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Old 08-01-2005, 01:25 PM   #1
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Unhappy How do you solidify the inside of a pie?

My mother has been making deserts locally for some time now and some of her desserts tend to be runny in the middle. Such desserts as her blueberry/rasberry pie look kind of silly on the dessert tray because the berries just kind of pour out. Is their some type of gelatin or other solidifying agent that has no taste and will keep her pies more together and not so runny? Her desserts are out of this world, yet when they are presented individually sliced they do not look as appetizing... Help me out here.

Email me with a response at cgsamaras@yahoo.com



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Old 08-01-2005, 02:06 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome! I've heard using dry tapioca pudding, the granular stuff, works well, and also knox brand unflavored gelatin might work.

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Old 08-01-2005, 02:43 PM   #3
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Yes, most pie recipes that I know of that use fruit which do not naturally contain a lot of pectin call for tapioca, corn starch or flour.

Most use tapioca because it is clear and pretty tasteless.

Your mom might want to look up some recipes to get an idea of how much tapioca to use.
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:43 PM   #4
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My mom, who made the best pies in the world (!) used tapioca. Another trick she discovered (not for thickening, but to keep fruit pies from boiling over in the oven) was (using a glass pie pan only) cooking it for awhile in the microwave and then transferring to the oven to finish baking. Worked every time. I don't know the times, but someone might. Has anyone here tried it?

Anyway, about the tapioca for pies, go here: http://www.kraftfoods.com/minutetapioca/ and click on FAQs at the top, then click on the question about using it to thicken stew, etc. It tells you how much to use and when to add it.

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Old 08-01-2005, 09:22 PM   #5
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A number of starch slurries can be used to thicken fillings.

These include, arrowroot, cornstarch, tapioca/cassava flour, potato starch and rice flour.

Just remember, blend them with a little cold water before adding into the filling to avoid any lumps. The mixture must be brough to a simmer before the thickening power of the starches comes into effect.
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Old 08-01-2005, 09:49 PM   #6
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Thickening pies

Tapioca starch works well for thickening fruit pies. You just coat the raw fruit with it and place it in your crust.
You can find the tapioca starch in Oriental grocery stores.
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Old 08-01-2005, 10:01 PM   #7
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I haven't done this for a long time, but it used to work well for me when I had a crowd to cater for in a hurry.

I'd tip a tin of fruit, juice and all, into a saucepan, and cook it up with an egg or two broken into it. It thickened up the filling nicely. Then I'd pour it into a precooked pastry case, and cover it with meringue, browning it lightly in the oven to finish it off. Then refrigerate before serving. Occasionally, the tinned fruit would be a little short of what was expected (too much juice), so I'd thicken it further with a little cornflour or arrowroot.

I don't see why you couldn't do this with fresh fruit, cooking it first, then baking.

If you don't like that idea, you could try adding some pectin (or apples or apple juice or lemon juice) to the fruit.
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Old 08-01-2005, 10:40 PM   #8
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I like Tapioca

I bake several pies a week. I like tapioca best. I use 1/3 cup.
Just mix it into the fruit filling.
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Old 08-21-2005, 09:54 PM   #9
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Another general helping tip is to watch how much water you add to assist in stewing fruits such as apples, pears and rhubarb (or any other fruit likely to give off a significant amount of juice when cooked).

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