Baking Blind – This is when you bake a tart case with it’s base weighed down to stop it rising……..I really like the sound of this cooking term…..Baking Blind……The reason you do this, as I’d forgotten to say, is that it’s help cook the base so you end up with a lovely crisp pastry base as opposed to something, thick, uncooked and flabby. Not nice.
Prick the dough lightly, just scoring it with the prongs of a fork, (because if you make bigger holes, wet fillings will pour out later.) this stops the pastry rising.
Usually a recipe asks for you to cover the base well with greaseproof paper or foil and then fill with baking beans. I radically use cling film. It doesn’t cut into the pastry, (like paper or foil.) and if you criss cross the cling film once, fill with beans and seal it well, you’ll be able to winch the bag of beans out easily once it’s cooked. No it has never melted. If you have issues using plastic then use the paper as described.
You can buy baking beans, but they only ever come in a tiny little pot, which is never big enough and are pretty expensive. Just use dried pulses like beans or dried peas. (rice is too dense.) Jamie Oliver I remember suggests using loose coins as they get to a high temperature to help cook the base quickly. You’d need to use foil or paper for this method as the cling film wouldn’t hold them.
For an uncooked tart filling, you need to cook this completely. Fill with beans as above and par cook it for about 10 minutes, then lift out the beans and return to oven for a further 10-20 minutes, (depending on oven temperature.) or until the pastry case is crisp and lightly golden.
For a cooked filling, fill with beans, and cook as above for 10 minutes, lift out beans and cook for another 5-10 minutes before adding the filling to be cooked and baking again as the recipe states.