Baking blind (sometimes called pre-baking) is the term used to describe the process of baking a pie, tart or flan base with pastry, usually shortcrust pastry, without the filling.
The technique of blind baking a pastry base is necessary if you are going to fill the case with raw or 'wet' fillings, such as the egg mixture for a quiche, or a cake mixture, such as in a Cherry Frangipane. As a rough guide, if the filling has a shorter cooking time than the pastry, then you will need to blind bake first. Failing to use this method will most likely result in a raw and soggy bottom to your pastry case as the filling will soak into the pastry.
Servings: 9inch pie crust
Greaseproof / Parchment paper or Aluminium foil
weightssuch as pasta, rice, baking weights
Turn your oven to 180C, 375F,Gas 5.
Place your rolled out pastry in to your chosen dish. Make sure you gently push the sides around the dish and trim any excess pastry.
If you see any cracks or missing bits of pastry, use the excess from your trimming to patch these areas.
Using a fork, prick holes in the base and also the sides of your flan case
Line the flan dish with grease proof or aluminium foil, make sure there is enough to cover up the sides.
Place enough weights to fill the dish and distribute evenly, paying particular attention to the sides as these areas will form big bubbles if not weighted down.
Place in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes (for a 23 cm, 9 inch dish). If using smaller cases, reduce the cooking time.
When ready, the flan case should look like the photo on the below left. Say about 70% cooked, and ready for the filling.
*** Please note, if you want a completely cooked Pastry case, 1/2 way through the cook time, remove the weights and return the pastry to the oven to cook right through.