If you are looking for pie weights, you probably want your pie dough to look like the store-bought or restaurant kind.
Pie dough has a crumbly texture that can be difficult to reproduce at home without using special equipment.
Pie weights hold down the sides of your crust as it’s baking so that they don’t puff too much and become misshapen.
These can be ceramic or metal beads placed inside the pie dough before you bake it.
Pie weights help maintain the shape of your pastry while baking, and they can also ensure your crust crisps up perfectly on the bottom.
Pie weights come in many different shapes and styles.
You can also use dried beans, rice, or sugar to substitute your pie weights.
If you’re looking for something that prevents the dough from puffing up too much, dried beans are probably your best bet.
In this article, we will look at five different options you can use in your home instead of your traditional metal or ceramic pie weights.
What is Pie Weight?
First, pie weight is used to hold the pastry crust of a quiche or other pie in place.
You can also use them for strudels and tarts.
They are typically made out of metals like aluminum, but you can also purchase ceramic weights.
What are some reasons for using Pie Weights?
- There are many reasons why you might want to use pie weights, such as:
- Depressing the pastry so that it doesn’t puff up when cooking.
- Keeping the dough from shrinking after it has been rolled out and placed in the pan.
- When baking, blind before adding other ingredients like fruit or custard.
So, next time you bake a pie, keep some pie weights on hand.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Pie Weight
Pie weights have several disadvantages that make them not ideal to use.
For instance, they are rather heavy and can take up a lot of room in the oven since you’ll need to leave space between them and the pan.
Also, they can be hard to clean. That’s why it’s beneficial to have some substitutes on hand.
Here are the five best substitutes for pie weights:
1 – Dried Beans or Legumes
Dried beans or legumes are an excellent substitute for pie weights.
They’re inexpensive and can be used to hold crusts in place and limit the shrinking of the pastries.
Dried beans weigh less than pie weights but still have a similar effect on the pastry dough.
As a bonus, you can also use fresh beans without pre-soak them.
The downside of using dried beans is that they will need to be washed and rinsed thoroughly after use.
Finally, it’s important to note that they are susceptible to picking up odors from other foods in the oven, so you may want to keep them separate.
2 – Steel Balls or Spheres
If beans aren’t your thing, you can also use steel balls or spheres.
These weights are typically used for clay and ceramic crafts because they won’t damage the surface of the crafted item.
You can usually find them at any craft store for very cheap.
Also, like beans, steel weights will need to be thoroughly washed before using them to hold pastry dough in place.
Make sure to dry them thoroughly before placing them in the oven.
3 – Coins or Paperclips
If you’re running low on supplies, coins and paper clips can also be used to hold pastry dough in place.
The downside of using coins is that they are heavy and can damage the surface of your pastry.
Also, make sure to choose paper clips that aren’t coated in plastic or vinyl, as this will melt and leave a residue on your pastry dough.
And finally, you’ll want to place them evenly around the edges of your pan for maximum effect, not just mounded up in one spot.
4 – Dried Pasta or Rice
The next substitute to try is dried pasta or rice.
These items are lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to find in any grocery store.
You can use them as pie weights by filling up your pastry crust with them before baking.
You’ll want to make sure that the pasta or rice has been completely dried out before using it as a pie weight since any moisture will bubble up and leave a residue on your pastry.
The downside to using this substitute is that it won’t work as well as the others.
Finally, you’ll want to crush up your pasta or rice into small pieces before placing them in the crust, so they don’t shift around while baking.
5 – Metal Chain
Finally, you can use metal chain as pie weights.
This may be the most effective substitute on this list because it is typically used in the baking industry for this purpose.
Some bakers even swear by it to avoid wasting their dry pasta.
Chain has several advantages over other substitutes, including inexpensive and easy to use.
It is made out of metal so that it won’t damage the surface of your pastry.
Also, you can just lay it flat on top of your crust before baking, so there’s no need to fill up your entire pan with beans or rice.
While the downside to using chain is that it might be hard to find, you should be able to get your hands on some if you own a metal shop.
Pie weights are an essential part of baking pastries with fine pastry dough.
However, there are plenty of substitutes that can be used instead with just as much effectiveness.
Each substitute will have a different list of pros and cons, depending on your situation.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the substitutes are thoroughly dried before baking with them to avoid any bubbling up or residue on your pastry crust.