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Title:
APPARATUS FOR BLIND BAKING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/038537
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An apparatus for blind baking, comprises a frame insert 1 having a wall portion 2 and a support portion 3, the support portion 3 configured to extend across the top of a pastry case to prevent the pastry from rising when cooking, the wall portion 2 extending upwards from the support portion 3 and configured to support the wall of the pastry case; the frame insert 1 configurable to alter the size of the boundary formed by the perimeter wall in use, and the shape of the frame insert 1.

Inventors:
FLOATE, Dorothy (55 Cowper Road, Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 3SL, CB1 3SL, GB)
Application Number:
IB2015/056870
Publication Date:
March 17, 2016
Filing Date:
September 08, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FLOATE, Dorothy (55 Cowper Road, Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 3SL, CB1 3SL, GB)
International Classes:
A47J43/20; A21B3/13
Foreign References:
DE102008013237A12009-09-03
US4228731A1980-10-21
US20110000381A12011-01-06
US20130025471A12013-01-31
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WALKER, Neville (21A Commercial Road, Swanage Dorset BH19 1DF, BH19 1DF, GB)
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Claims:
Claims

1 . An apparatus for blind baking, comprising:

a frame configured to insert into a pastry case to prevent a pastry from rising, the frame having a flexible and resilient wall portion that is substantially straight unless acted upon by an external force and a support portion, a plurality of apertures are spaced along the wall portion, and the support portion is configured in use to extend inwards from the wall section across the top of a pastry in the case in use to prevent the pastry from rising when cooking, and in which the wall portion extends upwardly from the support portion and is configured in use to support the pasty case wall.

2. An apparatus for blind baking as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a plurality of overhanging extensions formed to extend outwards from the upper edge of the wall section.

3. An apparatus for blind baking as claimed in claim 2 wherein each of the overhanging extensions is substantially triangular.

4. An apparatus for blind baking as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein the support portion comprises a plurality of support extensions that extend inwards from substantially the lower edge of the wall section.

5. An apparatus for blind baking as claimed in claim 4 wherein each of the support extensions is substantially triangular in plan view.

6. An apparatus for blind baking as claimed in claim 5 wherein the end of each of the support extensions is rounded.

7. An apparatus for blind baking as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 6 further comprising at least one aperture formed through each of the support extensions.

8. An apparatus for blind baking as claimed in claim 7 wherein the apertures are formed at or towards the junction with the wall section, extending inwards.

9. An apparatus for blind baking as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 8 wherein the frame insert is formed as a unitary item.

10. An apparatus for blind baking as claimed in claim 9 wherein the wall portion is formed from a length of spring steel overmoulded with silicone, the silicone extending from the spring steel to form the support portion.

1 1 . An apparatus for blind baking substantially as herein described with reference to the figures.

Description:
Apparatus for blind baking

Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an apparatus for blind baking. More specifically, the present invention relates to an apparatus that can be inserted over the pastry before it cooks to hold the pastry in position and which allows a user to easily monitor the pastry while cooking. Background

Blind baking or pre-baking is the process of baking a pie crust or other pastry without the filling, and is used where the crust will be filled with an unbaked filling. The crust must be fully baked before the filling is added. It can also be used where the filling has a shorter bake time than the crust: the crust is partly baked and the filling is then added for the second part of the cooking cycle.

Blind baking can be accomplished by different methods. For example, the pie crust can be lined with foil or baking paper, and then filled with pastry- or pie-weights, often referred to as baking beans. These help ensure that the crust retains its shape while baking. Another technique is to place a second pie tin on top of the crust, and then invert the tins to bake. A further simplified technique involves piercing the crust repeatedly with the tines of a fork during cooking to produce small holes, allowing steam to escape and preventing the crust from bubbling up.

With all of these methods, the pastry cannot easily be monitored during the baking process, and it is difficult to tell when the bake has finished. It is common for a cook to add an extra 10-15 minutes to the baking time to ensure that the pastry is fully cooked and not soggy. This adds cooking time to the overall process.

