Healing Kitchen

Beaded Pie Chain
If you've ever blind-baked a pie or tart shell, that is, baked the pastry in the pie pan, but with no filling--then you've probably encountered the odd little kitchen necessity known as pie weights. These are objects with enough weight to keep the unfilled pie pastry from blistering up and/or shrinking from the sides of the pan as it bakes. Pie weights are typically either a collection of small aluminum pellets, or (the more homegrown version) dried beans or rice. Cooks who do a lot of baking usually hold on to their pie beans and use them over and over again (they are certainly not edible once you've used them for blind-baking a pie).

Finally here is a good excuse for getting rid of that jar full of well-used beans. This stainless-steel beaded pie chain can be arranged in a pie shell (which should be lined with foil) and baked, and the shell emerges from the oven crisp, browned and with no blisters or bumps.

Carefully remove the pie chain and set it aside to cool before packing it away-especially if you are going to store it in a container that might melt (we have a friend, ahem, who once poured hot pie weights into a plastic bag only to find them all over the kitchen floor)

Though it weighs in at 6 feet, this pie chains takes up very little storage space in the kitchen. It costs about $11, but can be used over and over and is very well made.

For more information, or to order, call Chef's Catalog at 800-338-3232 or Broadway Panhandler at 212-966-3434.

Author: the Healing Kitchen staff
Date Published: 03/15/2000
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