Baking Bothers: Soggy Pastry Bases

Q. My tart bases are always soggy. What's the secret to getting a tart or pie with crisp pastry all around?

Andy Bates says: When blind baking always remember to return the base to the oven for a further five to eight minutes after you have taken out the baking beans and removed the greaseproof paper.

This will crisp the base up. Another thing you could do is brush the base with egg yolk once it's out of the oven.

This forms a seal between your filling and the pastry, preventing it from becoming soggy once filled.

Edd Kimber says: To get pastry crisp there are two things that will make a big difference. First the butter needs to be cold. If when rubbing in the butter it becomes too warm the pastry will end up being greasy and not as crisp as possible.

Second is to blind bake the pastry before adding the filling. If you are making something like a lemon tart the liquid in the filling would make your pastry soggy and blind baking helps prevent this. Line the tart shell with parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for around 20 minutes as this keeps the pastry one step ahead of the filling.

>> Get Andy's Rhubarb Meringue Pie recipe

>> Get Andy's Milk Chocolate Tart recipe

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