I've found a recipe for a lemon tart: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/380616/greggs-tangy-lemon-tart

Everything looks fine to me and I get what to do exactly, but I don't understand the part that says:

Line the tart with foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake for 10 mins, then discard the foil, and bake for another 20 mins until biscuity.

I have got two closely related questions:

  1. What is the purpose of this step? What would happen if I omitted it and baked straight for 30 minutes?

  2. What type of foil should I use? I suppose it's not the plastic one since it would not survive the baking temperature of 160C. Or would it?

  • The first question is pretty much a duplicate of cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/17020/what-is-blind-baking
    – Cascabel
    Apr 4, 2015 at 23:04
  • Re. type of foil: parchment (might be called something like "baking paper" in your language) works, too. Some plasic foils are oven proof for lower temperatures, check the box. Personally, I don't like aluminum foil because it sometimes sticks and then tears when removing, whick means you have to pick beans or rice from the shell...
    – Stephie
    Apr 5, 2015 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


The rice/beans in this step act as a form of what are known as pie weights. They are used in order to maintain the shape of the crust as it is being baked. If you eliminate the weights during baking, you may encounter undesirable levels of puffing, curling and shrinking. If you'd rather brown the top of the bottom crust while baking, an alternative method often used is placing a second pie plate over the one containing the crust, and the metal should assist in browning the crust. Use standard foil.

  • And "standard foil" is what? For me, it's the plastic thing. So is it?
    – yo'
    Apr 4, 2015 at 22:55
  • @yo No. Foil means aluminum foil. I've never heard of anything plastic (plastic wrap?) being called foil before.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 4, 2015 at 23:01
  • @Jefromi It's possible it's not called that way in English, but in Czech, it is, which confuses me. Thanks anyways.
    – yo'
    Apr 4, 2015 at 23:05
  • @yo' Sorry. I made too many assumptions. In America we call rolled aluminum "aluminum/tin foil," and plastic wrap is called, well, "Plastic wrap," or cellophane. You'd want something metallic for the reason you've already mentioned — plastic will melt and leave your pie with a rather undesirable taste, and it would not aid in the browning the way metal would. Apr 5, 2015 at 4:26
  • Just a little addition to the last comment. Cling film won't melt in the oven. In fact I often cling film my baking beans/rice in the shape of my pies and tarts. This way I can re-use then easily every time and there is less risk of filling my tart with grains of rice when attempting to remove. In regards to the metal plate. Usually you bake your cases until almost cooked (blind baking) then remove the beans for the last 5min to allow the base to dry and brown.
    – Doug
    Apr 5, 2015 at 14:03

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