What does “blind bake” mean?

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“Blind baking” is a pastry chef/baker’s term that refers to baking a pie or tart crust before adding filling.

Blind baking is typically done when the filling is cooked separately (for example, cream pies, ganache tarts, or custard tarts) or when the filling will be cooked in the crust, but at lower temperatures or for less time than would be necessary to cook the crust through.

Typically crusts are docked (poked with a fork or knife) and filled with a layer or foil or parchment paper topped with pie weights (ceramic weights, pie chains, or dried beans) before blind baking. This helps prevent the crust from rising while ensuring it cooks evenly.

Most recipes call for removing the faux filling at some point in the blind bake so the inner crust can brown. Some professional recipes call for brushing the inside of blind-baked crust with a thin layer of egg white, then continuing to bake it briefly, to create a moisture barrier so the crust won’t get soggy while the pie/tart is being held for service.

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