i sometimes find my crisps or cobblers turn out soupy. any sure-fire way of preventing this? i stir in some corn starch, but it doesn't always do the job.
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I like to use tapioca. You can find it over with the puddings in the grocery store. Follow directions on the package. Great for pies, too!
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Oh, I am so with you; I just hate that. Tapioca does a good job. I have a chart of thickener ratios relative to various fruits. Let me find it and post it on my page. Please bear with me; I'm still trying to live in my own time zone, so it may not happen until this weekend.
Learned the hard way to use instant tapioca. Also picked up a tip from Cook's Illustrated to first pulverize the instant tapioca. I use a coffee grinder I keep for spices.
I've had some bad tapioca mistakes too - a berry pie that was the consistency of the paste you use in kindergarten. But, if you get the ratio right it works like a champ! You might want to try just increasing the amount of cornstarch you are using. The other option is mixing your fruit and sugar and letting it sit for about 30 minutes and then draining some of the excess liquid off before putting it in the dish with the topping for baking...you can always use the liquid to make a nice syrup!