Blind baking tart cases is used when a pie crust needs to be partially or fully cooked before adding the filling.

Blind baking beads come in either metal or ceramic, ceramic is my preference. The reason being they hold their heat longer and they can be cleaned now and again by putting them in the cutlery basket or colander in your dishwasher. The beads are usually sold in packs and you need two packs. It is an initial expenditure but looked after you’ll have them forever.

Butter your form. Roll your pastry, line the form and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

pre heat oven to 180°C
Line a roasting pan with a sheet of baking paper, put the blind baking beads in the pan and put them into the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, dock the pastry and cover the pastry, shiny side down with foil. Press it gently against the edges and fold it over. Put the flan on a baking sheet.

When the timer goes, slide the heated blind baking beads into the flan and spread them out to the edges. Turn the heat down to 170°C. Without delay put the flan in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes, very carefully lift the foil and check…depending on the size of your flan and the thickness of your pastry you’ll most likely nee to cook it for a further 5-10 minutes.

If you are not filling the case straight away, stand the baking sheet on a rack and set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer goes, very carefully lift the foil from the edges and lift away the blind baking beads.

If you are proceeding immediately [like with lemon or custard tart]. Remove the foil and beads immediately. Brush the pastry with lightly beaten room temperature whole egg and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes. This seals the pastry and will give you a crisper bottom.

pictured right Passionfruit Tart