Problem with custard fillings...

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by jjudson, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. jjudson


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    Home Chef
    I am rather new to pie baking (outside of the occasional pumpkin or cheesecake).  I bought Ashley English's book "A Year of Pies" and tried a few of her recipes.  Two that have not come out well are the Limoncello Lemon Meringue Pie and the Minty Chocolate Cream Pie.  In both cases, the filling ended up runny.  I followed her instructions, but still had unsatisfactory results.  The filling recipes include the following:

    Limoncello Lemon Meringue Pie

    1 Cup Water

    1 Cup Granulated Sugar

    1/3 Cup Cornstarch

    1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

    5 Large Egg Yolks

    2/3 Cup Lemon Juice

    1/3 Cup Limoncello

    4 Tbs Unsalted Butter

    Mix ingredients and pour into pie shell.  Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes

    Minty Chocolate Cream Pie

    2-1/2 Oz. Sweetened Baking Chocolate

    3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

    3 Tbs Cornstarch

    1/2 Tsp Sea Salt

    2 Cups Whole Milk

    3 Large Egg Yolks

    3 Tbs Unsalted Butter

    2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

    Main ingredients to be cooked at a boil for a couple of minutes, then use a 1/2 cup of the mixture to proof the egg yolks.  After that, they are poured into the pan, mixed, and cooked for another couple of minutes.  The Butter, Vanilla, are added, then the mixture is poured into a pie crust and the pie is refrigerated.

    Both ended up as a very soupy mess, rather than the firm fillings I've seen.

    Can anyone help?  Thanks in advance!!!
  2. chefwriter


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    Professional Cook
    I think the problem is one of technique. 

         In the first recipe you mix the cornstarch without activating it first. Rather than mix all together, I'd try mixing everything but the yolks and butter. Heat till to a short boil to thicken. Cool, mix in yolks and butter, then bake. 

     The second, cook main ingredients, proof yolks, add butter and vanilla, then bake in a blind baked crust. Cooking in the middle seems odd to me. Once the yolks have been heated and cooked, adding the butter and vanilla would only help to liquify, not solidify. Again, boiled to begin with to activate the cornstarch, then baked again with butter and vanilla mixed in before baking to solidify the entire batch. 

    Hope this helps. 
  3. laurenlulu


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    Professional Chef
    The lemon pie doesn't need to be baked.. I would use the same method on both, cook ingredients except egg and cornstarch. Temper egg with boiling mixture, cook a min or two to thicken then add a cornstarch slurry to tighten. A little butter and vanilla can be added at this point before pouring into a pre baked shell.