baking a pastry case

baking blind

To prevent it from becoming soggy, shortcrust pastry does need to be partially cooked, before adding fillings. Use home-made or shop-bought shortcrust pastry.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5)

1.       Lightly butter a loose-based baking tin.

2.      Once the pastry is rolled out to the correct size, place the rolling pin in the centre, fold the pastry over and lift it on to the pin. Then transfer it to the baking tin, laying it down evenly and carefully.

3.      Gently press the pastry into the tin to line the base and sides. When you've pressed it all round with your fingers (not not finger tips, because this may puncture the pastry), try to ease back down any pastry that is sticking up above the edges, so that you reinforce the edge – if it gets stretched too much it will shrink during cooking.

4.      When you've lined the tin, trim off any excess around the edges with a knife, but press the edges again so that you have ¼ inch (5mm) above the edges of the tin.

5.      Prick the base all over with a fork, as this will release any trapped air, which is what causes the centre to rise up.

6.      Brush the base and sides all over with beaten egg, which will provide a sort of waterproof coating so that the pastry stays beautifully crisp even after the filling has gone in.

7.      Bake the case for 20-25 minutes or until it is starting to turn golden brown. [Take a quick look after about 15 minutes.]

Variant:

Baking blind

An alternative way of reaching the same goal is to bake your pastry blind.

Heat oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5).

1.       Fill the pastry case with a round of baking paper and add baking beans (you can get ceramic baking beans in most good supermarkets and from Amazon) to weigh it down.

2.      Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the paper and beans and cook the pastry for 5 minutes more.