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Thread: Pie weights vs. dried beans for pie crust baking?

  1. #1
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    Pie weights vs. dried beans for pie crust baking?

    I am having technical difficulty with the dried bean part of "blind baking" a pie crust. I am working on my pie crust skills.

    I made and chilled a pie crust, rolled it out, and coaxed it into the pie pan. That part went OK. Whew. My mama's rolling pin hasn't let me down yet. My recipe called for initial baking of the pie crust at 400. As directed, I pierced the crust with a fork and then added dried beans. Well, actually dried split peas. I put in probably too many of them, about 3/4 inch deep. After the initial bake, the split peas were embedded into the dough (nice), and the dough underneath was damp and not browned. I tweezed out each little pea without breaking the crust. Was the problem that too much surface area was covered? Well, that and those were not the legumes of choice for the job!

    Does anyone use dried beans or pie weights for blind baking a crust? Can you share your experience? I think I am more in the dried bean camp, as I don't want to buy accessories I won't use very often.

    Thanks,

    Alice

  2. #2
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    I am by no means an expert but I would think the dried peas were 1) too small and 2) you put too many of them in.


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  3. #3
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    What I do is put a coffee filter in the bottom of the crust before adding the peas (or, I often use uncooked rice). When the crust is almost done (has cooked enough that the shape is set and won't shrink any more) I remove the filter and beans/rice an let the bottom brown.
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  4. #4
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    I've had that same experience! I prefer pie weights myself, because I found that the beans give a slight odor that I don't like. No big deal, though. I line my pie crust with a circle of parchment paper - but the coffee filter is a great idea! Never thought of that! Pour in the beans/weights and you're good to go.
    Lynne


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  5. #5
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    I use both beans and the pie weights but you most definitely need a bit of something to protect the pastry from the weights. I use foil rather than any of the items listed above because it retains heat and adds to the blind baking.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneezles View Post
    I use both beans and the pie weights but you most definitely need a bit of something to protect the pastry from the weights. I use foil rather than any of the items listed above because it retains heat and adds to the blind baking.
    Definitely agree!!

    I've got little bundles of about a half cup measure of beans wrapped in tin foil, you can vary the number of bundles used for different size pie or tart pans.

  7. #7
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    I use foil lining the entire shell and then dumping in a bunch of beans. I've been using the same beans for years (though I only bake pie crust at most a few times a year).

  8. #8
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    I also prefer pie weights. They are the exact size & weight that's needed and no off smell from the beans. I've had the same container of pie weights for over 15 years!

  9. #9
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    I also just line with foil first and dump in some beans. Super easy clean up to just lift the foil out.

  10. #10
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    I used to use beans but now I use weights. I always put either parchment paper or tin foil on pie crust under the weights. It's also much easier to gather them up after it's baked. I also lightly brush bottom of pie pan with butter. It makes a nicely browned bottom on pie crust.

  11. #11
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    I usually use beans and haven't had a problem yet. If I am using a thin pie pan I sometimes bake the crust on the outside of the upside down pan - let it cool, and then flip it off and transfer to the inside of the pan (delicate process here). This doesn't work for thick pie pans (crust cooked on the outside is to large to put inside) but produces the best pre-cooked crust I can make for the thin pans.
    Anne

  12. #12
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    Anne just reminded me of another way I have tried! If I'm using the foil pie pans I put pie dough in pan and top with another foil pie pan filled with weights. Once baked I just lift out the top pan with the weights.

  13. #13
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    Dreamer - I wonder if that method would work with two glass pie pans (wouldn't have to add weight) - or if it would end up 'steaming' the crust rather than baking it. I'll try it next time I prebake a crust.
    Anne

  14. #14
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    I haven't tried it that way with a glass pie pan but I'm thinking that it would be too heavy even without any extra weights added. It might compress the pie dough too much. It could end up wafer thin and not get the flaky texture. You never know though. It might work great.

    I always had trouble with just tin foil as shaping it tended to have sharp edges which cut into the dough. I had another tin foil pie pan sitting there and I thought why not try it. It's already shaped with no sharp edges.

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