4 Stars By mariolina on 1969-12-31
Better than using dried beans but a bit skimpy and expensive for what they are
I had been using dried bean for years when blind baking (baking an empty pie shell) and decided that it was finally time to treat myself to a set of pie weights. The ceramic beads work much better than dried beans as pie weights because the ceramic holds the heat and helps the crust brown. I bought two sets because other reviewers complained that the number of weights was skimpy for a typical 9" pie crust, and I'm glad I did because one set would have been sparse.
A few tips:
- New ceramic pie weights will be covered in ceramic dust from rattling around during shipping. Be sure to rinse them in a collander before first use.
- Always use a liner (parchment paper, alumninum oil, or waxed paper) over the crust. Otherwise, the weights will become embedded in the crust and the crust will be toast. (Apologies for the bad pun.)
- If you crumble the liner and then smooth it out over the unbaked crust before you fill it with the beads, the beads won't be able to roll around as easily.
- The plastic storage box is on the flimsy side, and it's a bit of a hassle to put the weights back in it after use. If your box breaks or if you just want a simpler storage solution, a colored canning jar works great. I'm using a pretty turqoise antique Ball jar for mine.
P.S. After buying and trying these, it occurred to me that there are lots of other items that could be used just as successfully as these ceramic beads for pie weights, such as the tumbled stones or the glass beads for flower arranging that you can get at your local dollar store. You can get the equivalent of two of these packages for a dollar, so the stones and glass beads are far more economical, and you could use them in your flower vases when you're not baking pies. (Wash them well afterward if you do this.) Plus, you can get glass beads that are flat, so they'd be easier to handle. Just be sure that the beads are actually glass and are not the acrylic or gel beads. Glass has a very high melting point and doesn't even begin to soften until 1020Â° F., so the glass beads will be perfectly safe in an oven.
5 Stars By Daniel J Eddy on 2013-11-11
ACTUAL dimensions HERE!!!
I keep seeing the review that this does or does not work on this size or that size pie plate. The problem is there is no standard on the actual size of the plate. But apparently when a manufacturer says a plate is say a 10", most of the time they are referring to inside of the diameter of the outer pie crust lip. Here is the bottom line, and all you need to know since the actual dimensions aren't on the description. The actual size is 11-7/16" on the outer diameter measured from the inside of the lip (see pics). The actual size on the inner diameter is 8-3/16" (see pic).
5 Stars By sandy on 1969-12-31
Great product & tips for preventing sticking, and easy cleaning
Worked very well for 9 inch pie pan because I want dough 12 inches wide. This crust bag is 14 inches wide however it is best to avoid rolling dough right to the edge (keep away from zipper). So I only roll dough to 12 inches (see picture). I chill dough in a 4 inch wide flat round (puck shape) covered with saran wrap or in small zip lock bag for at least 45 minutes prior to rolling out. Prior to rolling out the dough I have available on the counter a repurposed spice container that holds "all purpose flour" to easily sprinkle flour over the dough several times while rolling. See picture. Recommend in order to prevent dough sticking to the plastic that you sprinkle flour in steps: 1. sprinkle flour in the bag then zip shut and shake, 2. place dough in bag and make sure there is flour on both sides of the dough, 3. after rolling 1/3 of the way stop rolling the dough, unzip the bag and gently peel plastic back and check for sticking if it seems to be sticking at all (mine always does) sprinkle just a little more flour using the shaker, re-zip and flip to other side, gently peel plastic back and sprinkle just a little more flour, 4. after rolling out to 80% of the size you want, un-zip and check to see if plastic is sticking and if it is sprinkle a little more flour, also check the other side. While the bag is open if you see any dough edges that have started to split you can pinch them closed. When done rolling out to the size you want, unzip, flip one plastic side completely under the other side. Place pie pan upside down on the crust and cover with one hand. With the other hand slip it under the pie crust plastic covers and gently flip it over onto pie pan. I place all my home made crusts in the freezer while preparing the filling. For easy cleaning of the plastic bag, I fill sink with 2 inches of warm soapy water and gently brush the four plastic sides and zipper with a medium soft plastic brush I use for all dough utensil cleaning (no knead bread bowl, scraper, etc.). A brush rinses out flour/dough much easier than a sponge. For drying, I place the washed rinsed pie crust bag on a kitchen towel and let it dry, turning it over to dry on both sides (see picture). I have also used a clothes pin and clipped it to a hanger over the laundry room sink. I also use this crust bag (14 inch) to roll out no knead pizza dough - I bake the pizza on a 14 inch Lodge Cast Iron pizza pan. Works great.. very nice product. Strongly recommend.
1 Stars By Vcs1225 on 2017-08-18
How hard could it be
Rough (porous?) surfaced relatively light balls. There were only enough to cover about 2/3 of the bottom of a typical 9" pie plate.
So if you need insufficient coverage of too light weights that will be difficult to keep clean, these pie weight balls are a great choice. Otherwise, they are a complete waste.
Bonus: balls come with and leave a white powder residue. Great if you like a little Taiwanese cereamic dust in your pie filling.
2 Stars By AE on 2016-09-18
Not nearly enough of these included...
5 Stars By Poppy-HG on 2017-05-08
Great, but miscalculated the size to buy.
This pie crust bag really did take the guess work out of rolling a perfect round shape in the specified size.
