Wild blueberry pie question

Discussion in 'Desserts' started by dogdog4, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. dogdog4

    dogdog4 New Member

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    I'm wanting to make a blueberry pie with Wyman's frozen wild blueberries and use ClearJel as a thickener. I've had 2 failures where the blueberries are basically soup.

    First time I mixed all ingredients including ClearJel without thawing the berries and baked for about an hour. It was a mess.

    Second time I tried thawing the berries first and then mixing with the other ingredients. Same mess.

    I'm using about 1/3 cup ClearJel, 1 cup sugar, a little lemon juice, and 2 lbs of frozen berries.

    Any help or a recipe suggestion using frozen berries and ClearJel would be great.

    Thanks!
     
    dogdog4, Aug 28, 2017
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  2. dogdog4

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I've come to realize that blueberries in pie are unpredictable. You do your best, then hope for the best, and what comes out of the oven is what comes out of the oven.

    Are you using INSTANT clearjel or clearjel. They are not the same. Clearjel is for canning. You cannot use INSTANT clearjel in canning because it cannot be heated twice.

    INSTANT clearjel is for pie fillings. It's designed to thicken without heat. INSTANT clearjel is the one used in pie filling.
    • Use 2 1/2 teaspoons INSTANT clearjel for every cup of fruit.
    • Mix to just blend sugar, spices, INSTANT clearjel
    • Measure your FROZEN fruit in a dry weight volume cup, place in a large bowl
    • Pour the sugar thickener mix over the FROZEN berries, then just stir to coat. Be easy.
    • Let sit 15 minutes, but no more than 20 minutes since the you want the fruit to remain frozen
    • Stir. If there is liquid at the bottom, look to see how thick it is. This will give you and indication of whether you need to add more thickener. Frozen fruit is more difficult to assess at it may not give up much juice while it sits. Last batch of blueberry pies I made, it was actually a tap bit too much thickener. There was no juice in the bowl of frozen berries, so I had nothing to use as a gauge.
    • Pour filling into pie crust and bake.
    I like to keep my pie plate on the freezer while the berries rest. I think a frozen crust bakes better.
    Make sure you bake hot. I prefer to bake my pies at 400°. At minimum bake at 375°.375°
    I place my rack at the lowest setting
    I heat the metal cookie sheet while the oven preheats. The hot cookie sheet helps keep the crust from getting soggy
    I only use good heavy metal pie plates now. I find glass is too slow to heat and you can't put it on a preheated metal cookie sheet. Ceramic is beautiful, but by the time it heats, everything is going to be soggy--sides and bottom.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 28, 2017
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  3. dogdog4

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    When I needed a gel stabilizer, I always used this stuff....

    [​IMG]

    It's not often I have ever used it, but it works....at least for me it did.
    I always tried to use different methods of pie making instead of adding more stuff to it to get it to set or harden.


    And never use frozen fruit or berries if you are making a pie. They will make more liquid than the pie can handle, and it will turn out soggy, super wet, or run out all over the oven.

    I like using dried fruit and berries. You can really control the liquid ratio then, and make your pie firm, medium firm, or soft. You can also use different kinds of liquids for different aspects of pie too. Like you can soak dried blueberries in pear juice over night, then drain them and use those. So you get a nice blueberry pie with a tinge of pear to it.
     
    ChesterV, Sep 8, 2017
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  4. dogdog4

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I just learned that there's actually a ratio of tapioca starch and sugar to the fruit that works perfectly.

    Last week the Serious Eats email newsletter included a piece on blueberry pie. The piece was written by Stella Parks. The piece was about watery blueberry filling. Parks said for a perfectly set filling you need two ratios:

    Based on the WEIGHT of the fruit:
    5.5% tapioca STARCH -- not instant tapioca!
    25% sugar

    So of course I ran out to buy some blueberries and made pie to see if in fact this was correct. My test showed Parks was right!

    Pie 1: used the ratios of tapioca and sugar specified by Parks
    1lb (454g) wild blueberries
    .055 x 454 = 24.97. So 25g tapioca starch. I used Bob's Red Mill brand
    .25 x 454 = 113. So 113g cane sugar. I used C&H brand.

    PIE 1 was perfect! There was no runny juice. No seeping after cutting a slice out. Plus, the filling was still moist and not in the least gummy or gloopy.

    Pie 2: reduced the tapioca starch amount by 1%
    1lb (454g) wild blueberries
    .045 x 454 = 20.43. So 20g tapioca starch. I used Bob's Red Mill brand
    .25 x 454 = 113. So 113g cane sugar. I used C&H brand.

    PIE 2 was still quite nice, but the tiny 1% reduction made a filling that was just a tad loose. I wouldn't call it runny, but there was a bit of juice seeping after cutting a slice out. So 5.5% tapioca starch is very accurate

    Interestingly, i had been using about 5.5% tapioca in my pie filling. However I have been taught to use instant tapioca in a pie workshop. And instant tapioca is the type most baking sources, like King Arthur Flour, recommends. I'll never use instant tapioca again. Tapioca STARCH is the type to use.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 8, 2017
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