Blind baking is a technique used when the pre-baking of a tart shell is required. This is necessary when your filling is liquid (such as a custard) or cooks at a lower temperature to the pastry. View our step-by-step photos for making the perfect tart shell.

Step 1 - Lightly grease your tart tin...

Blind-Baking-SW--DC-Shell_1-1Lightly grease your tart tin, for added assurance cut a circle of baking paper and line the base of your tart tin. Cut the pastry to allow for the depth of the tart, for a 20cm shell with a 2cm depth, cut a 24cm diameter circle, carefully place this into your tart tin

Step 2 - Ease the pastry into the tart...

Gently ease the pastry into the tart ensuring you have an even amount of pastry all round.

Step 3 - Crimping the pastry...

Using thumb and forefinger work your way around the tart gently crimping pastry in towards the edge

Step 4 - Massage the pastry...

Now move round the tart pushing the crimped edges flat to the side of the shell. While doing so gently massage the pastry in a downward motion towards the base of the shell.

Step 5 - Rolling pin to the outer edges...

Now take the end of a rolling pin and starting from the centre working out in a circular pattern use a tapping motion with the rolling pin until you reach the outer edge of the base. (This easy little trick pushes the pastry out towards the edge of the shell helping to prevent pull back on the sides)

Step 6 - The finished result...

The finished result.

Step 7 - Line with baking paper and fill...

Line the pastry with baking paper and fill to the top with baking weights (chickpeas or ceramic baking weights, avoid rice).

Step 8 - Rest in refrigerator before baking...

Line the pastry with baking paper and fill to the top (see cook’s note) with baking weights (chickpeas or ceramic baking weights, avoid rice). Rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking in a preheated oven at 180°C (160°C fan forced) for 15 to 20 minutes. Check pastry is lightly golden around edge before removing weights and paper, and return to oven for a further 5 minutes to brown the base.

Cook’s note: A common error when blind baking is to not fill the baking weights to the very top of the tart. If you don’t there is nothing supporting the sides of the tart during baking which will cause them to fall away and collapse.