans or lentils is as old as the hills, it's because that's how I make my own tarts (maybe you, too). That's how I still see my mother make her tarts now, and how she saw my grandmother do it, and so on…




Back to top of page

Lasts posts
Parmesan cheese crusts
Parmesan cheese crusts
If you use Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano) in your recipes, you may have already noticed: when you grate it, it becomes (very) difficult near the crust, especially if it is a slightly aged parmesan, as the cheese gets harder and harder. So we stop grating, leaving some crust on top, and a...
1,0275 June 23th 2022
The gelling agent in a cream
The gelling agent in a cream
If you start making a Bavarian cream for example, or any other that contains a gelling agent such as gelatin or agar-agar, you will sooner or later be confronted with the problem: How to properly incorporate this gelling agent into my cream? (and we will focus on gelatin).
1,1784.9 June 18th 2022
The preservation of bread
The preservation of bread
Eating fresh bread is always a delight, the crust crumbles deliciously, you take full advantage of the taste of your bread (80% of this taste is in the crust), it is a fleeting moment to enjoy. Who hasn't already eaten the crouton or croutons of his baguette, on the way back from the bakery? ...
1,6833 June 11th 2022
Beans in primeur
Beans in primeur
As I write this, it is the beginning of the short season for fresh beans. If you've never made them before and you're just starting out (and that's a great idea) you'll find that it's a bit time consuming to prepare, you have to shell them once, remove the beans, scald them to remove the skin (and...
1,233 June 4th 2022
Celeriac soups and the 3rd ingredient
Celeriac soups and the 3rd ingredient
Do you like celeriac, a vegetable that is not always a big hit? If your answer is "no" or "not so much", it is perhaps that you have in mind the celery remoulade, the emblematic starter, with the eggs mimosa, of the bistrot kitchen. It's very good, well if you like it of course, but it's a bit...
1,7544.6 May 21th 2022
Other pages you may also like
What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?
What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?
This is a question that you may well have asked yourself and which I will attempt to answer. In France the two trades of "boulangerie" (bakery) and "pâtisserie" (patisserie and confectionery) have always been quite distinct, but where exactly do the boundaries lie? .
91K 13.9 February 7th 2017
The right weight of pastry for a pie
The right weight of pastry for a pie
Let's try to solve a thorny problem: How much dough will I need when I make my next pie? You're planning to make a pie, you're going to use your favourite mould or circle, but how much pastry will you need to fill it completely with a well spread pastry, without being too thin, or on the contrary...
33K3.6 March 20th 2020
Egg yolks and caster sugar
Egg yolks and caster sugar
We often come across recipes where we need to mix egg yolks with caster sugar. This would appear to be a very ordinary and simple thing to do but, be warned, these two ingredients can behave oddly together.
53K 24.3 February 15th 2018
85 grams of eggs?
85 grams of eggs?
Some time ago, I already spoke to you about the difference between baking and pastry-making, I emphasized, among other things, the precision of pastry-making which requires grams, cm, degrees and minutes. That's why, on the one hand, you have baking and cooking, where a certain tolerance is...
33K4.5 November 26th 2018
The skin of the almonds
The skin of the almonds
If you like almonds, in their dried fruit version, you must use them quite often in cooking or baking, whether powdered or whole. It is not obvious, but in fact there is 2 kinds of almonds in the market, wholesale with or without the skin. .
9,6363.7 February 8th 2020
Post your comment or question
Posted by:
I am not a leaving thing
Follow this page
If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page