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Category ... Pie and Pastry Questions

Corrections: The Pie and Pastry Bible & Extra Notes

Jul 08, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Errata/CORRECTIONS

The following is the partial list of errors and corrections from The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Use the comments below to report anything else you find.
Almost everything has been corrected by the 9th printing.

Blind baking (prebaking) flaky pie crust, page 19, For the most even baking, set the tart pan or pie plate on a preheated baking stone or baking sheet. After removing the weights start checking for doneness after the first 3 minutes.

weight of sugar for the Crumb Crust for a 10-Inch Pie on page 69, it should be 0.6 ounce/17 grams.

Clarification of when to add the cranberry purée (people have asked when does the purée get added)
In the Custard Filling for the CRANBERRY CHIFFON PIE on page 152,the cranberry purée is strained into the bowl with the sieve set over it to receive the custard. They are then stirred together.

In the Fruit Turnovers on page 135, the unsalted butter is 1 tablespoon but the weight is 0.5 ounce/14 grams. on page 137, for the Mini-Turnovers, roll each piece of dough large enough to cut a 4 inch circle. Also, for the blackberries, use the larger amount of cornstarch if not reducing the liquid and the smaller amount if reducing the liquid.

In the Custard Filling for the GINGERY PEAR CHIFFON TART on page 164, To ensure that all of the gelatin dissolves and offers a firm texture to the filling, it is best to soften it in 2 to 3 teaspoons of the reserved poaching syrup. Stir to moisten the gelatin and allow it to sit for a minimum of 5 minutes. (If longer cover it tightly with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.) After stirring the poaching liquid into the egg yolk, stir in the gelatin mixture.

In the LEMON MERINGUE PIE on page 178 under "make the filling," do not use a double boiler and be sure to bring the egg mixture to full boil to ensure that it will thicken properly. On page 180: Cool in a draft free place for about 1 hour and then refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours. Serve refrigerated.

In the CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE on page 204 under "make the filling," it should read remaining 2 3/4 cups of milk.

In the APRICOT-CHEESECAKE TART on page 208, in the chart, the yolks should be 1.3 ounces/36 grams. On page 209, Add the crème fraîche or the cream, egg yolks, and remaining white.

In the FIG TART WITH MASCARPONE CREAM on page 211, the Marsala should be 1 to 2 tablespoons/0.5 to 1 ounce/14 to 28 grams.

In the CHOCOLATE OBLIVION TARTLETS on page 308, the amount for the eggs should be only 3 eggs/5.2 ounces/150 grams.

page 314, corrections in bold: top of the chart should be: MAKES: SEVEN 4 3/4-INCH FLUTED TARTLETS

page 315, under EQUIPMENT should be: Eight 4- by 3/4-inch flan rings or seven 4 3/4- by 3/4-inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms

In the Hungarian Poppyseed Strudel on page 403, proof the yeast with 1/2 teaspoons of sugar not 1 teaspoon of sugar.

In the CRÈME BRÛLÉE CUSTARD on page 440 , the filling is 2 3/4 cups.

In the BRANDIED RAISINS on page 514, the cognac is 1/2 liquid cup.

In the PASTRY CREAM on page 560, the 2 cups of half and half weigh 17 ounces/484 grams.

The following changes are in current printing (3). The printing number is on the copyright page. It is a row of numbers and the lowest one is the printing of the book. For those who have earlier printings ADD:
Note: I have found that it is best to apply the foil ring to the protect the edges of the pie crust from the beginning of baking.
p 321 on the chart for peanut butter mousse pie tiered, filling should be 1/3 cup, 2/3 cup, 1 3/4 cups, 2 1/2 cups, 3 1/4 cups, 4 1/4 cups, 4 3/4 cups
page 84 flaky cream cheese pie crust for a two-crust pie
p 594 in the chart: 2 12-ounce bags
p 131 The liquid will be about 1/3 cup....Cool the pie...(Brush the exposed cranberries with golden syrup to keep them moist and shiny.)
p 140 ...spread rounded 1/2 teaspoons (not tablespoons) of Apricot Lekvar...
p 19 4th line from the top: ...bake for 20 minutes (15 minutes for a 4 1/4 inch pielet)...Return the shell to the oven for 5 to 10 minute more (3 to 5 minutes for a 4 1/4 inch pielet)...
p 77 The second chart "The Amount of Cornstarch and Sugar for 4 cups of Fruit": the sugar for 1 cup of cherry should be 200 grams (7 ounces)
p 89 and 592 for the streusel (crumb) topping, for a crisper topping melt the butter before adding it.
p 260 ...very thin lemon slices that have been simmered, covered, for 20 minutes in 1/3 cup sugar dissolved in 1/3 cup water,...
p 262 under Pointers...If a 3 inch pear is available, poach it along with the other pears, slice it and place it in the center. During baking, the pears will shrink making space for it.
p 287 roll the pastry to a circle roughly 16 inches in diameter. Using a pizza wheel or cardboard template and a sharp knife trim it so that the edges are even. It should be 15 to 15 1/2 inches....Scatter the cranberry mixture evenly over the dough, covering a 12-inch area...
p.294 Gâteau Basque: Add about 1 tablespoon of cream to the yolk and vanilla. After mixing the dough pinch it together and it if still crumbly and won't hold together add a tiny bit more cream. Change baking temperature to 325°F.
p.421 just before store...1 day before completing the last 2 turns for a total of 6 turns. caramelize the topping or protect the edges of the pastry with foil rings...

