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May 3, 2004 03:42 PM

Why didn't my strawberry pie set?

  • t

Yesterday, I attempted to make a strawberry pie using the attached recipe. Since I decided to buy a pre-made graham cracker crust, all I needed to do was make the filling.

I followed the linked recipe, which seemed very similar to others I saw on and in a couple cookbooks. I substituted Amaretto for brandy, but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter.

After letting the filling cool for 30 minutes and chilling the pie for 7 hours, I ended up with strawberry soup. And the soup had a slightly chalky taste.


I wonder if 1) I actually had too many strawberries? (2 quarts) or if 2) 5 minutes on medium heat was not enough time to allow the mixture to thicken and, thus, it never set?

Thanks for any help.


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  1. First, let's make sure you really only used 1/4 c. total liquid (3T liquor, 1T water) and one cup of sugar. There shouldn't be enough liquid to even make soup. 2 quarts of strawberries sounds about right, was there A LOT of extra water on them after cleaning them? If you did use exactly the right amount of liquid and cornstarch, then did it get visibly thicker after 5 minutes, or did you just quit at 5 minutes? My guess is you needed to cook it longer, particularly considering the chalky taste, which sounds to me like uncooked cornstarch.

    1. The recipe looks fine. Walk yourself mentally through all your measurements. If they're all correct, then your problem really is is an undercooked filling.

      When dealing with cornstarch, you usually cook, stirring, until it comes to a gentle boil. Very soon after that, the mixture should be clear and thick. That may take 5 minutes, it may take longer.

      Cornstarch mixtures are not done until the whiteness from the cornstarch has cleared and they have thickened noticeably.

      1. c
        Caitlin McGrath

        It sounds as if you didn't bring your strawberry mixture to a boil, which you must do if using cornstrach in order for it to thicken.

        1. Well, I guess I didn't bring the mixture to a boil. Something not spelled out in the recipe and something I didn't know.

          Thanks so much for taking the time to help.

          2 Replies
          1. re: T in DC
            Caitlin McGrath

            Yes, I noticed the recipe didn't specify to bring the mixture to a boil, just to "cook until thickened." Bad recipe writing, definitely!

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              I've made strawberry pies for years and yes you bring it to a clear boil. I just came across my first pies not setting though.I'm torn and debating on what happened? Guess they going in the freezer.