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Blind Baking

Martha Stewart Living Television

When a recipe calls for a prebaked pie or tart shell, you may think that all you need to do is to place the dough in the appropriate dish and then put it right into the oven. However, anyone who has ever tried this knows that while the crust may come out a perfect shade of golden brown, its surface can be puffy and blistered. You can avoid this by using parchment paper and some weight.

After chilling the dough, rolling it out, and putting it into the pan, deck the crust surface by poking holes into it with the tines of a fork. Next, cut out a circular piece of parchment paper whose diameter is about an inch more than that of the pie or tart pan, and lay it over the dough. Finally, use either a layer of dried beans, such as navy or kidney beans, or a pie weight to hold the parchment down. After baking for 15 minutes, the crust will be perfect for the next step of your recipe.