Pie baking question

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ctmom05, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    <span style='font-family: Courier New'> <span style="color: #FF6666">I finally mastered making a decent pie crust :smile: Over the years, somehow, that was something I was never successful at before.

    A couple of nights ago I turned some leftover beef stew into a really nice pot pie with a savory crust. Now I am going to try my hand at a fruit pie.

    I know the basics, I mean I have been cooking and baking for about 35 years, but pies have never been my forte. My plan is to make a fruit mixture creation, something like Marie Callender's "Razzleberry Pie" - but with frozen strawberries, fresh blackberries(they were on sale) and frozen cherries

    The fruit and a little sugar will make a nice pie filling. Do I need to add some sort of thickening agent?

    My thought is that I should thaw and drain the frozen fruits I am using, to avoid a runny filling.

    Any thoughts on this from pie bakers?</span></span>
     
  2. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    on the frozen fruit - thaw it and place it between lots of paper towels and two plates, and place something heavy on the plates. Yes, you'll get "smooshed" fruit, but it will help drain out the excess water.
    You may need to add just a bit of corn starch to thicken up the syrup. Are you going to cook it before putting it in the pie?

    I'm not a pie baker, but my mother is. In fact for Christmas I got her some things to cut fancy shapes on the top of pies, and edge "protectors" so the crust doesn't get too brown.
     
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JoG - will probably be able help. She is a pie maker.
     
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks bw, I was so excited to see the title of this post!

    I am also making a mixed berry pie today out of frozen mixed berries I have in my freezer! You thaw the berries first. I put them in a strainer situated over a bowl to catch the juices. After they are thawed, put them in a bowl, add a little sugar, not much, say 1/4C-1/3C if the fruit is unsweetened. Add 3-4Tbs of corn starch, that should be good - the filling after cooked will still be loose, but you don't want too much corn starch or it will taste starchy, blech. You should also poke little tiny holes in the base of your bottom crust with a fork, cover with foil and bake at 410F degrees for 8 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 7 minnutes. Then add your filling and place whatever top crust you have and tuck in the edges. You should also put some cuts or poke some vent holes in the top.

    I'm also making a quiche today for new years day.
     
  5. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    Mmmmm....

    Barbara

    :smile:
     
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Another thing, when you cook the juices with the corn starch, cook it until it becomes clear and not cloudy anymore - it will have to boil for a few minutes, and you have to keep stirring or it will stick. It will be much thicker when it cools. If you cook just the juice with the corn starch and then add the berries, more liquid will come out of the berries and make it thinner still.
     
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hey, donna....long time no see. DDD

    Sorry, ctm, I don't bake so can't offer anything worthwhile.
    Of course, I DO eat...so if you have too many leftovers just let
    me know.
     
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Oh I've been around! Hi DDD!

    :salute:
     
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I baked a peach pie for DF birthday today - and I am PROUD to say that since I got a rolling pad and a sleeve for my rolling pin I LOVE rolling out dough.

    My buns flopped but I think the yeast was old. OH dear - now I have floppy buns. They didn't rise - and I tested the milk & butter for right temperature - still had to be bad or old yeast.

    The pie turned out great.

    LOVE threads like this where I can learn new stuff - like Jo's suggestion to let the juices thaw into a dish - I grow blackberries and froze some - maybe I will try that!!
     
  10. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Star, my buns have flopped too, but I think it's age creeping up on me and too many donuts!

    Seriously, I bake a lot of pies for holidays, etc., and I haven't made homemade piecrust since the pre-made ones came out! Making piecrust is such a lot of work and makes such a big mess. And the ones you buy and just unroll into the pan are as good if not better than the homemade. In fact, we have a store brand here that is much better than the name brand and cheaper too.
     
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Donna - Floppy bun club? lol

    4 things I have found ESSENTIAL to baking pie crusts

    1.) A Pampered Chef stoneware bowl, large and heavy
    2.) A pastry cutter - a good one, sturdy
    3.) A large rolling pin with a cloth sleve
    4.) A rolling cloth

    That bowl is my favorite - it cleans up so easy and it seems NOTHING will really stick to it. So when you are making the crust - as you are cutting in ingredients - the dough doesn't stick to the side like in a plastic bowl.

    The pastry cutter does most of the work since the ingredients are not stuck to the sides

    The large rolling pin helps me to get the crust rolled out but ONLY because I have that sleeve on it - you dont use more flour because the dough does not stick to the sleve

    The rolling cloth - You put a little flour on it (and I mean a little - for 2 crusts I used less than 4 TBS of flour. So the crust is not floury and hard or dried out. And what you are rolling THEN is easy to fold over your rolling pin because you just lift the cloth and 1/2 it put your pie pan on the cloth that you roll back down and then transfer into your pie pan.

    I used to HATE to bake until I found out some little secrets like that. Now it cuts the time in more than 1/2 so baking is a pleasure not a chore.

    -Except no one will STILL give me the propane torch for the Creme Brule - something dumb about me, and kitchen curtains...gofigure
     
  12. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    Hi, Donna!

    :smile:

    Jo, which are the best apples to use for apple pie? I am going to try that cook-the-filling before you put it into the shell.

    So many of my pies have looked beautiful ~ but the apples have been downright crunchy!

    Also, how do you know how much sugar to use with each kind of apple?

    I suppose cooking the filling first would eliminate all those problems, wouldn't it. I could see how thick the filling was AND taste it for sweetness.

    And why IS it that sometimes yeast works and sometimes, it just doesn't? I was into making sourdough bread for awhile there? The first few months, I made the most beautiful, sweet tasting sourdough bread you ever tasted.

    Then?

    The yeast or the starter or something went rancid or ~ I don't know what happened.

    So, I started another batch of starter?

