When baking pie and tart shells, you are often instructed to dock (poke holes into) the dough before baking. You can get a fancy docker that looks like a lint roller with spikes, or you can just use a fork. Docking the shell allows air to escape when you bake it. Tart and pie dough have a fair amount of liquid in them from the butter, eggs, and any other liquid you've mixed in. When the dough goes into the oven, the liquids turn to steam with the heat. This steam can cause big bubbles to form in the shell unless you give it a way to escape. Hence you dock pastry shells. If you are filling the tart with a liquid filling after you blind bake it, take care not to dock too aggressively. A few holes here and there will be enough to release the steam but not so much that the liquid filling leaks out. Tart and pie shells often need to be partially baked before you fill them. This is called blind baking. If you don't bake the pie shell first, it can't fully bake once it is filled, and the result is an underbaked, gummy, doughy crust. Line the unbaked shell with parchment paper or a large coffee filter, and then place a generous amount of pie weights, unbaked dried beans, un-cooked rice, or even well-washed rocks on it to fill the shell fully. Press down slightly on the weights to make sure the shell is entirely filled, and place the whole thing in the oven. The pie weights will keep the shell from bubbling and puffing up. Check the shell for doneness by lifting the parchment and peeking at the color of the baked shell. It should be light golden and look matte; if it's shiny, it needs to bake longer. Be careful when peeking that the weights don't slip under the parchment and bake into the pie dough, especially if you are using rice. When the pie shell is done baking, remove it from the oven and let cool until you can remove the parchment and weights.