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Thanks to the hard work of Willie Prejean for proving this information

Ingredient functions, pie doughs and pie fillings, plus mixing and make-up demonstrations.

INTRODUCTION

The average American has a wide choice of desserts, with pies undoubtedly being the number one choice. To qualify as the true favorite of American desserts, pie must be be of top quality. In order to be able to produce quality pies, it is essential tha the baker know what each ingredient does, why they are used and how they are used.  

 CLASSIFICATION OF PIES
Pies are generally classified into three main classifications as follows: Double Crust Pies such as Fruit Filled Pies, Baked Custard Pies, and Pre-Baked Shell Type Pies.

PIE CRUSTS:
Pie crusts are divided into three main classifications such as: 

  • LONG FLAKE:
    To produce a long flake, the flour and shortening are mixed only until the fat is about the size of walnuts.
  • SHORT FLAKE:
    To produce a short flake, the flour and shortening are mixed until the fat is the size of peas.
  • MEALY TENDER CRUST:
    To produce a mealy tender crust, the flour and fat are mixed until there are very few fat particles. 

Slight variations or combinations of the three mixing methods listed above are used by some bakers. Also, the dough may be mixed by hand or by using the Pastry Blender Attachment when using a mixing machine. If a Pastry Blender Attachment is not available the Mixing Paddle can be used. When using the mixing machine, extra care must be used to prevent overmixing the flour and fat together and also after the water has been added. 

PIE DOUGH INGREDIENTS: 

  • FLOUR:
    Flour is the main structure builder in pie doughs. Pastry flour generally produces superior pie doughs, however, a combination of 60 percent bread flour and 40 percIent cake flour can produce quality pies if the dough is mixed properly. If all bread flour is used, the dough will shrink excessively when baked and the crust will be tough.
    On the other hand, if all cake flour is used, the amount of shortening used must be reduced otherwise, the dough will be very difficult to handle during make-up.
  • SHORTENING:
    Shortening is responsible for flakiness, tenderness, taste, palatability and keeping quality of the crust. Shortening may be animal, vegetable or a blend of animal and vegetable. Butter, margarine, and lard produced from hog fat, are highly flavored. Many years ago, lard was the favorite of bakers. Today, bakers use a combination of lard and vegetable shortening. Too high a percentage of shortening in the formula will result in excessive tenderness of the crust and too low a percentage will produce a tough crust.
  • SALT:
    Salt enhances the flavor of other ingredients. Salt also has a strengthening effect upon the flour proteins which is desirable.
  • COLORING AGENTS:
    Coloring agents are generally used to to assist in developing the golden brown crust color during baking. For example when sugars and milk are used in pie dough, they carmelize during baking. The disadvantage of using these ingredients is that they tend to destroy the flake and increase moisture absorption in the crust after baking. Some bakers use a pie wash such as a mixture of equal parts of water and eggs which has been beaten slightly with a wire whip. Milk and eggs or melted butter can also be used. The wash is painted on or sprayed on the top of the pie just before loading them into the oven. The wash containing eggs produce a shiny glazed surface to the crust, but they tend to make the crust soggy. Butter produces a more tender crust, but the crust will not have a glaze, and will tend to be dull in color.
  • WATER:
    Water dissolves the salt, developes the flour proteins, and controls the consistency and temperature of the dough. Excessive water in the dough is undersible because it takes longer to bake the crust, and toughens the crust.
  • NOTE: WATER USED IN THE DOUGH SHOULD BE ICE COLD TO PREVENT SOFTENING THE FAT IN THE DOUGH. IF TIME PERMITS, THE MIXED DOUGH SHOULD BE CHILLED IN THE REFRIGERATOR SLIGHTLY. THIS WILL ASSIST IN KEEPING THE DOUGH FROM BEING STICKY DURING MAKE-UP. 

PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS:

Although an attractive, tender, flaky, golden brown crust with good flavor, taste and aroma is necessary, a quality, attractive and tasty filling will in the end determine the final quality of the pie.

NOTE:

Some well known bakery ingredient manufacturers make available to the baker high quality prepared fruit pie fillings and cream pie fillings. Bakers use these prepared mixes to save time and labor costs. For those bakers who prefer to prepare their own pie dough and pie filling formulas, the following information can be used as a guide.  

