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Blind baking tart shells


middydd
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I often make a lemon and raspberry tart recipe (Martha Stewart by way of the FoodTV site), I like to make individual tarts and the recipe makes about 26 tarts.

It's tedious to put a circle of parchment in the bottom, fill with beans, bake and then get the beans and paper out of the little tart shells.

Is there an easier way? Is there some kind of single piece weight you can buy to put in the bottom of tart shells, so you only have one piece to get out of the shell? I've got a pie chain I was thinking of cutting up with wire cutters into shorter lengths. Any better ideas?

I tried doing the recipe by using the raspberries as weights but they got mushy before the pastry was browned enough.

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Actually I dock the pastry after rolling it to the desired thickness, cut the circles then turn a jumbo muffin tin upside-down and form the pastry around the bottoms of the tins, pleating and smoothing it to fit. I add a sheet of baking parchment over the entire bottom of the tin , then place a sheet pan on the top to keep the paper in place. (Otherwise the convection fan will blow it off.) The weight of the sheet pan keeps the bottoms from blistering and gravity keeps the sides in place.

If you have the individual fluted tart tins you can turn them upside down, form the pastry over and around them and place them on a sheet pan to bake them off. Again, cover the bottoms with a sheet of parchment and weight it down with another sheet pan until they are partially baked.

After 7 or 8 minutes you can remove the sheet pan and the parchment to check on the color of the crust. I bake it until it just begins to show color.

I place the baked shells in the mini disposable aluminum pie tins - they just fit - to maintain their integrity after they are filled.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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This is my tart shell blind baking trick:

After the tin has been lined with the pastry dough, I lay a sheet of plastic wrap over it.

On top of the plastic wrap, I pour uncooked rice all the way up to the top of the shell. Then

I wrap the plastic wrap around the rice. What you end up with is a tart shell tin lined with

pastry dough with little plastic wrap bundle of rice in it.

I throw my shells in the oven for about 10-15 minutes to set them. Then I pull the sheet pan full of tins out of the oven, and pull out my little rice bags and throw them in a bucket. I return my shells to the oven to finish baking the rest of the way. So easy!

I just keep reusing the same rice. Unfortunately, you can't reuse the rice bags because the plastic wrap gets weak after being heated. After they've cooled I just break the plastic off of them and throw the plastic away, and my rice is ready for the next batch of shells.

It really works great. Thanks to PC Michael Howe for teaching me this trick!

:wub: Annie

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Where I work, we usually line tartlets with foil over the bottom and up the sides and add beans. Once your shells are cool, turn out the beans and gently remove the foil (saving your squares of foil and beans for next time). I guess that's not altogether different from your method with parchment.

However, Michel Bras does suggest lining your shells with cheesecloth, adding your beans, and tying the cheesecloth closed to make bundles that can be reused ad infinitum. If your tartlets are a consistent size and you have space to store bundles of cheesecloth-wrapped beans, that might be the way to go. I've yet to try it, so let us know how it turns out.

Hope that helps.

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Easiest way is to line the mold with dough and prick the base a few times with a fork to allow air to escape and to allow hot air in.

then get a giant piece of saran wrap and place on tart fill with either black beans or ceramic baking beads(blackbeans absorb and retain heat better than rice or white beans)and carefully fold the saran wrap so that no beans escape and that no plastic wrap is touching the metal or else it will melt and the beans will pour out.

When cooked simple pull out the saran and beans and store so that next time all you have to do is grab your bag of beans and go.

Dont ever try to cook and eat the beans afterwords

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If we're talking about tartlet shells made with pate sucre or sable, with a good recipe that's made properly you don't have to use anything to weight the dough as it bakes. In school we never used beans or other pie weights and we had only the tiniest amount of shrinkage and no puffing up. Maury Rubin's "Book of Tarts" has a good recipe that I think might be published somewhere on the net and I like the tart dough recipe in "Sweet Miniatures" by Flo Braker. I try to find it later and also dig up some of my notes from class.