    But I have never been able to make that same sourdough bread again.

    Even here, in an entirely different state, I can no longer get that recipe to work!

    (Yep. I tried new yeast, tried a different brand of yeast, tried making the base in plastic and stainless steel both, instead of glass.)

    It was the most delicious sourdough bread ever.

    And now?

    I can't make it anymore!

    Anyone like the recipe?

    :smile:

    Barbara
     
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Scent of Cedar II</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hi, Donna!

    :smile:

    Jo, which are the best apples to use for apple pie? I am going to try that cook-the-filling before you put it into the shell. So many of my pies have looked beautiful ~ but the apples have been downright crunchy!

    <span style="color: #3333FF">Here is a website that will give you the lowdown on all apples. I like to combine some sweet and some tart. Cortlands are pretty soft apples already so if you use them, only par-boil them or they will be mushy. Most apples will be mushy if you cook them too long. http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Baking-with-Apples/Detail.aspx</span>

    Also, how do you know how much sugar to use with each kind of apple?

    <span style="color: #3333FF">Again, use the site above to figure out if you want your pie sweet or tart. If I am using mostly sweet apples, I add a little lemon juice to tart things up a bit.</span>

    And why IS it that sometimes yeast works and sometimes, it just doesn't? I was into making sourdough bread for awhile there? The first few months, I made the most beautiful, sweet tasting sourdough bread you ever tasted. Then? The yeast or the starter or something went rancid or ~ I don't know what happened. So, I started another batch of starter? But I have never been able to make that same sourdough bread again.

    <span style="color: #3333FF">You know, its been a few years since I used a warm rising yeast bread. I've been using yeast in recipes that call for a cold rise. However, in the past when I had something go wrong with my yeast breads it was either due to expired yeast or because I wasn't exact about the measurements or time to allow the yeast to ferment before using in the recipe. I would be in a rush and hurry my yeast along and then render it useless - I had to learn patience. Ugh, I hate being patient all the time!</span>

    Even here, in an entirely different state, I can no longer get that recipe to work! (Yep. I tried new yeast, tried a different brand of yeast, tried making the base in plastic and stainless steel both, instead of glass.)

    <span style="color: #3333FF">I've never thought of the bowl making a difference. I usually use plastic or glass bowls.</span>

    It was the most delicious sourdough bread ever.

    <span style="color: #3333FF">It will be again! Don't give up! You know, I have heard that location does matter - elevation and all that. Could that be a factor?? I am at a loss here.</span>

    Anyone like the recipe?
    <span style="color: #3333FF">
    I would love the recipe. It's been forever since I've made a good bread. This is soup season, so warm crusty homemade bread...yum!</span>

    </div></div>
     
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I've never pre-cooked apples for a pie and they always cook through when the pie is baking. I peel them and slice them fairly thin into a bowl. I don't have exact measurements but I take at least a cup or more of sugar (more like a cup and a half) and blend in about 2 tablespoons of flour and at least a tsp. of cinnamon, maybe more (to taste)and a little salt. Pour this over the apples and toss it until it's evenly mixed and then pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Arrange 5 or 6 pats of butter evenly over the top of the apples and then put on the top crust.

    I start it out in a hot oven, 400-425, for about five minutes - then turn it down to 325 and just let it slowly bake and bake and bake until the crust is brown and some of the juice starts bubbling up. If the edges start to brown too quickly, you can take it out and put foil around the edges, but usually if it's baked at 325 it won't do this. Works every time!
     
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Donna, I've never cooked my apples except at my mother's urging this past summer and I found the apples to be too mushy for my liking. If you slice the apples thinly, they usually cook through just fine, but some folks have been having difficulties so I made the suggestion to par boil them so they can continue cooking through in the pie. In the recipes I've used, many of them suggest par boiling, so it's not that odd. I usually start my oven at 400 for 15 minutes and then knock it down to 350 and my pies bake to a nice golden brown, all bubbly. Yum. Now I want a piece!!
     
  16. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Maybe it just depends on what kind of apples you use. The best ones I've tried were the Gala apples, a pretty red/yellow, but I can't always find them.

    Darn! Now I'm getting hungry too! :laugh:
     
  17. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I use wax paper instead of a rolling cloth. The dough doesn't stick and I don't have to add any flour and worry about my dough tasting like flour only.

    I sleeve for your rolling pin? I'll have to go check that out.

    I've been meaning to buy those crust covers so you can keep your edges from burning.

    I need something that makes the edges pretty. I've never been good at pinching it to make it look all ruffly on the edges.
     
  18. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I have a page in a cook book that I followed about HOW to roll and lay out crust and how to pinch the edges or fork them. I can print it out and send it to you if you want.

    The sleve idea I got from my fmil. She is Swedish and bakes leftse all the time (it's like a thin pancake with butter and cinnamon and sugar) VERY good. VERY VERY fattening.

    I saw her us it and thought - OMG she put a support hose on the rolling pin lol - so when I got curious enough I asked and we went to some farm store that sold baking stuff and there they were. AMAZING difference in rolling out cutout cookies and all.

    This was the first crust I made with the pinched look. I used my baking ring for the crust - and now i am doomed to bake pies.
     
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    My buns flopped but I think the yeast was old. OH dear - now I have floppy buns. </div></div>

    From now on that's going to be my excuse for my "floppy buns"!

    :rofl:

    I am a wonderful cook if I do say so myself. I can fry, saute, bake, broil, grill, mix, sauce just about anything. But I can't make a pie crust. I think that a lot of it is just that I don't have a big enough cutting board. But even when I buy the pre-made pie crust it turns out doughy. I just plain gave up trying.
     
  20. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The Longaberger Basket company has the very best pie crust recipe!
     
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