PIE DOUGH BAKER’S PERCENTAGE RANGE SHOWING MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF EACH INGREDIENT THAT SHOULD BE USED IN THE FORMULA 

Ingredients Minimum Maximum
Flour

100

100

Shortening

50

75

Salt

3

4

Sugar

0

10

Milk, Dry Nonfat

0

5

Ice Water

20

50

PIE DOUGH TRUE PERCENTAGE RANGE SHOWING MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF EACH INGREDIENT THAT SHOULD BE USED IN THE FORMULA

Ingredients Minimum Maximum
Flour

44

50

Shortening

24

32

Salt

0.5

1.0

Sugar

0

3

Milk, Dry Nonfat

0

2

Ice Water

15

24

FRUIT PIE FILLING TRUE PERCENTAGE RANGE SHOWING MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF EACH INGREDIENT THAT SHOULD BE USED IN THE FORMULA 

Ingredients Minimum Maximum
Sugar

15

25

Salt

0

0.25

Glucose Syrup

0

20

Cornstarch

3

4

Fruit

35

50

Juice or Water

30

45

Butter

0

1.5

CREAM PIE FILLING TRUE PERCENTAGE RANGE SHOWING MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF EACH INGREDIENT THAT SHOULD BE USED IN THE FORMULA 

Ingredients Minimum Maximum
Sugar

15

25

Salt

0.125

0.25

Eggs or Yolk

10

20

Milk, Nonfat Dry

0

10

Chocolate

5

7

Cocoa

3

4

Cornstarch

4

5

Fruit Juice & Rind

4.5

6.5

Butter

0

3

CREAM TYPE PIES

Cream for Cream Type Pies are generally poured into pre-baked pie shells and topped with Meringue. There are several methods of prepaing meringue, however the use of a cooked type meringue is recommended, because the meringue is more stable and will not break down or weep during storage or when chilled in the refrigerator. The meringue is made using a commercially prepared special stabalizer or with a cooked cornstarch mixture. 

THE FORMULA FOR THE COOKED MERINGUE INCLUDING INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO PREPARE IT IS INCLUDED LATER ON IN THIS PAGE 

CUSTARD PIE FILLING TRUE PERCENTAGE RANGE SHOWING MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF EACH INGREDIENT THAT SHOULD BE USED IN THE FORMULA 

Ingredients Minimum Maximum
Sugar

16

20

Salt

0.125

0.25

Eggs or Yolk

10

20

Milk, Nonfat Dry

5

8

Spices

0.125

7

Cocoa

0.125

0.5

Cornstarch

0

1.5

Pumpkin

28

36

Butter

0

1.5

CORNSTARCHES

THERE ARE SEVERAL TYPES OF STARCHES AVAILABLE TO THE PIE BAKER FOR THICKENING THE FRUIT JUICES AND OR MILK AND WATER.

  • PURE FOOD POWDERED STARCH:
    A pure refined corn starch prepared from ordinary field corn. This type of starch is not as stable as the Waxy Maise Starch and will break down and become watery after long storage or when used to thicken fruit juices containing a high acid content such as cherry or pineapple juices. It contains amylase and amylopectin. It can be modified to increase it’s clarity and stability.
  • WAXY STARCH:
    This type of starch is refined and modified. It is prepared from waxy maise. This is an exceptionally clear, gel-producing starch with a short tender body and extreme stability. Waxy starches generally swell faster than other starches, but they also become thinner during cooking. The cooked filling will not get thicker when the pie cools as does that made with regular starch.
  • PRE-GELATINIZED STARCH (COLD WATER STARCH):
    This starch is generally know as INSTANT STARCH. It does not require cooking. The juice is drained from the fruit. If insufficient juices are present in the fruit, water can be added to make up the shortage. All the dry ingredients (starch, sugar,salt, spiced, etc.) of the filling are blended together thoroughly in a dry mixing bowl. Add the liquids (juices and water when used) gradually to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Carefully fold drained fruit into thickened mixture. Chill filling in refrigerator until ready to be used.

Regardless of the type of starch used, the prepared filling should be chilled in the refrigerator before being used to reduce the possibility of the filling boiling out of the pie during baking. Generally if the oven is heated to about 450 degrees F before the pie is loaded into the oven, the crust will be fully baked before the filling gets hot enough to come to a boil and spill out of the pie.

  • TAPAIOCA STARCH:
    This type of starch is also used in pie fillings by some bakers.

One of the characteristics of all starches is their ability to swell when cooked in water or fruit juices. They become gelatinized and in turn cause the mixture to be thickend.