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I'm wondering about everyone using plastic wrap in the oven...all the plastic wrap manufacturers (no matter the composition of the material) recommend against using it in a conventional oven. It apparently has nothing to do with migration of chemicals into the food (a fear by some from use in the microwave); they simply all say don't do it.

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Are we confusing blind baking mini tarts with baking full sized tarts........or I just got lost...?sorry.....

For mini tarts I'm not willing to figure out how to weigh down these tiny shells. Instead I change doughs and use a pate' sucre that doesn't puff. No problems then.

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Here's how the doughs would be "tested" at Dufour (which amounted to blind baking the shells):

1. Fit a second tin on top of the dough. This gives you a sandwich of dough between two tins.

2. Invert the whole thing and place on baking sheet.

3. Bake for 1/2 the time.

4. Flip over. Remove inner tin. Continue baking until done.

IIRC, the pastry was not docked.

(These were disposable aluminum tins.)

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Neil

T'is true, if you have a great recipe for pate sucre and the like, you don't even have to MESS

with the beans and the rice and the weights and the extra tins and the flip-flopping and all that.

In fact, I have my favorite tried and true pate sucre that I use every chance I get. No lining needed.

Problem is though, that you go to work for a new employer, and they INSIST that you use all their recipes, even if they suck. And most of them do......but that's another thing. They are

certain that every part of their recipe is perfect and it's a signature item, so you MUSN'T mess

with it! So even though we PC's KNOW BETTER, in order to keep our jobs, we just suck it

up and deal with the crap. Hence, beans, rice, weights, extra tins and flip floppin'.

Sigh. Gotta love it. Sort of. :hmmm:

blueapron

Yes! Beans and cheesecloth sounds much handier than my method of rice and saran! Same concept different components! Yay! Thanks!

Tracy K.

About plastic wrap in an oven.....I think the manufacturers say that to cover their butts. You know in this litigation happy world that some stupid moron who manages to burn themselves somehow by using plastic wrap in the oven will try to sue the manufacturer because they didn't post a "warning" about it. That's why you see stupid copy on the hairdryer instructions...."do not use while in bathtub". If they don't say that they're liable. So the plastic wrap guys have to post every single warning that they can think of to prevent frivolous lawsuits by people who shouldn't be in the gene pool anyway......that's my take on it anyway. I know I haven't suffered any ill effects from plastic wrap in the oven .....mostly because I'm smart enough to use a HOT PAD.

:raz:

:wub: Annie

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Regarding the use of saran wrap, I read somewhere once that you should use those for commercial use and not those for domestic use. I have both at home, and do notice that those sold for commercial purposes are slightly different from Glad or Saran Wrap.

I've not tried this myself, but have seen it actually done. That is, it was used to line a tart and filled with rice.

And there is a certain limit to the temperature. You're not supposed to go higher than 180-200C.

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  • 3 years later...

I've been reading old threads on blind-baked shells, trying to find a solution to a couple of common issues: getting a crisp bottom when you're filling it with something dense and wet, and dealing with the nuissance of beans/rice/weights.

I've gotten big improvements by switching to some blue steel tart pans made by bourgeat. My old tinned steel pans just reflected too much heat, so the bottoms and sides didn't brown as quickly as the top edges, no matter what else I did.

But I'm still finding that things like apple tarts lead to soggy bottoms. And the whole routine of lining with parchment and filling with beans is annoying. It also seems countner productive, since it shields the whole inside of the shell from heat. I use an egg wash, but I'm just not convinced it makes much difference, considering how little time the inside of the shell gets direct, dry heat.

I'm curious if anyone has ides (or good guesses) about any of these possible alternatives:

1) don't line the shell with anything. if it starts to poof up, reachin with a skewer and let the steam out. would this work? or would the sides of the shell collapse?

2) get one of those stainless steel pie chains

3) just drop an aluminum saucepan lid that's roughly the right size onto the bottom of the shell.

5) use the beans, but then brown the inside of the shell with a propane torch. i'm sure this would work, but it's clearly the most annoying solution of all.

Any thoughts?

