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Tips for Firmer Fruit Fillings

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Tips for Firmer Fruit Fillings, from Food52


We can’t get enough of fruit fillings in pies, buckles, crumbles, and their more flamboyantly named kin. (If you can’t either, there’s still time to enter the current contest!) A foundation of warm fruit in a dessert is delicious, but too much liquid and your bottom crust is soaked, or you’ve got a serving of fruit soup instead of a crisp

Cristinasciarra made a raspberry pie that tasted great, but wasn’t holding together, so she turned to the Hotline for help. The best ideas we’ve seen?

  • Adding in another fruit that’s high in pectin, like a grated Granny Smith apple or a puréed kiwi, from hardlikearmour.
  • HalfPint shares a trick that involves macerating the fruit, then simmering and reducing the collected juice -- creating a syrup to pour over the fruit before it’s baked.
  • Multiple users recommend the addition of tapioca. Lapadia is a fan of instant (or quick cooking) tapioca and breaks down the specifics: "It needs to be mixed with the pie filling ingredients and sit for about 10 minutes to allow the beads to soften and start to absorb the juices. Later, while the filling is baking, the beads swell and become transparent, ending with a filling that is not too runny or thick, with a beautiful glossy sheen. Note: don’t confuse instant with regular tapioca. I use 3 tablespoons instant tapioca per 4 cups berries."
  • Pegreen adds another tip that can be used in conjuntion with tapioca -- blind-baking the bottom crust, and then lining it with a layer of thinly rolled cold almond paste.

What are your best tips for avoiding runny fruit fillings? Add your two cents to the question on the Hotline here or continue the conversation in the comments below! 

Tags: hotline question of the week, hotline, question, best question, pie, fruit filling, how-to & diy

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