I didn't have to hold the inverted pie plate over the crust, to keep checking for size and shape, as I rolled it out. I used to always patch my dough.
Unfortunately, the 11-inch bag was too small for my pan, which measures: 7.25 inch bottom diameter, 1.5 inch deep, with a .5 inch rim = 11.25 inches
The crust didn't cover the rim, and there was not enough dough to make a decorative edge. The14-inch bag should be perfect for my pan.
Some reviewers complained of their wet dough being difficult to handle or sticking. I learned to ignore the amount of iced water called for in my recipe.
After the butter and shortening have been cut into the dried ingredients, I put the mixture into a big bowl. Then I add 1 Tablespoon of iced water, gently tossing with my hands. Sprinkle more water and toss until the dough just sticks together when pressed into a ball. Maybe it's the humidity, but my recipe had too much water. (It calls for 5-6 Tablespoons and I used less than 2 Tablespoons.)
Here's my favorite tip: Put your prepared pie crusts (in their pie pans) into the freezer, while you make a custard or pumpkin filling. Pour the filling into the frozen crust and place in the hot oven immediately. The bottom crust will not get soggy.
Update - Nov. 21, 2017
I purchased the 14-inch bag and it's perfect for my 9-inch pie pan (see dimensions above)! It leaves extra overhanging dough to make a generous crimped crust. I hadn't baked a pie in a while, so I skipped a few preventive measures and had to roll it out again:
After rolling out the crust, the dough absorbs some or all of the flour in the bag. Unzip the bag and carefully lift the cover. If the dough seems moist or sticky, sprinkle a little flour over and spread it out with your hand. Zip the bag, flip it over and repeat. Refrigerate the bag (on a plate or cookie sheet, so it doesn't wrinkle) until the colder dough is easier to handle. Place the crust into the pie pan and freeze a few minutes before filling and baking, to prevent a soggy bottom crust.
This recipe for Layered Pumpkin Custard Pie fits this 9-inch pie plate. I found it on the Internet and it's delicious!
5 Stars By Ladiebuglane on 2011-03-17
Where have you been all my life!
I am awful when it comes to using the rolling pin to make a circle. I make tons of pie from scratch and groan about it every time. This year I even groaned myself all the way to the store and bought premade crusts and they are not as tasty as my usual recipe [...] So when I saw these advertised on a website I had to have them. Originally I was going to get the 14" and the 11" but the 11" wasn't 2DayDeliver Prime so I went with ordering 2 of the 14". Boy was I glad since my 9" deep dish (typical size I bake) fits this perfectly.
As for having to hand wash this it's not like I don't have anything else to wash after baking so I toss it in the dishwater after I am done. I'll take washing this over all the dough and flour that gets in the cracks on my table or all over my counter and floors any day!
3 Stars By J. Lowe on 2013-11-22
Some trial and error...
So, since I'm experimenting with cream pies these days, I was excited at the prospect of ceramic pie weights. Here's what I've found for these.
They worked best when i took a sheet of parchment paper, crumpled it up into a softball size wad, than loosely pulled it open and settled it on to the pie crust. Scatter the weights around in the paper. Somehow the tension between the crumples and the weights were effective....much more so than laying a flat piece of parchment in the shell. With the flat parchment, (or tin foil, I tried both) I found it left the bottom a bit greasy, and the one box wasn't enough to suppress all the bubbles. Do not use the weights without any liner in the crust...you'll have a real fun time like i did picking them out of the crust at the end!
Yes, they were dusty, I just rinsed them off. I've rinsed and dried them each use with no issues. The box isn't great, but I'm careful with it, it will last for a while. It just has to sit on a shelf, it's not like I'm playing foot ball with it.
In the end, I am going to buy another box, because even with this crumpled paper method, I feel the quantity is a bit skimpy, but it's not completely necessary.
5 Stars By Sandy Kay on 2016-03-17
There is no excuse not to make your own pie crust dough with this!
My biggest challenges in pie making are rolling out the dough into an even circle and getting it into the pan without tearing it. This product solves both problems! I agreed to make a number of pies for my niece's wedding reception and didn't want to use refrigerated pie dough but I need the crusts to look good as well as taste good. I found this while looking for pie crust accessories and am so glad I got it.
I am really surprised at how easy it makes rolling out a nice circle of dough that is even in depth. My only slight criticism is that this circle is slightly thicker and slightly smaller than I like for my bottom crust, but I bought the larger size as well (I'm making some tarts too and have 11" tart pans) so I can flip it out of this "bag" and put it in the 14" one to roll it just a little bit larger. the suggestion to put the pie tin over the crust (while in the unzipped bag) and makes it easy to get the crust into the pie tin.
I feel a lot more confident about my ability to make crusts that look good enough for a wedding reception.
3 Stars By Sara Ellis on 2015-04-14
Beats using beans
Using a pie chain sure beats having to cut the parchment paper to fit the shell, loading the shell with beans or ceramic balls, then dumping the hot stuff out when finished. Let's face it, if it saves me time and energy I'm all for it! The pie chain comes out in one easy movement and goes back into its container. That's a nice feature without a doubt.
6ft lengths are pretty standard as far as pie chains go, but I would have preferred this one to have more weight to it as it fell a bit short on being substantial enough to keep my pie shell laying flat evenly. I should have paid attention to the shipping weight and noticed how light it was.
All things considered though I was baking a 9" shell, so perhaps it would perform better in an 8" shell.