Blind Baking with Dried Beans

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IMG_20140605_172758   Blind baking is when you need to bake a pie crust before you fill it (think banana cream pie!!). When you begin to bake the crust, you need to to prick the bottom with a fork (to make sure it doesn’t puff up in the oven).  The other thing you need to do is begin the baking process with some weights in the bottom of the shell to make doubly sure it stays flat. They do sell pie weights at bakery supply stores (they are like little metal balls) but they are expensive…and really unnecessary. Just grab a bag of dried beans (you can buy a huge bag for a couple of bucks) and take out about 1 1/2 cups.  Line your unbaked pie with parchment and fill with beans.  Bake for about 10 minutes and then remove the beans and parchment and keep baking until the bottom gets nice and brown. Cool the beans down and place in a baggie for the next time…   IMG_20140605_173432     Make sure you label the beans “for baking” like this because you won’t want to use them to eat after using them for blind baking. Now let’s go bake a pie!