FRUIT USED IN PIES: THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF FRUITS WILL PRODUCE QUALITY PIES IF PROCESSED PROPERLY: 

  • FRESH FRUIT:
    Wash, drain and mix into a slurry of cooked starch, sugar, salt, drained juice and water plus any spices or other ingredients such as lemon juice, and butter that may used. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • FROZEN FRUIT:
    Thaw, drain the juice, cook a slurry of drained juice and water, starch, sugar and salt, etc. and mix the fruit into the slurry. NOTE: If sugar has been added to the fruit, this must be taken into consideration. Excess sugar in the recipe will interfere with the ability of the starch to form a gel.
  • CANNED FRUIT:
    Drain the juice, if insufficient juice is present, add water to make up the shortage. Cook a slurry of drained juice, water when added, starch, sugar, salt and other ingredients when used. Then mix the fruit into the cooked mixture.
  • DEHYDRATED AND DRIED FRUITS:
    Reconstitute, cook into a slurry as for other types of fruits and mix the fruit into the cooked mixture. Today, dried fruits are not shriviled as they once were. They should be considered fresh fruit from which water has been removed. Years ago when dried fruits were used, it was necessary to soak them in water for 8 hours or overnight. Today that is no longer necessary. Quick cooking is the secret to producing quality pies from dried fruits without ending up with broken, mashed, or dark or yellow unpleasant color.

FOLLOWING AREA FEW FRUIT PIE FILLING FORMULAS USING REGULAR STARCHES AND FILLINGS USING COLD WATER STARCHES (INSTANT STARCHES) APPLE PE FILLING USING NO. 10 CAN CANNED APPLES AND COOKING WITH REGULAR STARCH

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
JUICE OR WATER

2

0

PROCEDURE: BRING WATER TO BOIL 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
STARCH

0

3-1/2

WATER

0

6

PROCEDURE: SUSPEND STARCH IN WATER. ADD TO BOILING WATER STIRRING CONSTANTLY. COOK UNTIL THICK AND CLEAR 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
SUGAR

0

12

SUGAR, BROWN

0

12

SALT

0

0-1/4TH

CINNAMON

0

0-1/4TH

BUTTER

0

4

LEMON JUICE

0

0-1/2

PROCEDURE: MIX DRY INGREDIENTS TOGETHER, ADD TO COOKED SLURRY. STIR UNTIL SUGAR AND SALT ARE DISSOLVED AND THE BUTTER IS MELTED.
NOTE: BUTTER IS OPTIONAL. ADD LEMON JUICEAND THEN POUR COOKED SLURRY OVER FRUIT AND BLEND CAREFULLY. CHILL FILLING IN REFRIGERATOR
UNTIL READY TO BE USED.

APPLE PIE FILLING USING NO.10 CANNED APPLES AND USING COLD WATER STARCH (INSTANT STARCH)

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
SUGAR

0

12

SUGAR, BROWN

0

12

SALT

0

0-1/4TH

CINNAMON

0

0-1/4TH

 

 

 

 
PROCEDURE: BLENDALL DRY INGREDIENTS THOROUGHLY IN A DRY BOWL.

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
JUICE OR WATER

2

0

BUTTER

0

4

LEMON JUICE

0

0-1/2

 

 

 

PROCEDURE: GRADUALLY ADD WATER TO THE DRY MIXTURE ABOVE STIRRING CONSTANTLY UNTIL SMOOTH. ADD LEMON JUICE AND STIR INTO THE MIXTURE. POUR THICKENED MIXTURE OVER APPLES AND FOLD IN GENTLY. CHILL FILLING UNTIL READY TO BE USED. 

CHERRY PIE FILLING USING NO. 10 CAN CANNED CHERRIES AND COOKING WITH REGULAR STARCH

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
JUICE

2

0

 


PROCEDURE:
BRING JUICE TO BIOL

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
STARCH

0

4-1/2

WATER

0

6

PROCEDURE: SUSPEND STARCH IN WATER. ADD TO BOILING WATER STIRRING CONSTANTLY. COOK UNTIL THICK AND ORIGINAL COLOR IS OBTAINED. SHUT OFF HEAT. 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
SUGAR

2

8

SALT

0

0-1/4TH

BUTTER

0

4

LEMON JUICE

0

0-1/2

PROCEDURE: MIX DRY INGREDIENTS TOGETHER, ADD TO COOKED SLURRY. STIR UNTIL SUGAR AND SALT ARE DISSOLVEDAND THE BUTTER IS MELTED.
NOTE: BUTTER AND LEMON JUICE ARE OPTIONAL. ADD LEMON JUICE AND THEN POUR COOKED SLURRY OVER FRUITAND BLEND CAREFULLY. CHILL IN REFRIGERATOR UNTIL READY TO BE USED.

