Blind baking a pastry shell is an important step to ensuring that no soggy bottoms form when you are creating tarts and pies. It is most crucial when you are working with fillings that are particularily ‘wet’ (think berry pie). One dilema that can occur is that once you have filled your pastry shell, when it returns to the oven the bottom will essentially cook no more but the sides will continually cook. This can lead to issues whereby the bottom of your pie may not be soggy, but the sides have gone to far and are verging on burnt.

The below steps will show you how I get around this by using a collar. This ensures that during the blind baking stage the bottom becomes nice and crispy, but the sides are left a little blond, finishing of cooking once the filling has been added and the pie returns the oven.

Let’s go!

1. Line your tart tin with pastry. You will also need to have a few pieces of foil that will be folded over the pastry sides.
2. Using the strips of foil, fold them over to cover the sides, leaving the bottom exposed.
3. Work your way around the pastry, covering all of the sides like this.
4. Next place a piece of foil over the bottom of the pastry, ensuring it comes up the sides (this will make it easier to remove later).
5. Place pastry weights in the lined pie tin.
6. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes, and then remove the bottom piece of foil and weights, but leave foil strips covering the sides. Return to the oven.
7. Cook for another 20 minutes or so and then remove the foil strips from the side. What you are looking for is a well-cooked base, with lighter coloured pastry sides.
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