Thursday, October 14, 2010

Leak Proof

When I started baking, apple pie was almost the first thing I began with. I love pies, and the recipe doesn't seem too difficult. Or is it? Soon I realized that even though the recipes seemed easy, they don't necessarily described the skill involved. and I always ended up with leaky pies with juice spilling andsoggy pie crust.  No matter how many times I tried - from apple pies to strawberry pies -  the result would be similar. Soon enough I gave up the idea of pie.

And then the beginning of this year I went to George Brown to take the basic baking course, and the first thing we made was apple pie.  So there are tricks to make pies leak proof and aren't written in the recipes.  No more leaky pies!

This time I made the pies smaller at about 6" in diameter. It should feed 3 to 4 people or makes a hearty dessert for 2.

There are a few things to make pies leak proof:
  • Your fruit has to be really dry. This is just too obvious right?
  • Pectin is crucial in solidifying liquid in fruits. Make sure when preparing apple pies, retain as much as pectin as possible. Using a vegetable peeler than a knife to peel the apples is a good start as most of the pectin can be found directly under the skin.
  • Use modified corn starch for the filling.  Modified corn starch is mainly for commercial use and not easy to find in small portions, making it difficult to use for home baking. Or,
  • Activate the starch before putting into the pie. This could be done by cooking the starch with the natural fruit juice then mix it in the fruit before putting the filling in the pie shells. This method can be easily done at home if modified starch is not accessible. This method has been used in my recipe of apple brioche recipe.

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