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Pastry Dough Tips

The Martha Stewart Show

Tarts owe much of their elegant appearance to the pans in which they're baked. Traditional ones have short, fluted sides and come in a variety of sizes. Because the delicate crust of a tart can be difficult to remove, tart pans are made with a removable bottom that allows you to easily unmold the tart. Here are some tips for fitting your dough -- either pate brisee or pate sucree -- into tart pans.

Pastry Methods How-To

Rolling-Pin Method

  • After the pie dough is rolled out to its proper dimensions, roll it back up over the rolling pin.
  • Gently drape the pie dough over a fluted tart pan.
  • Using your fingers, press dough into place in tart pan.
  • Roll over top edge of pan with a rolling pin, and trim dough so it is flush with pan.

Box-Grater Method

  • Using chilled dough, grate using the large holes on a box grater into tart pan.
  • Using your fingers, press dough into place in tart pan.

Blind Baking

  • Blind baking, or prebaking, is a baking technique where a pie or tart crust is partially or completely baked before it is filled.
  • Blind-baking is necessary if the pie filling cannot be baked as long as the crust requires, or if the filling of the pie would make the crust too soggy if added immediately.
  • Pricking the bottom of tart dough will prevent it from puffing up as it bakes.
  • Generally, the pie crust is lined with parchment paper and then filled with ceramic or metal pie weights, dried beans, or rice so that it will keep its shape when baking.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until the top edges of the crust begin to take on color. Remove from oven. Remove weights and parchment, and return to oven to continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes. If the edges of the pie crust start to brown too quickly, cover them with an inverted tart pan (without the bottom) to prevent over browning.
  • Let blind-baked items cool completely before filling.

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