Flat Cream Puffs

Feb 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions


Feedback: I live in Mexico and the humidity is very high. I made cream puffs today. They rose up and were beautiful until I took them out of the oven. They fell flat and felt soggy. Is there anything I can do to keep this from happening?


If you are also at high altitude you will need to decrease the amount of liquid to give more structure to the cream puffs. But for the high humidity it is essential, toward the end of baking after the cream puffs have set, to make a small cut into the side or bottom of each cream puff and then return them to the oven that the moisture can escape.

Soggy Bottom Pie Crusts

Jan 08, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions


Feedback: I was given "The Pie and Pastry Bible" for my 21st, and have enthusiastically begun pie-baking with your recipes. My mother has always used the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook circa 1950 pastry. I live in Adelaide, Australia, and many branded ingredients are not readily available (including, sadly, sour cherries and concord grapes).

I am having a problem with the bottom crust of my pies, in both single (family recipe of banana cream) and double crust pies (both apple, rosy apple cranberry, and peach - all from The Pie and Pastry Bible). Even when prebaked, and brushed with eggwhite, the crust becomes soggy, and is literally disolving by the time the pie is served. I have been using a baking stone, and a gas oven. Nonetheless, I find my pies have a "collar" of crust around the edges - and as the pastry is my favorite part, any help you can provide would be much appreciated!



how i loved my visit to adelaide. i would feel sorry for you not having sour cherries except that you have so many other fantastic ingredients we don't have here in america. but someday you must taste them!

re the soggy bottom pie crusts: have you tried baking directly on the floor of the oven for the first 20 minutes? i find that helps enormously. for the banana cream pie i would brush the baked pie shell with melted white or dark chocolate that creates an excellent seal for a cream filling.

for the fruit pies, if you are concentrating the juices as i recommend and baking on the floor of the oven for the first 20 minutes and still getting a dissolving pie crust i have to question the flour you are using. flour varies significantly from country to country. when i did a demo of strudel at the melbourne tasting australia event, the bakers there recommended a specific flour they knew would work well. it might be a good idea to ask one of the local bakers what flour they would recommend for pie crust. do let me know. i strongly believe that if a bottom pie crust is soggy and thereby not worthy eating it's better to do a top crust only!

Soggy Pot Pie Crusts--How to Avoid

Jan 05, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions


Feedback: Would you tell me if there is something to do to prepare a pie crust before baking a pot pie or juicy fruit pie to ensure the crust doesn't remain "doughy"?


i only use a top crust for that very reason!

Gummy Pie Crust

Dec 29, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions


Feedback: Why is the bottom piecrust always gummy and the sugar on the top crust won't stick?


for a detailed answer please see the blog entry on crisp bottom crusts located on the blog under november archives.

re sugar sticking to the top crust, you need to brush the dough first with milk or water.

Freezing Pies

Dec 17, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions

Linda Question:
Wanting to make raisin pies early for Christmas and not sure if they will freeze. Can you help as I hate to waste anything.

Rose Reply:
hope this reaches you in time but at least you’ll know for the future: you can freeze unbaked pies and add about 20 minutes to the baking time depending on how deep the filling is. it’s actually an advantage because the bottom crust starts baking before the filling thaws giving it a chance to get crisp and brown.

i wouldn’t freeze a baked pie because the dough loses much of its charm and all that remains is the filling and calories!

