Pie and Tarts

Bruce Question:I had been wanting to make a tart for some time, so I checked out your The Pie and Pastry Bible of the library again. I had never made a curd before nor the particular crust. I made the lime curd with kiwi. It turned out very very good. I took a couple of pieces to a neighbor. I was wondering about a pineapple tart with oranges. It tastes good in my mind. I was wanting to know how to make a pineapple curd. I would use a fresh pineapple. Should the pineapple juice be reduced first? If so, how much? How much sugar should I use? ps. I own your Cake Bible and I don't use mixes. Thanks. Rose Reply: this is a very interesting idea. i think pineapple and orange would make a good combination. you could do a pineapple tart with orange curd to see how you like the flavors. if you want to experiment with pineapple curd, i would use the delicious golden pineapple for the juice and the same amount of sugar as the orange curd. pineapple juice has a lot of acidity so you probably don't need to reduce it. do let us know how it works! Barry Question: Dear Rose; I can not begin to tell you how much I enjoy baking your recipes. I'm also the proud owner of all three of your "Bibles" I do need your help though. I am consistantly running into the same problem with my pie doughs. For some reason my pie doughs are very crumbly and I'm having a very difficult time rolling the dough out. I measure accurately and use the correct flour for each of your recipes. Am I not kneading the dough enough? I'm afraid to make the dough to tough. Do you have any suggestions? I made your Tiramasu Black Bottom Tart the other day and I was just barely able to roll the dough. The edges of the dough were extremely crumbly. Thank you in advance Barry S.-an avid fan Rose Reply: thank you barry! assuming you are using bleached all-purpose flour or pastry flour, (unbleached will be tougher and need more liquid) you might be using more flour than the recipe calls for if you are not weighing it. try using Wondra flour which is similar to pastry flour and will give you a more tender crust and also require less liquid. also, try replacing the water with heavy cream and add a teaspoon or 2 more if necessary. here's how you can tell: the dough should be crumbly at first but hold together smoothly when kneaded lightly. if in doubt, take a small amount of the dough and knead it to see if it holds together. the best way to knead the dough is to use latex gloves because the dough won't stick to them and you won't need to add more flour. a helpful technique in kneading is what the french call fraiser. using the heel of your hand, smear the dough forward onto the counter one or two times. this will cause any lumps of butter to form long sheets, resulting in flakiness. then use a bench scraper to gather up the dough and with your hands, press it together to form a disc. J Question: Hi - I tried making a "mile high lemon meringue pie" recipe that I found in Fine Cooking magazine. It has brown & white sugar in it. I made it twice and both times the meringue was totally raw when you cut into it. It called for jut browning the meringue under the broiler....I even turned the oven down to 325F. and letting the pie sit in the oven until the meringue turned a liht brown all obver and it still was raw in the middle. I threw away the entire pie after the 2nd attempt...what did I do wrong? Rose Reply: a high, deep meringue can take a long time to cook through. my preference for meringue on a pie is to use italian meringue. the hot syrup cooks the egg white and keeps it from watering out later. i bake the pie at 350°F, then i put it under the broiler for about 20 seconds watching carefully so it doesn't burn. (see page 178 of the pie and pastry bible). Lura Question: why does my pecan pie always turn out "runny"? Rose Reply: it is the eggs that thicken the pie so if they're not heated enough the filling will become runny. overheating them will cause them to curdle. for this reason, i cook the filling first on the stove top as you would a lemon curd. my recipe will appear on every container of Lyle's golden refiners syrup starting in january. it is in the pie and pastry bible as well.