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Preventing Soggy Pie Crusts ?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Is there a trick to preventing a soggy bottom crust on fruit pies, such as apple, peach, or plum? I know thickners go into the fillings, and also precooking the juices. But when putting the pie together, is the bottom crust first brushed with an egg wash and allowed to dry a bit before adding filling? I also know that first spreading a thin coating of fine crumbs (cookie or bread), helps.

There is nothing that spoils a fruit pie, or tart, more than a soggy or unbaked bottom crust! Am interested in finding out what the pro chefs do.
post #2 of 12
Trypre baking the crust before adding the filling. Put crust into pie plate, line the crust with foil or, better yet, parchment paper, pour in a bunch of old, dry beans or rice, and bake for a while. Then add the filling.

shel (just learned the technique myself)
post #3 of 12
I think Lisbet is asking about top and bottom crusted pies, which makes it a little more inconvenient to blind bake the bottom before putting the top and cooking it more.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #4 of 12
And there you have it - another reason why I'm "The Baking Dunce."

shel (slowly learning about these things)
post #5 of 12
Ha, nonsense. Your answer is perfectly great for a quiche or any open faced tart. However, for a top-and-bottom crusted tart I think there are several difficulties you will face in the quest to get a not-overly-soggy bottom.

a) The liquid from above will tend to "boil" your pie as opposed to "roast" your crust, making it soft and not flaky.

b) The fact that there's something on top of the crust will cause it to steam in its own liquid, causing the crust to become increasingly moist the longer it sits.

Therefore, I think two separate forms of attack are required to solve these two problems and IMO there are very few good solutions to these problems.

Perhaps you should look to water-resistant coatings on the bottom of the pie (that won't melt as the temperature rises) prior to filling. Your above-mentioned ideas are a good starting point.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #6 of 12
Hello Lisbet,

Here are some details I added to my pie baking techniques (including closed pies).

Line your pie pan then place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hr.

Make sure the filling is also very cold before adding:
a) Loose dry filling like apple, peaches. Cut the fruits very cold then toss in sugar, lemon juice, spices, starch, etc then add to the cold pie shell and cover ASAP.

b) High liquid fruit fillings like strawberry and the like, you have 2 choices:
1. boil the filling with cornstarch prior to filling (sugar, lemon juice etc..), cool then refrigerate overnight. Place the cold filling and the cold pie shell. and cover ASAP
2. use IQF fruits and toss with sugar, starch and lemon juice. Place still frozen in the refrigerated pie shell and cover ASAP

Roll the cover pastry,make steam holes, cover the pie and seal. (brush with egg wash and sprinkle some sugar)

Start to bake your pie in a high oven: preheat your oven at 450F. Add pie in oven and bake 10 min at 450F then drop at 350F for the remainder of the cooking process.

This way, the bottom pastry that touches the metal will cook very fast and flaky for the first 10 min making a seal.

Also if you make you own pastry, using all purpose flour is less soggy then cake flour.

I hope this helps?
Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #7 of 12
Bo Friberg who wrote "The Professional Pastry Chef" uses bread flour, which has even a little more gluten than all purpose flour. You've got to have the technique right to do it.
post #8 of 12
You're right about that Stir it up. Bread flour is better but hard to explain the technique in a webpost.
All purpose is forgiving at least and pastry/cake flour is to be avoided.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #9 of 12
My wife has battled this for a while. Her current technique is to use a preheated baking stone, hotter than the temp for the pie. Adjust oven temp to pie baking temp and put in the pie. She uses a rimmed baking sheet or foil to protect the stone from any oozing.

The only time I do pastry crust is for pot pie type things.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank You !!

Thank you, everyone, for all your very helpful suggestions. I am saving every one of the suggested proceedures for future reference.

Was just interested and curious as to what everyone else does about the problem. Thought that perhaps I was missing something! The baking stone is an excellent idea that I haven't tried yet. My Dad (who was a great cook) used to depend on painting the bottom crust with egg white and allowing the coating to dry before adding the filling. Forgot to mention.....I do cut vents on the top crust.
post #11 of 12
Lisbet - you've had some excellent advice here and I'd follow it :)
One thing I'd add/query.... shortcrust chilled is best for the base IMHO, then puff/flaky pastry with vents for the top. I'm not ashamed to say I use pre-made sheets of pastry as I murder any sort of pastry/cakes by default!!
Cheers, DC
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #12 of 12
bread crumbs are known to soak up excess liquid in bottom of pies.
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