Apple Pie is too runny! Help!

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by cdavis2488, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. cdavis2488

    cdavis2488

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    Hi everyone. I am new to this group- and am having a problem with my apple pie.
    I am cooking it on 375 in a convection oven, and everything is turning out fine, except that there is too much liquid in with the apples after cooking. It makes it actually kind of runny!
    Any suggestions on what I can try. I am rather new to making pies- so any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thnaks!
    Cindy :bounce:
     
  2. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Difficult to determine without seeing the recipe. Can you post it please?

    Even without seeing it I suspect a lack of any type of thickener.
     
  3. zukerig

    zukerig

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    The variety of apple chosen for the filling is also a factor (and that you are using fresh apples). Traditionally, Northern Spies are a primary choice for single-variety uncooked pie fillings. Pippins are another good pick for a tart, firm-textured filling – either cooked or uncooked.

    On the other hand, Golden Delicious & Granny Smith varieties need to have some of their juice cooked out of them, otherwise they’ll exude too much moisture during baking in the pie case. Personally, I would use Golden Delicious to make tart tatin rather than a two-crust pie.

    Many professionals prefer to bake pies with two different varieties of apples in the filling – such as Granny Smith & McIntosh, both of which are available in prime condition throughout the year. In The Dessert Bible, Christopher Kimball recommends experimenting with “three or four different kinds in a pie and [seeing] what happens.” He suggests looking “for one apple that is very sweet, one that is very tart, one that holds it shape well during baking, et cetera.” (Little, Brown, & C., 2000; pp. 228f.)

    Many diners will prefer a filling that’s somewhat loose, rather than thick & firm (as would be produced by – heaven forbid! – canned apples).

    We now look forward to reading your recipe in order to make a determination re thickeners….
     
  4. cdavis2488

    cdavis2488

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    wow, ok. I have been using Granny Smith apples.

    Here is the recipe I use.


    INGREDIENTS:

    * 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1 cup shortening
    * 1 egg yolk
    * 1/2 cup milk
    *
    * 10 apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
    * 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    * 1/4 cup white sugar
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    * 1 egg white

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.)
    2. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg yolk in measuring cup and add enough milk to make 2/3 cup total liquid. Stir into flour mixture until all flour is damp. Divide the dough in half. On floured surface, roll half the dough into a rectangle and fit into a 9x13 inch pan.
    3. In large bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Put apple mixture in pan. Roll out remaining dough and place over apples. Seal edges and cut slits in top dough. Beat egg white till frothy and brush on crust.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until golden brown.



    so what wold you recommend as a thickener- or just change the type of
    apples I use?

    Thanks for the help :)
     
  5. panini

    panini

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    cd
    Please review your recipe and make sure you were not supposed to use a percentage split with the flour into both crust and filling. Your crust looks about right though.
    If not, you will need some sort of binding agent. We always use flour.
    Pan
     
  6. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Good point on the use of specific varieties of apples. I suggest you try a recipe that is more specific which will yield better results, like this one from Cook's Illustrated: Master Recipe for Classic Apple Pie
     
  7. zukerig

    zukerig

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    Mudbug & Panini, as they invariably do, have offered beneficial commentary. It is so often the case now, that formulators of pie recipes neglect to (a) indicate the preferred varieties of apples and (b) are negligent re using any type of thickener in the filling. For example, Ken Haedrich wrote a recipe for "Brown-Sugar Apple Pie" (Apple Pie Perfect; pp 24f.) which calls for 8 cups sliced apples plus ½ cup sugar (as well as lemon juice & butter) – but remains vague about the choice of apple and whether it should be used pre-cooked or raw. Good luck!

    (Of course, there’s a different moisture & thickening constitution in apple custard pies, but that’s something to discuss in a related thread.)

    Christopher Kimball (in the Cook's Illustrated reference) uses 4 Granny Smith & 4 McIntosh apples in his "All-Season Apple Pie" (The Dessert Bible) – the recipe to which Chef Mudbug has thoughtfully linked – and, please note, suggests using 2 Tbsps flour when the apples are very juicy.

