I read somewhere that I could fill a pie shell with beans using parchment paper to stop it from shrinking. I do not have any parchment paper. Is there any other method I can use? Pricking the shell and using cold pastry still allows the shell to shrink. The beans and paper work well, but I don't have the paper.
You could use wax paper.
I've used aluminum foil. Put it over the uncooked pie crust, cover w/ dried beans or rice (just enough to cover the bottom & weight the piecrust down) then bake for 10 mins, remove, fill w/ pie filling and continue cooking the pie like you normally would. I haven't tried it but I suppose you could cook the pie crust longer if you were making a pie w/ a cold filling instead of a cooked one. Just removed the beans/rice/foil about halfway through cooking the crust to prevent the beans/rice from getting scorched and making your crust taste burned.
Please...Don`t use waxed paper as was suggested. A lady in my building did just that and filled our apartment bldg. with smoke when the paper caught fire...very dangerous. The foil is a better idea.
I fit the pan with foil before I put the crust in, then it's already the right size and shape. Take it out of the pan to place your pastry crust, put the foil in the top and then fill with your beans. Foil works better than parchment paper for this because you can mold it to the exact shape. And parchment paper is NOT the same as waxed paper. NEVER put waxed paper in the oven!
Pricking the crust bottom and sides is a must. I tried the parchment paper too but wasn't that satisfied. I then went to a kitchen gadget store and bought a couple of packages of small baking stones that are made just for that purpose. I use them and I wash them and they are ready to use again. I don't remember what the cost was but I truely think they are worth whatever I paid.
There's no need to use paper or beans. Make your shell with chilled dough but then let it set until room temperature. After that, place another pie plate on top of it and rotate it around with your hand until you feel it is well set. Don't perforate it unless you plan on making an oven filled pie such as pecan, pumpkin, custard, ets. When you bake the shell, turn it upside down in the oven first for a few minutes - this will set the shape then when you flip it over, it will finish baking with its shape in place.
Hope this helps
I use three stainless steel spoons, forks, or knives (kepending on what size pan I'm using) to keep my pie crust bottoms flat. Worked a lot better than dried beans for me as the beans weren't heavy enough to keep it completely flat.
You cannot use wax paper, the wax will melt, and ruin your crust. I line my crust will foil.
I put a foil pie plate inside my unbaked crust and fill it with pennies that I have in a coffee can for just this purpose. Just be careful, they do get very hot, and retain the heat for a long time. It is also convenient to transfer into another crust.
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