Often when making a pie with a cold filling (which, of course, is especially nice in the summer time), the recipe calls for a baked pie shell.
Recently a friend commented she couldn't turn out a decent looking baked pie shell for love nor money.
I told her it was many years before I managed to do the same.
It wasn't until I came upon the method used in this book. I made a couple of adjustments to my liking and now it's easy as pie. (So sorry, that just slipped out.)
In our house, one of our favorite summer pies is Strawberry Cream and since our strawberries are starting to come in, I've been chomping at the bit to make it. Yep, it requires a pre-baked pie shell so here's how I do it.
Roll out your crust and form it into your pie plate as usual. Using a fork, make lots of prick marks all over the bottom and sides of the unbaked shell. (Just an aside -- I've found using a glass pie pan works much better than a metal one. Dunno why, it just does.)
Next, take a sheet of aluminum foil and gently press it on the bottom and up the sides of the unbaked shell, shiny side down.
Weigh the foil down with some dried beans. You can buy special pie weights for this purpose, but I've been using these dried lima beans for years (yep, same ones over and over), and they work just fine.
Place in a preheated 425 degree for just 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and carefully (you don't want to spill the beans . . . haha!) lift the foil holding the beans out of the pie pan. Your shell will be about half done now and needs to finish baking without the foil and beans.
Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake the shell for about 10 minutes (or more) depending on how browned you wish the pie shell to be. (I like to keep an eye on these last minutes of baking because I have had "poofs" want to form in the crust even at this point. If you see this happening, just gently prick the area with a fork to release the air underneath the crust.)
Remove the shell from the oven and cool on a rack before adding the desired filling.
And here's my end product made with those luscious, fresh strawberries.
This pie is so light and fresh tasting that I do believe I could eat the whole pie without even suffering any digestive distress!
Recipe for this pie is here if you're interested.