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Based on this question, I got to thinking about alternative ways to blind bake, especially since I always have issues with butter crusts slumping. One thing which occurred to me is: why not use two matched, nesting glass pie plates? This would seem to provide maximum support to the crust, as it would exactly mirror the shape of the pie plate on the bottom.

I always thought that the reason why nobody does this is that the crust needs to vent moisture, so the weight on the inside needs some porousness. However, Stella Parks uses aluminum foil filled with sugar, which would have no ventability at all.

So, my question is: is there any reason not to use a nesting pie plate as the weight for blind baking? If so, what?

  • If you use the sugar, be sure not to combine it with baking at 220°C - you would likely have a lot of smoke to explain. – rackandboneman Nov 24 '17 at 9:54
  • I'd also be completely unable to separate the two pie plates afterwards. – FuzzyChef Nov 28 '17 at 6:02
  • Did you try this? I'm curious how it turned out. – lspare Nov 30 '17 at 15:14
  • An empty pie plate may not be heavy enough to weigh the crust down, even a weighty ceramic one. Fill it with something though (marbles? pennies? sugar?) and you just might be on to a great pie hack :) Do update us if you try it out! – Tootsie Rolls Feb 1 '18 at 5:09
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    I dunno about weight, a standard recommendation is a quart of beans, which would weigh less than my glass pie plate. – FuzzyChef Feb 1 '18 at 22:01
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I use two nested pie plates all the time when I'm blind baking a crust, but glass plates don't work well. Glass plates actually have a much bigger difference between their inner and outer profiles than you might expect, so I usually use metal pie plates instead of glass because they nest a lot tighter (the thinner sheet metal stamped on a die allows for much more precise nesting).

Just be sure to dock the crust, ensure there is no gap between your pie plates and the crust itself, and remove the inner plate a couple of minutes before removing the crust from the oven to allow any excess moisture to escape and brown properly.

  • I happen to have two glass pie plates, one of which is just slightly smaller than the other, but your warning is taken. – FuzzyChef Jul 25 '18 at 17:32
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    @FuzzyChef As long as, with a crust between then, they fit without a gap on the bottom or sides, they should work. I understood that you had two identical plates. – LightBender Jul 25 '18 at 17:53
  • Do you think it is possible to stack multiple plates? Plate-crust-plate-crust-plate and so on. I'm looking to make a ton of mini tart shells (a pain to give weights to), and stacking 6 tins to make 5 shells inbetween them seems like a fun idea. – votbear Jul 26 '18 at 2:33
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    @votbear I've made mini shells by the hundreds stacking two mini muffin trays (easiest way is to form the shells by laying circles of dough cut out with a cookie cutter over the bottom of the top tray). You might be able to do two layers with three trays. Any more and I expect the outer layers would overcook before the inner layers were done. – LightBender Jul 26 '18 at 3:04
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I've tried a similar thing with porcelain dishes. Since I want the crust half-baked during blind baking (else it burns when I bake the filling) it was still moist when I got it out to fill the pie. And that moist half-baked dough stuck terribly to the inner dish, tearing the crust apart. I never had this problem with foil, since the worst that happens there is that the foil itself tears.

Also, I didn't have perfectly matching dishes, so the crust was not supported enough and slumped on the edges.

This is something I only attempted once or twice, so it may be possible to improve it with practice. But it is not a convenient shortcut that just works.

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