tartlet temperature/pre-baking dilemma

I have a recipe that said nothing about pre-baking. Eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and walnuts are mixed and added to tartlet shells. They're to be baked at 425 for 20-25 mins. or until pastry golden, filling soft set. I decided to lightly pre-bake 3 shells and will not pre-bake the other 3. My suspicion is that they were not to be pre-baked and that the high temperature is designed for the crust. I pre-baked, of course, cuz I feared a soggy crust. The tartlets will be on a sheet tray. I welcome any theories. I will bake the tartlets by tomorrow and will let you know what the best approach is but if someone has a lot of experience, I would prefer to heed their advice before I proceed so that I don't waste 3 tarts.



petitbleu April 3, 2013
It does sound as if the recipe wants you to just bake the raw crust and filling at the same time due to the high temp, BUT I always prebake pie and tart shells unless it has a double crust or a lattice or if the filling takes a really long time to cook (like a deep apple pie). I think that blind baking ensures a good, crisp crust that stays crisp longer. Sometimes, to avoid over-browning on the bottom of the crusts, I stack 2 baking sheets on top of each other to insulate them.
alng4768 April 3, 2013
I pre-bake all tarts not just tartlets. I think all tart recipes include pre-baking. It always works out well. It keeps the bottom from being soggy. I use a shield as well on the rim. I'm concerned about the smaller size of a tartlet and the high temperature. I'll start turning the light on after 10 minutes and checking and I may put alum foil around the edge. I'm tempted to lower the temperature but I guess I'll go with the requested 425. As I said, I'm willing to sacrifice a few tarts.
ChefOno April 3, 2013

I think you've got the right idea. It is generally good to blind-bake (pre-bake) tart crusts as their small size means they might not otherwise be in the oven long enough for the crust to properly bake. Of course nothing beats an opinion like a good test. (And nothing beats a digital thermometer for determining when a custard is done, 170-175F.)

Monita April 3, 2013
The risk in pre-baking the crusts is that they may get too dark over the 25 min that the custard is baking. If that starts to happen you can cover the edges with foil. I find that pre-baking tarts and pies shells generally is a good way to go
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