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I understand why the dough should be chilled before forming it into the pie dish/pan, but often I see recipes wanting the formed base covered with wrap and put in the fridge for 20 minutes before blind baking.

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The Good Eats episode on pies suggested this too. Alton Brown refrigerated the dough before forming, formed it, then re-refrigerated it.

He explained that taking it out of the fridge to form the base would be enough time for some of the butter in the dough to soften and potentially melt. This would undo all the work put in previously to keep the butter intact within the dough.

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Sure, it softens while forming. But why is that a problem? Why is it better to chill it again then bake it, rather than just hurrying it into the oven? – Jefromi Mar 17 '12 at 4:04
It has to do with the final texture of the crust. The small pockets of butter steam and create a light flaky texture as the crust bakes, whereas melted and integrated butter creates a denser effect. Refrigerating the crust after its formed allows the half-melted butter to re-firm rather than melt, creating a more delicate flaky result. – heathenJesus Mar 17 '12 at 13:50
Sounds good, but why is it a comment instead of an answer? – jontyc Mar 17 '12 at 22:57

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