Friday, November 21, 2014

Pie... the Second Piece

Now that the perfect crust is ready, let's talk filling...  There are many types of pie, fruit, custard, and savory...
In this segment, I am going to focus on fruit pies.  Fruit comes in all shapes, sizes, flavors.  Because of this cooking times and quantity of fruit needed in a pie varies. 
When assembling a pie, apples should fill the crust to an inch above the edge, cherries, blueberries, and similar fruit are filled to just below the rim of the pie pan. The fruit will expand when it gets hot and tends to run out of the edges if overfilled.
Here are guidelines for the quantity of fruit needed for a 9" pie:
Apple: 8 small, 5 large = 6 to 8 cups
Apricot: 10-12 medium = 5-6 cups
Blackberry: 6 (1/2 pint) baskets = 6 cups
Blueberry: 3 pint baskets = 6 cups
Cherry: 1 pound = 6 cups
Peach: 10 -12 small or 6-7 large = 5-6 cups
Pumpkin: 1/2 pound =1 cup
Raspberry: 6 (1/2 pint) baskets = 6 cups
Rhubarb: 6 medium stalks / 5-6 cups
Strawberry: 4 pint baskets = 6 cups
Sweet Potato: 1/2 pound =1 cup
Now that the fruit is picked out, you need a thickener.  Here are some choices:
is a good thickener to use with fruit to make a filling because it does not have any flavor and creates a smooth texture. It also does not thin when reheating a slice of pie.  Cornstarch has twice the thickening power of flour, but doesn’t work well if the filling is high in acidity.

 is often used because it can hold more fruit juices than other thickeners without becoming rigid.  It is not recommended for a lattice top pie or other open fruit pie, as it hardens when exposed to the hot air of the oven. However, it can be used with a two-crust pie.  Tapioca has no flavor and  cooks quickly. If you use tapioca, let the filling mixture stand for at least 15 minutes before you spoon it into the crust to bake. This will allow for more efficient thickening. When you prepare a pie filling, mix the thickener first with sugar and any spices to prevent lumps and uneven thickening, then add the fruit. Granules are gritty if under cooked but are clear and soft when fully cooked.
is not a desirable choice because it thickens before the boiling point of fruit fillings in the pies.  It imparts no flavor of its own but provides a high gloss, and just 1 tablespoon will firm up each cup of liquid. It’s fine for high- and low-acid fruit mixtures, but it creates a gloppy mess if mixed with any dairy product.
Potato Starch                                                                                                                                        
this gluten-free starch's main advantage over other starch thickeners is that it's a permitted ingredient for Passover, unlike cornstarch and other grain-based foods. Liquids thickened with potato starch should never be boiled.
Once the fruit and thickener are chosen, all that is left is flavoring with lemon juice, sugar, and spices.  Bake and Enjoy!
Some additional helpful tips:
-Bake on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil to catch any juices that may run over the edge.
-Rotate the pie 180 degrees midway through baking. This helps the pie to cook evenly and balances the surface browning.
-When cutting, wet the knife with hot water to make a clean cut that won’t tear the filling.
“Cut my pie into four pieces, I don’t think I could eat eight.”
Yogi Berra

No comments:

Post a Comment