Prior Art

Accordingly a number of patent applications have been filed in an attempt to resolve the problem or similar, including the following: US201 10000381 describes and shows a pie crust retainer for precooking a pie crust comprising a plurality of joined spokes. Each spoke is unitary and has a spoke base, a spoke arc, and a spoke sidewall section oriented in substantially a planar relationship. The spoke bases radially extend from a base region to the spoke arc section. The spoke arcs extends upwardly and outwardly from the base region and are joined to the spoke sidewalls. The device has an optional lifting surface.

GB2485150 describes and shows a pastry or pie weight suitable for blind baking comprising a silicone rubber bag with a ventilation hole, and a silicone rubber handle, the bag filled with a particulate material such as beans or a ceramic material. The handle may be injection moulded to the bag and the particles are heat proof and non toxic.

EP2335484 describes and shows a device having a counter-mould that has a geometry the same as the geometry of a mould in which the counter-mould is fitted, with certain clearance. An edge of a vertical wall of the counter-mould is provided with a flange extended horizontally above a vertical wall of the mould. A base of the counter-mould is pierced of cone shaped holes. Sides of the mould and the counter- mould are in contact with the dough to be pre-cooked and are covered with a product e.g. para-tetra-fluoro-ethylene product, to which the dough does not stick.

The device revealed in US A1 2007/0029703 is a device to make a tray for baking cakes. Hence this device is placed under batter. It is not suitable for placement above a crust. Hence the device revealed in US 2007/0029703 is not suitable for preventing a pastry from rising in a baking tin.

The device revealed in US-A-3128725 has a different purpose because it is a device to make a tray for baking cakes. So it is not suitable for preventing a pastry from rising.

The trays revealed in EP-A-2335484 and US-A-201 1/00381 reveal trays which fit into only a matching baking tray.

In contrast the present invention provides an apparatus to assist with blind baking that can be easily inserted over the pastry before it cooks to hold the pastry in position and which allows a user to easily monitor the pastry while cooking. Summary of the Invention

According to the present invention there is provided an apparatus for blind baking, comprising: a frame configured to insert into a pastry case to prevent a pastry from rising, the frame having a flexible and resilient wall portion that is substantially straight unless acted upon by an external force and a support portion, a plurality of apertures are spaced along the wall portion, and the support portion is configured in use to extend inwards from the wall portion across the top of a pastry in the case in use to prevent the pastry from rising when cooking, and in which the wall portion extends upwardly from the support portion and is configured in use to support the pastry case wall.

Preferably the frame insert is adjustable to alter the size of the boundary formed by the perimeter wall in use, and the shape of the frame insert.

The fact that the frame insert is configurable allows it to be shaped and sized for different sizes of dish, giving a user greater flexibility in their cooking and allowing the apparatus to be shaped for ease of storage when not in use.

The wall portion comprises a length of flexible and resilient material. This provides a simple and robust construction.

The length of material is substantially straight when free from external forces or constraints. This helps to simplify construction, and also assists with storage when not in use.

Advantageously the apertures spaced along the wall portion allow air to circulate and allow a user to visually inspect the pastry while cooking.

In an embodiment, the apparatus for blind baking further comprises a plurality of overhanging extensions formed to extend outwards from the upper edge of the wall section. These assist with holding the pastry in position. In an embodiment, each of the overhanging extensions is substantially triangular. This provides a suitable shape for the extensions. In an embodiment, the support portion comprises a plurality of support extensions that extend inwards from substantially the lower edge of the wall section. This allows greater flexibility of the possible configurations.

In an embodiment, each of the support extensions is substantially triangular in plan view. This shape provides the most suitable coverage for a circular configuration, allowing substantially the entirety of the pastry to be covered. In an embodiment, the end of each of the support extensions is rounded. This helps to prevent indents or other unwanted shaping of the pastry when cooking

In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises at least one aperture formed through each of the support extensions. This allows air to circulate and allows a user to visually inspect the pastry while cooking.

In an embodiment, the apertures are formed at or towards the junction with the wall section, extending inwards. This assists with air circulation. In an embodiment, the frame insert is formed as a unitary item. This helps to simplify construction, use and cleaning.

In an embodiment, the wall portion is formed from a length of spring steel overmoulded with silicone, the silicone extending from the spring steel to form the support portion. This provides a simple and effective construction.