(FWIW, the tart dough I like is similar to a traditional 100%/66%/33% pate brisée.)

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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Hi Paul,

In Baking: From My Home to Yours, Dorie recommends freezing the crust solid and baking with foil on top, then removing the foil for the last few minutes of baking, pushing anything that's puffed up down with a spoon. It's worked fairly well for me (the spoon didn't really do much, but I didn't need to prick it with a fork either as there's minimal puffing).

The aluminum saucepan lid idea sounds good, but wouldn't it still be slightly domed anyway?

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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I'm a baking dumbass, but I've always wondered whether you could bake a crust blind with, in this case, a Bourgeat pan on both the bottom and the top, with the top one conducting more heat to transfer to the top of the dough. It wouldn't work with a fat scalloped edge, I suppose.

Chris Amirault

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I'm a baking dumbass, but I've always wondered whether you could bake a crust blind with, in this case, a Bourgeat pan on both the bottom and the top, with the top one conducting more heat to transfer to the top of the dough. It wouldn't work with a fat scalloped edge, I suppose.

Do you mean putting another tart pan on top of the shell? I've thought about that, and about just using the circle, but they're just too big. The dough is too thick, so there isn't room for anything that size in there. If your pans had a lot of taper it might almost work, but the top pan wouldn't sit all the way down on the bottom of the shell. I don't like the idea of there being insulating air space there.

The freezing idea is interesting. Does Dorie recommend this for any kind of tart dough? What's the foil for?

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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Forgive me, but there is a way to use 2 pans. For a regular 9" pie you can put an aluminum (sp?) pie pan in and put a cookie sheet on top of that. The cookie sheet pushes on the edges of the aluminum pie pan, keeping the pastry pressed down and radiating heat to the bottom of the pie. I've done this with tarts and it's the only way to go. I just discovered this and used it successfully playing with a couple of frozen 8" ready made pie doughs. Just take the dough out of one shell (I used it for the top crust) and use it's pan to press onto the other pie. I am trying to devise something along those lines for a 9" fluted edged tart pan, but am going to just try an extra base put on the bottom of the pastry and let the sides puff out. I'm checking out my theory(ies) this week...I have to try and manipulate one of those pie tins to fit my dressy 9" plates as well. But the 8" business did great.

an aside, there is a recipe for apple pie on the almond paste box that calls for you to roll out the paste to fit the bottom of your pie dough. It makes a nice, cuttable pie bottom and really helps control sogginess.

Besides it adds a nice almond flavor.

I read somewhere that cooling pie dough after fitting in pan keeps the dough from shrinking. I imagine freezing would have the same effect.

Happy Holidays!

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I read somewhere that cooling pie dough after fitting in pan keeps the dough from shrinking. I imagine freezing would have the same effect.

I tried this and it did seem to work, although I also pinched the dough against the sides of the pan that time so that might have helped as well.

Thanks for starting this thread, paulraphael, 'cause I also find the whole blind-baking routine to be a bit of a nuisance. I don't think just poking the shell to let the steam out would be enough, because the sides do have a tendency to collapse. I have thought about doing the saucepan lid or double tart pan thing but have the same problem with the tart pans being the same size. Might try the saucepan lid, though...

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Dorie's tart dough is a pâte brisée, if I'm not mistaken. She specifically states in the book that the freezing is so that you don't have to bother with blind-baking. I am guessing the foil is to prevent the bottom from browning too quickly. I haven't had a problem with the sides collapsing BUT I do have a tendency to make the sides thicker and denser (I tamp it in, I don't roll it out due to the heat here), which is not as great when you have to cut through it.

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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I'm a baking dumbass, but I've always wondered whether you could bake a crust blind with, in this case, a Bourgeat pan on both the bottom and the top, with the top one conducting more heat to transfer to the top of the dough. It wouldn't work with a fat scalloped edge, I suppose.

I had forgotten about this method. Have never tried it but remember my grandmother doing it and her pies were absolutely the best. No matter how I try I can rarely get my crust to taste as good as her's.

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