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Pie with no mushy fruit?

This is a weird question but I want to bake a fruit pie for my family but my sister “doesn’t like mushy fruit.” I realize that any time you bake fruit it will become “mushy.” I wasn’t sure if there was any different type of pie or pastry that wouldn’t affect the fruit as much?

asked by Margs 4 months ago

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9 answers 410 views
Smaug
added 4 months ago

There are a lot of recipes out there for pies with whole fresh fruit in various creamy or gelled fillings. One in my regular rotation, and in season, from my favorite recipe writer, is Maida Heatter's "strawberry tart"; it's from her second book, probably also her pie book and online at geniuskitchen.com. Any good pie or dessert book should have some similar recipes, fruit does cry out for some sort of presentation.

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cv
cv
added 4 months ago

I used to bake a lot when I was younger and you don't really need a recipe for the classic French berry tart. But here's one anyhow:

https://food52.com/recipes...

from Alice Medrich. This is the same type of "tarte aux fraises" that one would find in every pastry shop in France.

Basically, you blind bake a tart crust, fill it with pastry cream and top with fresh (raw) fruit.

For strawberries, you can either leave whole or slice-and-fan. For smaller berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, et al, you just keep whole. One can also combine several berries in the same tart (I generally like to stick with one).

As for the presentation, the two classic options are glazing with jelly made from the same fruit (zap in microwave to liquify or heat gently in saucepan) or sprinkling with powdered sugar right before serving.

One also has the option of making individual tartlets or a bigger tart to be cut into individual servings.

The variations are endless and the simple vanilla pastry cream can be flavored or replaced by other similar fillings (e.g., mascarpone). You can also glaze the bottom of the baked empty tart shell with caramel -- for a crunchy texture -- before you put in the pastry cream.

The sky's the limit for this classic basic.

cv
cv
added 4 months ago

Oh, I forgot to mention. You don't really need a complete standalone recipe to make these.

You'd just use your trusty tart dough and your trusty pastry cream preparations. If you already have favorite recipes for both, there's no reason why you can't use them (that's the way they would be made in a commercial pastry kitchen).

For me, I'd use either pâte brisée or pâte sablée for the tart dough and my reliable pastry cream recipe I have in an old notebook.

Admittedly, I like old-school preparations and this is about as brainless as you can get for a fresh fruit tart.

cv
cv
added 4 months ago

Oh, someone over at Serious Eats did an experiment on the difference between various apple cultivars in apple pie. There was a wide range of performance differences: some apple varieties held their shape pretty well, others turned to mush.

From personal experience (both as a baker and as a diner), I've see apple pies/tarts that featured cooked apples that were pretty firm in texture, even after baking.

I believe some of these are often used in commercial apple pastries for this reason. Often the apple varieties that retain their shape are used by commercial pastry shops in France for their "tarte aux pommes." These are usually made with a flaky dough like puff pastry and fanned thinly sliced apples on a shallow crust, rather than the big and deep American style pie featuring gooey blobs of apple.

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Lindsay-Jean Hard
Lindsay-Jean Hard

former Community Editor

added 4 months ago

I love this fresh strawberry pie! https://food52.com/recipes...

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Pegeen
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

You need this very good article on ways to achieve a firm fruit filling:
"How to Make Perky Fruit Pies, Not Fruit Puddles"
https://food52.com/blog...

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Lindsay-Jean Hard
Lindsay-Jean Hard

former Community Editor

added 4 months ago

Thanks Pegeen :)

BerryBaby
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

Paula Deen's Fresh Fruit Tart! (Recipe is posted on Food Network site)
Have made this dozens of times to standing ovations! Not kidding...it's that good and really easy.

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