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Currants are in season!
Posted: 02 September 2008 12:14 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I was so excited to make my first currant pie with currants that are in season yesterday evening. I let the pie to cool overnight and this morning cut him to find that the inside of the pie is basically like soup. The crust came out wonderful, but I have currant soup in a pie crust. I am completely perplexed as to why this happened. I even added a bit of ‘extra’ corn starch to the mixture as I have heard that currants came make a lot of juice.

Do you know what happened? I want to make another pie but the fresh currants are so expensive here that I am nervous to try again without getting some expert advice.

Thank you so much in advance!

Anne

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Posted: 02 September 2008 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi Anne - welcome to the blog.  I’m sorry to hear about your current soup pie smile.

Did you make Rose’s recipe from the Pie and Pastry Bible?

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Posted: 02 September 2008 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for writing back! Absolutely, is the answer. Rose is definitely my heroine for bread, pastries and cakes and I always get great results.  That is why I am so completely perplexed as to why I got the soup.  Any advice you can offer would be appreciated.  The only thing that might be a contributing factor that I can come up with myself is that although I let the currants macerate for about 15 minutes, there was still a small bit of cornstarch/sugar that was not stuck to some of the currants. They were just not juicy at that point and the starch/sugar mixture didn’t stick to everything (about 85% did though).

thank you in advance for your help!

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Posted: 06 September 2008 01:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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A shot in the dark, here: doesn’t acid inhibit the thickening action of cornstarch? Currants are great at different stages of ripeness. Maybe you had more acidic berries than the recipe assumed.

This is just a guess. I can’t generally bring myself to cook currants since they’re so beautiful. I just sprinkle or pile them on things.

Cathy

By the way- are these red currants or black? I had assumed red, but just remembered that the season for red currants, here,anyway, is early July.

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Posted: 15 September 2008 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi there. thank you so much for your response. I was out of town and just got back this evening.  They were red currants, yes.  I added a ton of starch though just because I was afraid that they would shoot off a lot of liquid. Any other thing you can think of that caused the problem?

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Posted: 17 September 2008 11:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Was there any hint of cloudiness to the filling, showing that some of the cornstarch hadn’t gotten hot enough to thicken?

Cathy

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Posted: 18 September 2008 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi there and thank you so much for your reply.

That was my concern as well that all the cornstarch did not get absorbed, and perhaps that is the issue; it seems the most logical to me.

However, there was no cloudiness or clumps of starch lingering, it was pure D Soup! A pretty soup, but a soup in crust nonetheless.  There appeared to be a few parts of the fruit that were sticking together that were cloudy. Do you think that the cornstarch just thickened in a few places and the rest didn’t get any?

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Posted: 18 September 2008 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well, I’m stumped. I’ve never known perfect mixing in to be necessary for a pie filling to thicken. If you’re brave enough to try this again, maybe you could mash a few of the berries to give a little moisture.

Cathy

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Posted: 18 September 2008 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks a million Cathy. I was completely stumped myself. Usually if something completely screws up, I can pinpoint where I messed up. I guess we will just challk this up to a weird phenonemon and leave it at that.  Thanks for the suggestion on mashing it up a bit. If I do find more currants, I might let them macerate much longer as well.

Warmest wishes and happy baking!

Anne

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Posted: 01 July 2009 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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My guess would be that the mixture did not get hot enough.  The filling has to be bubbling all over (basically boiling) for the starch to thicken enough to set the pie.

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Posted: 11 July 2009 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hi Matthew—appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Yes I was thoroughly perplexed but that may be right. I haven’t given it another go—my pie soup experience was very disheartening. Next time I do this particular pie I will make sure that it is bubbling fully. Warmest wishes Anne

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Posted: 12 July 2009 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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ANNE DUDTE JOHNSON:
  Good Sunday morning. I read your pie mishap with much interest & I am sorry to learn of it.  Sooo, this morning I thought perhaps I should help Anne.
  Anne, the reason you sustained this problem is because the cornstarch became DISABLED.  You ask HOW SO !!!. ????
Because Anne, besides lemons, limes there isn’t any fruit that are more acidic than those two plus red currants which amount to approx 2.0 to 2,1/2 PH factor. What does all this mean???? It means that if there is one ingredient that is an enemy to CORNSTARCH it is those 3 aforementioned items. It may not always disable cornstarch, NO! not all the time but many times it does. Sooo, there are other thickners available to you, like flour, as you know you must use 2X the amount of flour per cornstarch amount. You can use tapioca, & there is another which I cannot remember it’s name at this moment it is sold thru catalog sales at King Arthur flour co. Perhaps another member can remember it’s name & post it to you.
One more thing Annie my friend, I do not how you made this pie, but & however, if you can find a way to thicken the ingredients first before adding the currants then add the currants…. you see once the cornstarch begins to do it’s thing it will not be disabled by adding the currants at this point.
  Anyway Anne, I thought you would like to know all of this baking science in as much as you stated in your very first post at the end of it….” You were seeking some amatuer’s advice”. I hope this will do it for you. And remember Anne I hope you will remember who gave you this information because even so called prof. bakers do not know any of these secret tricks.
Good luck in your baking & enjoy the day young lady.

  ~FRESHKID. rolleyes

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Posted: 13 July 2009 12:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Good advice Cass… I didn’t realize currents were so acidic.  You’re a wealth of baking knowledge!

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Posted: 13 July 2009 01:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Well, Rose does call for cornstarch in the P&PB;—the largest amount for any fruit pie as far as I can tell.  An alternative would be cassava/tapioca which sets at a lower temperature than corn starch. Arrowroot is a third, which sets at the lowest temperature, but isn’t supposed to be as good for long-baked fruit pies.

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Posted: 13 July 2009 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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PATRINCIA:
  Good morning my dear friend. Let me answer the PM this way because I always have trouble using that PM medium. I sent a PM reply to member TIM yesterday. But as usual I screwed it up & it didn’t arrive to him. I do not know why It would have gone to you Patrincia. Now you know why I rather not employ that contraption. I hope you enjoyed your weekend.

  ~CASPAR.

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Posted: 13 July 2009 05:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Thank you Caspar - aside from getting drenched in an unexpected thunderstorm, I had a wonderful weekend.  Hubby and I purchased and installed adjustable shelving in the pantry that my dad and brother built for me.  I had so much fun organizing it, and I’m so pleased with the way it turned out!

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