How to Use Pie Weights? Guide to Using Pie Weights

How to Use Pie weights guide to using pie weights

Pies are easy to make, but you can take a few steps to ensure they turn out well. Creating the

perfect pie crust is the key to making a delicious pie everyone will love.

You’ve undoubtedly come across the term pie weights if you’ve ever attempted to make your own pie from scratch.

The pie weight is a common prebaking tool used when making a pie or tart shell. This is also referred to as blind baking.

This prevents pies from having soggy bottoms and is important for baking crusts for no-bake pies. When it comes to blind baking, pie weights can make or break your recipe, depending on the crust type you’re using.

How to Use Pie Weights: Summary

What are Pie Weights, and How Do You Use Them?

pie weights

Blind baking is an excellent method for preventing soggy bottoms and overcooked fillings, but it can present several challenges. The edges of an empty pastry case shrink away from their edges when no hold is applied, undoing all your neat crimping work.

Occasionally, you may experience bubbling, which occurs when the fat in the dough melts and releases steam. While modest amounts of steam are good, they can also cause the dough to puff up and deflate, resulting in wrinkled and unappealing pastry.

While the pastry bakes, pie weights act as a dummy filling. This solves both problems. Since they are oven-safe, they can be placed inside the pastry case before blind baking to keep it in place and weigh it down as it bakes.

When using pie weights, prepare your pie crust or pastry shell and line it with parchment paper. Make sure to leave plenty of overhang for easy gathering afterward. As you fill the case with the weights, place the parchment paper on top, then bake as directed in the recipe. When you remove the pie weights, gather up the parchment paper edges, lift everything out, and place the weights in a heatproof bowl to cool. You can reuse the weights multiple times once they are cooled.

How to Use Pie Weights?

When you bake pies or tarts, pie weights are used to weigh down the pastry. These are typically used to partially break a crust before filling to ensure that it retains its shape.

When you don’t use pie weights, the pastry will often pull away from the sides of the pie plate, shrinking or distorting the shape. To use pie weights, follow this procedure.

Preparing the Base

Pie weights aren’t complicated at all, but we have some additional advice and detailed instructions for you. You can make your pie crust according to your favorite recipe and then place it on your pie plate as usual. You will need to poke around the surface with a fork to ensure that steam does not get trapped inside your puff pastry, making it soggy.

Preparing the Base

Pie weights aren’t complicated at all, but we have some additional advice and detailed instructions for you. You can make your pie crust according to your favorite recipe and then place it on your pie plate as usual. You will need to poke around the surface with a fork to ensure that steam does not get trapped inside your puff pastry, making it soggy.

Add a Middle Layer of Protection

Weights should not be placed directly on the surface of the pastry, as they can dig into it, misshapen it, or get stuck in the crust. As a protective layer between the crumb of your pie and its weight, parchment paper is most often used.

If you prefer, you might use coffee filters instead. Coffee filters are more helpful in removing steam’s moisture because they help draw it out.

Using parchment paper and creating holes with a fork will help the steam escape. No matter what you use, always cut it a little larger than the size of your crust. The edges can then be held more easily, and the pie can be removed more easily when it’s warm.

Place and Remove Pie Weights

After placing your middle layer of protection, ensure your weight is distributed evenly and thoroughly. Be sure to have them dry and clean.

You’re ready to blind bake the pie. Once your pie is baked to your desired level, let it cool. Don’t burn your hands when removing hot weights. Ensure that the pie is at a moderate temperature before removing the weights.

To remove the pie weights, carefully hold the parchment paper, coffee filter, or middle layer after the weights have cooled and set them aside to be stored.

Types of Pie Weights

Pie weights come in several forms, each with its own advantages.

Ceramic Pie Weights

The ceramic pie weights, also called baking beans, are the most frequently used pie weights. Your crust will be evenly baked thanks to the even transfer of heat provided by ceramic during baking. The number of pie weights you need depends on how many pies you need since most of them require more than one package. For a pie 9 inches in diameter, you will need around 2 pounds of weight.

Metal Pie Weights

They are perfect for filling in those hard-to-fill gaps, making them an excellent choice for smaller pies or pies with intricate crimping. If you use metal weights, your pastry may cook faster since metal conducts heat better than ceramic.

Single Piece Pie Weight

The pie weight consists of a metal disc with perforations and flaps of silicone that angle upward, with a handle to lift it. Similar to the pie chain, it can be used easily, and it does not require parchment paper to be used. It can, however, produce an uneven bake since the two materials are different.

Pie Chains

Pie chains are made of a long chain of stainless steel or silicone beads. They are meant to be coiled around the pie plate. The advantage is that they can be easily removed, so lining the pastry with paper is unnecessary. However, they sometimes lack weight, so you may need to purchase two or three.

Top Substitution for Pie Weights

Instead of spending a lot on pie weights, there are plenty of pie weight alternatives you probably already have at home that can be equally effective. For example, dried beans make an excellent pie weight. Listed below are some alternate pie weights:

Beans

Probably the most popular alternative to store-bought pie weights is dried beans, which are about the same size and weight as ceramic weights. After using them as weights, you cannot eat them, but you can keep them in a jar with a marked lid and use them again as weights.

Rice

The rice gets inside every gap, resulting in a pastry that is weighed down and crisp crimping. Once you’ve used the rice as a pie weight, it won’t cook well anymore, but you can keep it and use it for baking pies.

Sugar

A lot like rice, sugar fills up all those nooks and crannies. As opposed to our other options, sugar can be eaten after being used as a pie weight, taking on a delicious caramel flavor as it roasts in the oven.

Kernels of Popcorn

You can use a bag of popcorn kernels as a pie weight substitute. Popcorn kernels work equally well. Make sure not to pop them in the oven as they dry out.

Another Pie Form

One ingenious alternative is to place another pie form over your aluminum foil or parchment paper. You can then invert the container and bake it upside down on a baking tray, letting gravity work. There will no longer be puffing or shrinkage.

Do Pie Weights Matter?

The bottom pie crust must be filled with pie weights so that the filling won’t puff up in the oven. The only time you should buy pie weights is if you don’t have any. As an alternative, check your pantry for dried beans, raw rice, sugar, and other items.

How Does Blind Baking Work?

Blind baking is the act of baking a pie or tart without filling. Blind baking may be required for many reasons. If you use a crumb crust, you may not need to blind bake. However, if you are using pastry, you should blind bake.

For example, if you bake your pie crust and filling layer together and the filling cooks faster than the crust, either the pie crust or filling will be overcooked or undercooked. Therefore, you may need to partially bake the crust before adding fillings.

What Kind of Beans is Suitable for Pie Weights?

The shelled peanuts, lentils, split peas, and chickpeas can be used as pie weights to prevent the crust from shrinking. Pie beans absorb water differently depending on the type, so it’s recommended to try one bean at a time before making a decision.

If you plan to use beans as pie weights, they should first be soaked. Because soaked beans are sticky, some bakers find it difficult to roll out their dough. However, it can be solved by adding cornstarch or flour to the dough.

Conclusion

You should now be aware of why pie weights play such an important role when baking a pie crust. If you want your crust to remain flat, you must use pie weights. In spite of being not the lowest-cost option, pie weights are easy to use and reusable. Having pie weights in your kitchen is a necessity for any baker. They’re essential for perfect pie crusts!

Mike Horton (head of Weighted Living)

by Mike Horton

Mike is one of the lead editors at Weighted Living and the author of this article. He's become fascinated with weighted products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves. He's written quite a few weighted product guides as well.

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