Brief Description of Figures

Figure 1 shows a perspective view from above and to one side of an embodiment of the apparatus for blind baking of the present invention, the apparatus formed as a frame insert having a wall portion and a support portion, the support portion configured to extend across the top of a pastry case to prevent the pastry from rising when cooking, the wall portion extending upwards from the support portion and configured to support the wall of the pastry case in use; the frame insert shown substantially straight in a storage configuration, but bendable so that it can be configured to alter the size of the boundary formed by the perimeter wall in use, and the shape of the frame insert.

Figure 2 shows a top view of the apparatus for blind baking of figure 1 .

Figure 3 shows the apparatus for blind baking of figures 1 and 2 bent or configured in a circular shape ready for use, the wall portion forming a boundary, the size of the boundary alterable by moving the relative positions of the ends. Figures 4a - 4d show the apparatus for blind baking in use, being bent from the straight or storage/non-use state into a circle and then positioned in a baking pan on top of and supporting pastry in the pan ready for cooking.

Detailed Description of Figures

The apparatus for blind baking shall now be described in detail with reference to the figures.

The apparatus for blind baking is formed as an insertable frame or frame insert 1 that in use is inserted on top of pastry in a pie dish or baking dish to support the wall of the pastry case in the dish and to extend across the top surface of the pastry case to prevent the pastry from rising when cooking.

The frame insert 1 is a unitary item comprising two main sub-parts: a wall portion 2 and a support portion 3.

The wall portion 2 comprises a length of flexible and resilient material that is substantially straight when not acted on by external (bending) forces. The wall portion is formed from a length of spring steel, overmoulded with silicone rubber. The wall portion 2 can be flexed into a hoop or circle with the ends touching or even overlapped, and is resilient so that it will return to it's original straight form when the bending force is removed, with no permanent deformation. This can be done many or multiple times with no permanent deformation or damage. The straight form assists with storage when not in use as the apparatus can be hung up or put in a drawer and will not take up much space. A number of wall apertures 4 are formed along the length of the wall portion 2. These allow air to circulate and also allow a user to visually inspect the pastry while cooking.

The overmoulded silicone extends from the wall portion 2 to form the support portion 3. The support portion 3 is formed as a number of wedges or triangles that extend from the lower edge of the wall section 2 to one side of the wall portion 2, each the same size as the others, each having a regular isosceles shape (the two sides that extend inwards being the same length). The inner end or tip of each of the sections is rounded. Support portion apertures 5 are formed through each of the support extensions extending inwards from the base of the wall portion 2. These allow air to circulate and allow a user to visually inspect the pastry while cooking.

A number of overhanging extensions 6 are formed at the top edge of the wall, extending in the opposite direction to the support extensions 3. These assist with holding the top edge of the pastry in position, and with removing the apparatus after use. Each of the overhanging extensions is substantially triangular.

In use, a user places their pastry in a pie tin or dish ready for baking. In the embodiment described here, the frame insert 1 is for use with circular dishes. The frame insert 1 is bent into a circle or hoop and positioned on top of the pastry so that the support portion triangles or wedges extend inwards towards the centre of the circle and the wall portion 2 is positioned inside and against the wall of the pastry at the side of the tin. The tendency of the wall portion to straighten will cause the hoop or circle to try to open and this will push the wall section 2 against the pastry, helping to support the pastry wall. When the pastry is cooking, it will be prevented from rising by the support portion 2 - the wedges/triangles extending across the top surface of the pastry. A user can monitor the progress of the cooking by viewing the pastry through the apertures 4, 5 so that they will know when it is cooked rather than guessing or estimating.

In the most common embodiments, the frame insert 1 is sized to fit the two most common sizes of pie tin or flan case: 8 inch and 10 inch, and would have a side wall height or depth of 1 inch. The overhanging extensions 6 form a rim for the frame insert 1 . The invention has been described by way of examples only and it will be appreciated that variation may be made to the above-mentioned embodiments without departing from the scope of invention. Firstly it will be understood that any features described in relation to any particular embodiment may be featured in combinations with other embodiments.

With respect to the specification therefore, it is to be realised that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention, with variation and implementation obvious and clear on the basis of either common general knowledge or of expert knowledge in the field concerned. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as set out in the accompanying claims.