Although pies and tarts are alike in terms
of the dough and fillings that are used, there are some differences. Pies
are generally double-crusted (having top and bottom crusts) and are baked
in a relatively deep pan with sloping sides to accommodate large amounts
of filling. Tarts are usually prepared in thin, straight-sided pans, often
with removable bottoms. Tarts (and tartlets) most often have a single
crust and are not as deep as pies.
Lining a Pie Plate or Tart Mold
The dough should be rolled out in a circle
that is large enough to fit into the pan, covering the bottom and sides,
with an inch or so of overhang. Brush away all flour from the upper
surface, then fold the dough in half, and brush away any excess flour on
the bottom. With the dough still folded in half or draped over the rolling
pin, transfer the dough to a pan and fit it gently into the pan's corner.
Use a ball of scrap dough to press out any air pockets, Trim away the
excess dough, At this point, the pie is ready to fill, or you may want to
bake the crust "blind".
The procedure for preparing a pre-baked pie
shell is known as baking blind. The dough is prepared, rolled out, and
fitted into the pan. The dough is pierced in several places with the tines
of a fork (known as docking) to prevent blisters from forming in the dough
as it bakes.
The pastry is then covered with parchment
paper and an empty pie pan is set on top of the paper (this is known as
"double panning"). The pans are placed upside down in the oven. This
procedure prevents the dough from shrinking back down the pan's edges and
keeps it from blistering. The dough is baked in a moderate oven until it
is set, appears dry, and has a light golden color.
Another method is to place a sheet of
parchment paper over the dough after docking and then fill it with pie
weights or dried beans before baking. Once the shell is baked, it may be
coated with melted chocolate or an apricot glaze to prevent the crust from
becoming soggy. This also adds additional flavor to the finished pie or
tart. Be sure however, that the flavor you introduce is appropriate to the