What is blind baking?
This may sound as if you are literally baking with your eyes closed. No, that's not what this means!
This is when the pastry is baked before the filling is placed inside. Some people say the reason for doing this is so that certain pastries don't become too soggy. This will apply to things that don't need to be baked for too long. While this is true, you will also find that certain pie crusts will start to shink around the edges if they are not baked beforehand.
How Do You Blind Bake?
Once you have moulded the pastry inside the case, you are ready to go to the next step. First of all, place a sheet of aluminium foil inside the case, covering it completely, so that there is no pastry showing up. Now you are ready to add the beans.
You can also add rice or anything similar, but beans are a good idea because often the rice slips through and gets stuck in the pastry. Leave this in the oven for 20 minutes, remove the foil and leave it in for a further 5 minutes. Do this at 160 degrees Celsius.
Types of Pastry for Blind Baking
This kind of pastry is normally used for sweet tarts and flans. You can make quite a lot of this and keep it in the freezer, and then just take it out when you need it.
- 200g butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 300g flour
- Mix the butter, sugar and the egg
- Add the flour
- Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour
- When using this to line a tart case don't make it too thick because it's just basically a casing
- To blind bake this after you have lined the case with dough, put it in the fridge for 1 hour then line it with tin foil and then add the beans inside.
- Set the oven to 160°c and bake for about 10 - 15 minutes
Makes 3 tart cases
Short Crust Pastry
Blind baking short crust pastry is very popular because this type of pastry is used for a lot for savory tarts and quiches. If you are making something sweet, then sugar can be added. Although, one would probably use the sweet pastry recipe, mentioned above.
You can use this recipe for a crumble or cobbler by adding 75g of sugar or you can add in other ingredients for more of a variety such as citrus zest, herbs like thyme, parsley and coriander depending on what you are making. You can even add chilli to the mixture to add some heat.
- 250 g cake flour
- 125 g butter
- 45 ml chilled water
- 5 ml salt
- Sift the flour and the salt
- Cut and rub the butter into the flour
- Add the chilled water and mix to form a dough
- Leave to rest
This is slightly more complicated, which is why buying a roll of pastry would probably be easier in the long run. I do however, think it’s nice to say you have made Puff Pastry at least once. I would think it’s slightly fresher, but you can compare the difference for yourself. However, for all the effort it requires, I would rather concentrate on creating a new combination for the next apple slice. Puff pastry should be made on a cool day.
- 250 g cake flour
- 2 ml salt
- 250 g butter
- 5 ml lemon juice
- 175 ml cool water
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl
- Rub in a piece of butter the size of a walnut
- Add lemon juice to the water, then make a well in the flour and pour 2/3 of liquid in
- Combine the ingredients, and when it forms a dough, add the remaining water
- Turn out dough onto a marble slab or a cool surface and dust it with flour
- Knead the dough for 2 minutes and then roll it out onto a square, 1 ½ - 2 cm thick
- Fold 3 ends to the middle accurately, pull in the ends to keep it rectangular
- Seal the edges with your hand or with a rolling pin, and turn the dough half way around to bring the edges towards you
- Roll this out and fold it into 3, and set aside in the refrigerator for 5 minutes
- Repeat this process for 6 turns with 30 minutes rest after each turn.
- Chill in the fridge in between turns
- Roll the puff pastry so that it is no less than 5 mm in thickness, otherwise it won’t rise properly
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Rough Puff Pastry
This is a lot easier than Puff Pastry to make and less time consuming. It doesn’t rise as much as puff pastry, but it is good for sweet and savoury pie crusts.
- 250 g cake flour
- ¾ cup chilled butter
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ cup chilled water
- Sift the flour and the salt in a mixing bowl and mix this together until all of the butter is coated in the flour.
- Combine the lemon juice and water together and add it to the flour mix, combining this with a fork
- Knead the dough for a few seconds on a slightly floured surface
- With a rolling pin, roll the pastry into a 30 x 10 cm rectangle . Wrap the lower third over the center and the top third over that. Wrap this in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes
- Roll the pastry again, laying it on a surface with the sealed edges at the top and bottom. This process is repeated 4 more times before the pastry is ready for use.
Lemon Tart with Sweet Pastry
This is just one example of what you can do. It is a light filling, which is perfect for after a heavy meal. It is also great for entertaining guests, along with a cup of coffee - give it a bash!
- 1x recipe sweet paste
- 5 large eggs
- ¼ cup cream
- 225g superfine sugar
- 4 lemons
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
- Make your tart base and set it aside
- Start by whisking the eggs together
- Now add the rest of the ingredients and combine well.
- Pour this in the tart case once it is ¾ of the way fill, and place it on a baking sheet
- Once this is in the oven you can fill it with the rest of the way because this will avoid any spillage.
- You will need to bake this for about 30 minutes or until it is just set. Test this by shaking it slightly, because it should wobble a little in the center.
- Transfer this to a serving dish when it is cool and sprinkle it with superfine sugar.