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I am making a quiche. The recipe tells me to "blind bake" the crust at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. What is "blind baking"? Is it anything more complicated than baking something partially?

To avoid making this a general reference question: why is it necessary to blind bake things? And, why is it called "blind" baking?

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For anyone who's interested, here's the best explanation we could come up with on English.se for the reason why it's called "blind baking", but please if anyone knows better, come and tell us! –  FumbleFingers Aug 26 '11 at 19:25
    
Some new etymological leads here. –  Callithumpian May 24 '12 at 13:49
    
Some research I did for this question at EL&U pointed to a possible mention in the 1943 edition of The Joy of Cooking. Anyone here have a copy? –  Callithumpian May 25 '12 at 15:29

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Blind baking is indeed just baking without a filling — it can be fully or partially. Typically you do this because your filling will either need to bake for a shorter time than your crust (a quiche for example) or not at all (a pie filled with some kind of pre cooked/set custard). It can also be done to help 'set' a crust against a filling that will make it rather soggy.

Oftentimes you will want something neutral in the shell to keep it from becoming a big bubbly, puffed up crust. This may be in the form of formal 'pie weights' or just a piece of parchment paper and some dry beans will suffice.

I have no idea why it's called blind baking, but the English.SE site is notoriously good at word origins.

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I've seen suggestions that you fill the crust with dried peas to stop the sides from collapsing. I've never tried it though. –  johnny Aug 22 '11 at 5:26
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The peas/beans are more to stop the centre puffing up than the sides collapsing since the sides usually stick to the pie dish ok. I always put a big pile of beans in the centre of my pastry. –  Rincewind42 Aug 22 '11 at 6:16
    
I did notice that the bottoms of my crusts became quite puffy after 7 minutes at 375, but they settled right down when I added the eggy filling. Thanks for this great answer! –  Abby T. Miller Aug 22 '11 at 14:43
    
@Abby - A 7 minutes, the puff up may not be a problem, but if it fully cooks like that you'll be up a creek. You can always poke it lightly with a fork to help as well. I'm sure the quiche turned out great! –  rfusca Aug 22 '11 at 19:00
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Setting a second buttered pie dish on the crust does the trick and lifts out nicely. –  user19943 Aug 30 '13 at 19:45

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