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How to bake blind

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Baking blind is an unusual term for a method of preparing pie crusts so that they keep in good shape. Try this method the next time you bake a quiche, flan, tartlet or blueberry pie! This 'how-to' presumes you have already prepared and rolled the raw dough.
What you'll need: 
The necessary dough and suitable baking tins
Greaseproof Paper (slightly larger than the pastry)
Butter or lard
Rice, haricot beans, kidney beans or stale bread crusts
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (Gas Mark 8)
Using your butter or lard, grease your paper and lay it, greased side down, in your baking tin(s). If your tins are very deep, make 1 inch snips at 1 inch intervals around the edge of your paper first.
Gently place your dough in the tin(s), pressing it carefully against the tin edge.
Fill the pastry to the top with your beans, rice or crusts.
Bake for about 15 minutes (10 minutes for smaller items, such as tartlets).
Remove from the oven and take out the filling.
Replace in the oven for a further 10 minutes (5 minutes for smaller items).
Your pastry is now ready for your real filling and should keep its shape nicely.
You do not need to discard the rice or beans afterwards as they can be re-used.
You can buy special ceramic beans and pastry weights for this process.
Cooking times are guidelines only: ovens can vary.


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