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Some pie recipes call for placing weights on the pastry when it is cooked prior to the addition of fillings.

Why is this necessary? What effect does it have?

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If you don't have pie weights available, you could use dried beans as a replacement. Just make sure you don't cook the beans after using them as weights. – webtina Aug 13 '13 at 21:30

The purpose of pie weights (or improvised equivalents) is to keep the shell from bubbling up and warping when blind baking (baking without filling).

If you dock the shell well, and are lucky, it may not buckle, but the weights give additional assurance of a good outcome.

See also: How to use pie weights?

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They can also be useful to stop the sides from falling in if the tin doesn't have sloping sides. – Peter Taylor Aug 13 '13 at 10:57

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