Pie weights--beans or rice?
I've been making pies for 40 years, and have never had a set of pie weights or used beans or rice for blind baking, I've always just docked the crusts to prevent bubbles. I have another use for them now, and want to know your opinions as to which I should get, a sack of beans or rice. And, if beans, which kind? I'm thinking the answer is "the cheapest" but I also am wondering if red beans will color the food I'm trying to bake? (If you're curious, my DH just bought "me" a set of those tortilla molds for taco salads, etc. and I've read that using pie weights will help keep corn tortillas from bouncing back when baking.)
So, which should I use? Rice or beans?
Ha ha...aren't "you" lucky.
I use black beans as pie weights. I've never had a problem with discoloration but then again I cover the unbaked crust with foil and spread out the beans on top of the foil. I use this method because it preserves the texture and light color of the crust and is easy to lift the beans out at the end. Once they're cool I put them in a ziploc bag for reuse.
I don't like the smell of the beans as they heat up (no problem with discoloration, though). I tend to use rice and keep it separate (i.e., re-use the pie-rice) from the for-a-meal-rice.
My husband loves pies and quiches, so when we got married 35 years ago, I bought a bag of cannellini beans and have used them as pie weights ever since. Best 69 cents I ever spent. I store them in a coffee can. Do they still make coffee cans? Anyhow, I used to put a piece of aluminum foil atop the dough, buttered on the side that touched the dough. Then I'd put the beans on top of that. With the invention of nonstick foil, I use that instead. I any case, the foil makes it simple to pour the beans back into their coffee can when I'm done.
Cannellini beans sounds like the ticket--no color to worry about, but having never used pie weights I have a couple of questions, all y'all. Do you use a liner of foil? Do you butter it on the "pie" side? Bitchincook uses a foil liner. I've seen methods from no liner to using plastic wrap (weird IMHO). One photo looked like rice with either a parchment or cheesecloth liner--must be parchment, don't you think?
I have been interested in using rice because it seems to me that it will fill all the little nooks and crannies better. But 35 years of pies gives me a powerful incentive to try your method (we'll have to compare pastry recipes, ha ha). Thanks. Going to the store tomorrow!
Yes, they still make coffee cans--DH loves Chock Full O'Nuts and we order cases of it since it's expensive in Las Vegas. Me, I'm an old Berkeley gal and rabid Peets fan, I buy small sacks. He likes an electric coffee maker, I use a Melitta drip, one cup at a time. But the coffee cans are quite useful for all sorts of stuff! I'm full up and now recycle them.
Somebody on another thread suggested storing the cooled beans in a ziploc bag inside the pie pans, not a bad idea and saves me pantry room.
I have never heard of just pouring beans or rice directly onto the pastry. After all, lots of people use pennies for pie weights.
I use parchment or foil unbuttered when I blind bake a pie shell. I use black beans (I'm sure that was because it was what I had on hand back in the day). They live on now years later in a ziplock bag.
I don't think it really matters as you would usually want to cover the crust with parchment or foil before filling with the weights.
And yes bitchincook - there are still a couple brands of coffee that actually still have a can and not plastic either.
I "save" my elderly beans to use as pie weights, with a foil or parchment paper between pastry and beans.