CHERRY PIE FILLING USING NO.10 CANNED CHERRIES AND USING COLD WATER STARCH (INSTANT STARCH) 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
SUGAR

2

8

SALT

0

0-1/4TH

INSTANT STARCH

0

4-1/2

PROCEDURE: BLEND ALL DRY INGREDIENTS THOROUGHLY IN A DRY BOWL. 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
JUICE

2

0

BUTTER

0

4

LEMON JUICE

0

0-1/2

PROCEDURE: GRADUALLY ADD JUICE TO THE DRY MIXTURE ABOVE STIRRING CONSTANTLY UNTIL SMOOTH. ADD LEMON JUICE AND STIR INTO THE MIXTURE. LEMON JUICE AND BUTTER ARE OPTIONAL. POUR THICKENED MIXTURE OVER CHERRIES AND FOLD IN GENTLY. CHILL FILLING UNTIL READY TO BE USED.

PIE DOUGH FORMULA

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
PASTRY FLOUR

5

5

SALT

0

3

SUGAR

0

3-1/2

DRY MILK

0

1

SHORTENING

3

4

PROCEDURE: SIFT ALL DRY INGREDIENTS TOGETHER. BLEND SHORTENINGAND DRY INGREDIENTS TO ABOUT THE SIZE OF PEAS WITH THE PASTRY BLENDER ATTACHMENT. THIS WILL PRODUCE A SHORT FLAKE PIE CRUST. IF A LONG FLAKE IS DESIRED, BLEND THE SHORTENING AND DRY INGREDIENTS TO ABOUT THE SIZE OF WALNUTS. TO PRODUCE A MEALY PIE CRUST, BLEND THE SHORTENING AND DRY INGREDIENTS UNTIL VERY FEW LUMPS REMAIN. 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
ICE WATER

2

0

 PROCEDURE: DEMONSTRATING MIXING PIE DOUGH USING THE PASTRY BLENDER ATTACHMENT 

Mixing pie dough by machine using the Pastry Blender Attachment. If PASTRY BLENDER ATTACHMENT is not available, use the MIXING PADDLE ATTACHMENT, but be very careful not to overblend the dry ingredients and the shortening. Also don’t overmix the dough after the water has been added. The dough can also be mixed by hand. 

  • Cutting pie dough mass with hand scraper prior to forming dough into a cylinder.
  • Forming dough into a cylinder prior to scaling dough into individual size pieces.
  • Hand scaling dough pieces for bottom and top crusts.

NOTE: In large bakeries scaling of dough pieces is accomplished automatically using special machines 

  • Hand rolling pie dough using small rolling pin.
  • Machine rolling pie dough pieces.

NOTE: Some bakeries mass produce pies using automatic pie making machines where the dough is never touched by human hands. There are also bakeries that have semi-automatic pie making machines where some procedures require that the baker do some of the work. 

  • After the bottom crust has been placed in the pie pan, the edges of the pie dough are painted with egg wash to assist the top crust to seal to the bottom crust.
  • Hand filling pie shell with prepared and chilled cherry pie filling. In large pie making operations this procedure is accomplished automatically by machine.
  • Trimming the excess dough from the pie after the top crust has been docked to let steam out of the pie and placed on top of the pie. If the top is not docked, the steam created during baking will force the top crust to break away from the bottom crust.
  • The pie making machine shown is capable of producing 50 or more fruit pies per minute automatically. The machine is made by the Colborne Manufacturing Co. There are other manufacturers of automatic pie making machines.
  • Removing excess dough for making custard pies such as pecan and pumpkin pies, etc. 

PECAN PIE FORMULA 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Sugar, granulated

1

0

Cake Flour

1

0

SALT

0

0-1/2

Nutmeg

0

0-1/2

Eggs

6

8

Karo syrup

10

0

PROCEDURE: Place all above ingredients into mixing bowl and beat in low speed with wire whip until well mixed. 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Water

2

0

Vanilla

0

0-1/2

PROCEDURE: Add water and vanilla to above mixture and continue beating in slow speed for about 2 minutes. or until well mixed. Place 0-1/2 Cup macaroon cocoanut into bottom of unbaked pie shell (OPTIONAL). Also Add 1 to 1-1/2 cups of fresh pecans to the unbaked pie shell. Place unbaked pie shells containing cocoanut and pecan in 350 degree to 400 degree F. oven. Fill unbaked pie shell containing cocanut and pecan with prepared pecan pie filling. Bake about 30 minutes or until filling has set.

