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How to prevent a too-juicy peach pie?

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I made peach pie yesterday. It looked great until I sliced it, and then a deluge of pink peach juice came out, drowning the pie crust and creating a deep pool on the plate. I don't mind a bit of juice (and hate gelatinous gloppy pies), but this was really just too juicy. (Otherwise tasty though!)

I followed a Bittman recipe that called for 1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch to be mixed with the sugar and spices for the peach filling. This was clearly not enough for the ripe peaches. I know I could just up the quantity, but wouldn't this make for a gloppy, cloudy filling?

Is tapioca any better? Should I just use flour? Or does a crumb topping make the pie drier? Should I let the peaches "bleed", reserving the juice?

Thanks for any tips you might have.

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  1. A couple of suggestions: toss the sliced peaches with sugar and let them sit a little while to see how much juice they throw off. If it's too much you can reduce it. Also, minute tapioca will give you a much more pleasing texture than cornstarch, in my opinion.

    Jim

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jim Washburn

      Exactly what I was going to suggest, I'm not a fan of cooking the filling before baking, but that might be another option. You could then scoop the peaches out and into the crust with a slotted spoon and add just enough juice but I think you will find the instant tapioca a better solution.

      1. re: Jim Washburn

        I agree about the tapioca---peach pie seems to one of those pies that is best baked with tapioca. Have you ever tried making a peach pie that isn't baked? You blind bake pie crust, add a layer of custard and sour cream and top with the freshest peaches you can find. A really great recipe and one of the best ways to show off fresh fruit. If you'd like the recipe, just let me know and I'll post it.

        1. re: jackie

          Sounds good! If you don't mind, do post the recipe, others might like to have it too. Thanks!

      2. The Pie and Pastry Bible has you sugar the peaches for an hour, collect the juices, and reduce them. Excellent, excellent pie and worth the cost of the book.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JudiAU

          Although i've never tried this technique, I've heard this is a good one as well. Keeps the fruit from getting stewed, but reduces the loads of watery juice problem.

          Smokey

          1. re: Smokey

            That sounds great, and I'll do that (as well as use tapioca instead of cornstarch) next time.

            1. re: Sir Gawain

              I use the Pie and Pastry Bible technique as well, and you get the added bonus of having your kitchen smell so good while the juice is being reduced.

        2. I've made peach crisps and free-form tarts/crostatas. Never done the macerating and reducing liquid technique, but that sounds promising. I've always used tapioca starch and baked on fairly high heat so that the juices can evaporate that way. Peaches are tricky though, as I find it hard to achieve the perfect balance of flavor and texture. Sometimes it tastes great but the filling is too mushy.

          BTW, I made your wonderful cake this weekend w/ peaches and pluots. It tasted very good, although the juiciness of the fruit made things a little more tricky this time. I will post later w/ a photo, my observations, and a question for you.

          1. I think you should try some different recipes until
            you find one that really works for you. If you start messing around with a recipe that didn't work, it could literally be a recipe for a nightmare.
            Maybe try foodnetwork.com and search peach pie.

            1. Double the corn starch. If you cook the pie long enough, you won't get a cloudy filling - and if the balance of corn starch/fruit isn't too off, then you won't get glutinous either. It's a fine line. You just have to figure out what it is.

              I also find that a crumb topping helps absorb the juice better than a top crust - thus a less liquidy filling.

              To be honest, I've made plenty of pies in my life and I just don't have time to drain the juice and then boil it down to reduce it, etc., etc., etc. I just want to throw everything together and get something good. I'm sure the pie and pastry bible would lead to a delicious pie but surely there are less time-intensive ways of creating something delicious.