    Regarding the use of tart apples alone: I would suggest that 8-10 thinly sliced Granny Smiths would require 2-3 Tbsps of thickener, such as flour or cornstarch. Also consider including the minced zest and juice of ½ lemon in the apple mixture. And, after mounding them up in the center – because they’ll cook down – dot the mixture with a few knobs of butter for added flavor.

    It’s a point of apple-pie wisdom re tart apples that you may need to draw out some of their moisture by gently sautéing them in butter for about 5 minutes, just to the point where they’ve exuded enough moisture, but remain tender-firm, so to speak. Transfer the partially cooked apples to another pan, sprinkle with the spices, and allow to cool before spooning into the pie shell. When this step has been accomplished it may not be necessary to use a thickener at all.

    I make a Roasted-Apple Tart, for which I prepare the apples in this manner: 4 tart baking apples are peeled, cored, and cut into wedges. In a small bowl, combine 2.5 oz. butter with 3 oz. light-brown sugar, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, and about 1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves. Dip in the apple segments and coat well. Place them close together on a lined baking sheet and bake in a 375°F oven until they are slightly softened and have caramelized, approx. 8-10 min., taking care that they don’t burn. Remove from oven and cool. Then arrange the cooled apples in a 9-inch springform lined with pâte sucrée. Whisk together 2 eggs, 6 fl. oz. 35% m.f. cream, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, and sugar to taste. Bake in moderate oven until custard is set. There, I’ve ventured into a recipe for an apple-custard filling!

    To sum up, begin with solution #1: Add a good 2 Tbsps. of flour to your filling (and avoid having the mixture sit too long before transferring it to the pastry). And, yes, it’s prudent to slit steam vents in the top crust.
     
  8. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I just toss the apples with flour just to get a light coating on mine. The principle is basically the same. Never cornstarch for me, and never precooked. I like a lot of apples, dense with a little tooth to it. Each pie gets about 5# apples. :)
     
  9. zukerig

    zukerig

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    A hearty "yes!" to using a reasonable abundance of apples.

    Rose Levy Beranbaum (who, incidentally, isn’t adverse to using cornstarch as a thickener) offers these tips for baking apple pies:

    “Slice apples thinly for apple pie. Thick slices promote air space and create a gap between the fruit and the crust.”

    “For the purest flavor in fruit pies, macerate the fruit, capture the juices, and boil and reduce the liquid. The will decrease the amount of thickener and create more intense, focused flavor and a juicy filling.”

    “Butter dulls the flavor of fruit (with the exception of apples).”

    ~ Excerpted from The Pie & Pastry Bible (Scribner, 1997).

    Greg & Dr. Dorothy Patent also use cornstarch in their Apple Kuchen filling:

    2 oz. butter
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
    3½ pounds baking apples, quartered, cored, peeled,
    and cut into i-inch chunks (about 10 cups)
    1 Tbsp cornstarch

    ~ Excerpted from A is for Apple (Broadway, 1999).

    Published chefs who sauté their Granny Smiths beforehand, include: Nancy Silverton, Michael Lomonaco, Nick Malgieri, and Wolfgang Puck.

    Another method: In a saucepan, combine ½ cup raisins, 6 fl. oz. apple juice, 2½ fl. oz. water, 3 oz. granulated sugar, 4 large apples (cored, peeled, sliced), 1 tsp minced lemon zest + ½ tsp juice, ½ oz. butter, and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 min. Dissolve 2 Tbsps cornstarch(!) in 2½ fl. oz. cold water and slake into apple-raisin mixture. Continue to simmer 3 min. Remove from heat; cool. Spoon mixture into sweet dough.

    Coffee-Caramel-Swirl Ice Cream is one of my favorite accompaniments to apple pie.
     
  10. nowiamone

    nowiamone

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    Check out "King Arthur Pie Filling Enhancer" at bakerscatalogue.com