PUMPKIN PIE FORMULA 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Sugar, brown

3

0

Salt

0

0-1/4th

Cinnamon

0

0-1/4th

Nutmeg

0

0-1/4th

Ginger

0

0-1/4th

Milk, dry

0

8

PROCEDURE: Place all above dry ingredients into mixing bowl and mix together.

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Eggs, slightly beaten

1

12

PROCEDURE: Add slightly beaten eggs to above dry ingredients and mix in. 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Water

4

0

PROCEDURE: Add water to above mixture and mix in 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Pumpkin

5

0

PROCEDURE: Add pumpkin to above mixture and mix thoroughly. Place unbaked pie shells in 350 degree to 400 degrees F. oven. Fill unbaked pie shells with pumpkin pie filling. Bake about 30 minutes or until filling has set. 

  • Filling pecan pies or pumpkin pies after the unbaked shells have been loaded into the oven.
  • Docking pie dough for pre-baked pie shell such as for chocolate cream pies, lemon chiffon pies, coconut cream pies, etc.
  • Trimming excess dough from pie dough that has been docked for pre-baked pie shell. Purpose of docking the dough is to prevent the crust from raising away from the pie plate and to prevent large bubbles from forming.

FOLLOWING IS A FORMULA FOR FRESH LEMON CHIFFON PIE.

NOTE: After the meringue has been folded into the hot fresh lemon filling, and the pre-baked pie shell filled, the pie can be finished off by crumbling some pre-baked pie crust into a sifter and forcing it through the sifter and sifted on top of the pie. The top of the pie can be garnished by placing a MARASCHINO CHERRY in the center of the pie. If desired, rather than adding pie crumbs on top of the pie, meringue can be applied and browned off in the oven.

LEMON CHIFFON PIE FILLING 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
WATER

15

0

PROCEDURE: Bring water to boil

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
CORNSTARCH

2

2

WATER

3

0

PROCEDURE: Suspend starch in water and add to boiling water stirring constantly and cook until mixture is thick and clear. 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
SUGAR

9

0

SALT

0

0-3/4th

BUTTER

0

12

PROCEDURE: Add to cooked mixture and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved and the butter is melted. 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
EGGYOLKS

3

0

PROCEDURE: Beat egg yolks slightly. Pour 1/4th of the cooked mixture over slightly beaten egg yolks and mix thoroughly with hand wire whip. Pour the egg mixture back into the steam kettle containing 3/4th of the cooked mixture stirring constantly and bring to a boil again. Cut off heat.WASH 30 LEMONS, and grate the rind from the lemons. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and add the grated rind to the juice. Add juice and rind to the cooked mixture. DO NOT HEAT AFTER JUICE HAS BEEN ADDED OR THE ACID IN THE JUICE WILL BREAK DOWN THE STARCH.

NOTE: THE MERINGUE FOR THE CHIFFON PIES ( BELOW ) SHOULD BE PREPARED AT THE SAME TIME THAT THE FILLING IS BEING COOKED. THE MERINGUE SHOULD BE FOLDED GENTLY INTO THE COOKED MIXTURE WHILE THE FILLING IS STILL HOT. POUR THE CHIFFON FILLING IN PRE-BAKED PIE SHELLS WHILE FILLING IS STILL HOT.

FORMULA AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREPARING COOKED MERINGUE 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
WATER

1

8

PROCEDURE: BRING WATER TO BOIL 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Starch

0

3

Water

0

6

PROCEDURE: Suspend starch in water, add to boiling water and cook until thick and clear 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Sugar

2

10

PROCEDURE: Add sugar to cooked mixture and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Egg Whites

1

12

Salt

0

0-1/4th

PROCEDURE: Add salt to egg whites. Beat eggs in medium speed until a peak is formed on the finger when it is dipped into the whites and withdrawn. Pour hot cooked mixture over beaten eggs in slow stream while continuing beating until the mixture forms a peak when a finger is dipped into the beaten mixture and withdrawn. 

Ingredients Pounds Ounces
Vanilla

0

0-1/4th

PROCEDURE: Add vanilla to meringue and stir in. Apply on top of Cream Pie or chiffon pie while meringue is still warm. Bake at 375 Degrees F. until golden brown.
NOTE: THIS MERINGUE WILL NOT BREAK DOWN AND BECOME WATERY. 

  • Filling pre-baked pie shell with cream or chiffon pie filling directly from the steam kettle.
  • Spreading meringue on top of cream pie or chiffon pie using spatula.
  • Three types of pies, pre-baked pie shell filled with Cream Filling or Chiffon Filling and topped with meringue, Double Crust Cherry Fruit Pie, and One Crust Custard Pie (Pumpkin Pie).
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