Making Caramel

Dec 17, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions

Mark Question:
Your Pie and Pastry Bible is my absolute favorite cookbook - quite thorough! I had a problem with the Boulders Tart that I was hoping you could help with. I couldn't get a caramel to form by simply adding the sugar and corn syrup. There simply wasn't enough liquid. I added water to accommodate and it worked fine, but I'm wondering what I'm missing. Thanks again for a wonderful resource!
Best, Mark

Rose Reply:
caramel is made by evaporating the water from the sugar. the more the water evaporates, the higher the temperature of the syrup aned ultimately the deeper the color of the caramel. i like to add a little extra water in the form of corn syrup or water to start the process of melting the sugar more evenly. the cornsyrup also helps to prevent crystallization. if you add extra water it will just take longer for the sugar to start caramelizing but if it works better for you that’s fine.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Dec 12, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions

Margaret Question:
Help! I have made excellent lemon meringue pies (no, I don't have your pie bible...just the cake book) and yesterday I made a double recipe for my son's 42nd. And it was much to sweet and did not set properly even though I am sure I used the right amount of cornstarch plus flour and cooked over boiling water for at least 20 minutes. Could I have overcooked it? The order lemon juice is added to the egg yolks is different in different recipes. Is there a physical / chemical reaction that could have impacted it's "set-up"? I was abit embarrassed as I am known as a good cook and baker. The meringue was fine and has not "wept" even after 24 hoursl.

Rose Reply:
lemon meringue is in the top 3 of my favorite pies. i hope it helps to know that the same thing happened to me when i was showing off my new pie plate to my cousins about 6 months ago! this is the first time in many years that this has happened and on thinking about it i realized that a double boiler is NOT a good idea bc cornstarch will not thicken completely until it reaches a boil and a double boiler prevents it from reaching this temperature. i suspect that bc you doubled the recipe and used the double boiler it did not get hot enough. also the lemon juice is best added AFTER thickening as the acidity can prevent the cornstarch from doing it's job!

if egg yolks don't reach a temperature of over 140 degrees F the thickening they provide actually reverses itself due to the enzyme amylase in the yolk which attacks the starch unless it's deactivated by adequate heat. whew! make it again soon so you won't be left with a sense of failure. it happens to everyone.

baking can be full of surprises. but mostly happy ones!

Pumpkin Pie

Nov 28, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions

Dustin Question:
A friend of mine brought a homemade pumpkin pie to our Thanksgiving dinner this evening, and it had a unappealing gray/green tinge to it. It smelled alright. I did not take a bite, but the other guests said it tasted fine. I just couldn't bring myself to try it. Of course, I whipped out my cookbooks, food chemistry books, and looked Online to see what I could find, but was unsuccessful. Do you have any idea what could have caused this?

Thank you!


Rose Reply:
this is a stretch but since this happened to me over 40 years ago i'll share this story/explanation: i was making an angel pie from the old joy of cooking and when i got to the part where it said: ïf you need to know more about egg cookery see page..."

i ignored this and used my aluminum saucepan to cook the egg yolk mixture which turned a sort of chartreuse which sounds a bit like the pumpkin pie in question. most people don't have aluminum pans anymore so books don't even warn you about this, but maybe the pumpkin pie filling was mixed in an aluminum pan. find out and get back to us.

maybe someone else will have another suggestion as to possible cause! but had i turned to the page suggested i would have read that egg yolk reacts to aluminum causing it to turn an unsightly color. it is for this reason that i put warnings in the cake bible right on the page where the recipe is written so that it can't be ignored!

Pie and Tarts

Nov 28, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions

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.


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.

How to Get a Crisp Brown Bottom Pie Crust

Nov 20, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions


I love to bake and have done so successfully for many years. The one thing I can't seem to do is to get a bottom pie crust to brown. I have used a Pyrex pie pan, a Pampered Chef ceramic pan, a French ceramic pan and a shiny metal pan. I have tried a number of pie crust recipes, too! Please help..Thanksgiving is coming, and I always make an apple pie. Thanks


i feel strongly that if a bottom pie crust is soggy there is no point in having more than a top crust on the pie! i addressed this in my book "the pastry bible" where i give the technique for juicy pies of letting the fruit sit with the sugar to leach out the juices and then reduce them and return them to the fruit. this way you only need to use about one-third of the thickening agent which results in a more pure fruit taste and you won't be left with a pool of fruit juices on the bottom of a soggy crust after baking the pie.

but this alone will not brown the crust. to achieve this, i bake the pie directly on the floor of the oven for the first 20 minutes of baking and then raise it to the bottom shelf. different ovens bake differently so you may need to leave it on the floor of the oven for a longer time. the best way to find out is to use a pyrex plate the first time you do this so you can see through it and gauge when sufficient browning has taken place. if your oven is electric and has coils on the bottom, the best alternative is to use a baking stone on the lowest shelf and preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes to ensure that it is heated fully.

i have recently designed and produced a special pie plate that is ceramic with deeply fluted sides to create a beautiful border effortlessly. it also does a great job of even browning of the bottom crust.

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