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pie filling

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hello to everyone.

i am a novice but trying to become a "perfect" pie maker. at this point I'm trying to figure out what a general rule of thumb would be to making a thickening syrup to add to the fruit for a pie filling. I realize its the thickeners added to juice or water correct? the question is how much liquid and does it matter if its juice or water? I have just read these threads and see that most don't agree to precooking even a 1/3  of the filling? I have had an issue with getting my fillings to the right thickness, my blackberry was slightly under, my cherry to firm etc. I see that "chefpeon"  uses a formula of 1 oz thickener to 1 lb fruit is that a good general rule? any advice is useful to me,I read so much but just not finding the info i really need. Everyone seems to have their own "preferred" thickener whether it be cornstarch,tapioca, clear-gel or flour etc. I have tried most and a combination of some but still wondering if there isn't one tried and true for all types of fruit pie fillings.

Since I don't have the time to go to pastry school, which i would love, I could use any and all advice.

thanks & happy pie making!


post #2 of 2

I've used a variety of thickeners and you will just have to play around with the quantities to get the right amount of "set". I ALWAYS pre-cook the sliced apples in a brown sugar glaze to al dente before I put it into a pie shell. I'll cool it off and combine 2 tbsp. of cornstarch, 1/4 c. granulated or brown sugar, and about 1-2 tsp cinnamon and a small amount of ground clove and nutmeg. Sift those together and toss with about 2# of the cooked apples (about 6-7, peeled & cored). That's the only pie filling I pre-cook, and I don't have to worry about the shell getting too brown around the edges.


You might want to look into Clear-Jel. It comes in instant (no-heat) and regular (must be heated). You can find this at www.barryfarm.com. The have a bunch of thickeners and how to use them. Their prices are really good, but they will nail you on the shipping. Last time I ordered it, the jel cost me $4.00 and the shipping was $8.00. Say WHAT?!?!? Barry Farm has some good info on each of those thickeners as well.


Also keep in mind that different fruits have different acidity levels. The acid will break down the thickener over time, so keep that in mind. I had a horrible time getting cherry pie right, even with following directions. AND fruits contain varying levels of natural pectin that will also act as a thickener. Trial and error may be your future, but if you have willing tasters, you can foist the not-quite-right pies onto them. They will be happy.



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