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For Baking Pastry Blind you will need...

1 batch of Shortcrust pastry

Here's how...

'Baking blind' means cooking a pastry case without any filling. By baking the pastry before adding the contents, you are guaranteed a crisp, non-soggy case which is fully cooked.

Traditionally, pastry is baked blind using ceramic baking beans, however you can also use rice or dried beans (such as chickpeas), which can be re-used time and time again. Just keep them separate from the rice/beans you plan to eat.

Lightly dust a large surface with flour and dust your rolling pin too.

Gently roll the pastry out to the size and thickness required, giving the pastry a quarter turn (in the same direction) every so often to keep its shape and to make sure it isn't sticking to the surface.

Try not to stretch the pastry too much as it will only shrink when cooked. Lay your pastry over the tart tin (24cm diameter, 3cm deep is a good size) and gently push it down to line the tin, making sure there's a little overhang on all edges. Trim any excess pastry from the edges using a knife. Chill in the fridge for 30mins to help prevent shrinking, meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C.

When ready to bake, line the tart with a large piece of foil or baking paper, large enough to cover the sides a bit too. Tip in some ceramic baking beans or just use some dried beans or rice. The idea is to weigh the paper and pastry down to prevent it from rising up during baking. Bake for 9-12 minutes, checking to see when the case is a sandy colour - at which point it's ready to bake without the beans - remove from the oven and gently lift off the paper and baking beans (or rice or beans). Place the case back in the oven for another 2-3 minutes to finish cooking. A good way to tell if a shortcrust pastry case is done is to rub gently with your third finger then rub against your thumb. It should feel slightly gritty, like fine sand. The case is now ready for filling.

We recommend using your tart case for delicious recipes such as our Pea and Leek tart

Tip: Always keep a little bit of raw dough to patch up any holes in the pastry. If you don't have a rolling pin, a (preferably cold) bottle of wine will do!

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