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Jun 21, 2007 12:17 PM

Fresh Rhubarb Pie - best thickener?

Today I made a fresh rhubarb pie. After it had thoroughly cooled my husband and I had a nice cup of tea and cut into the delicious looking pie. Everything was perfect except the filling. It was very very soupy. I have always had trouble thickening fruit pies. I used sugar, flour and 1 egg in the filling for this pie. What do you use to thicken a fruit pie? Do you find that cornstarch, or tapioca is better than flour? I am going to make another one probably tomorrow and I will try a different recipe. Any tips would be appreciated.

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  1. My mom swears by tapioca in her rhubarb pies - man, you just made my mouth water. I haven't been home during rhubarb season since I can't remember when....

    2 Replies
    1. re: schoenick

      Even though the pie was kind of soupy, boy did it taste good!! I am lucky to have a small rhubarb patch in my garden.

      1. re: schoenick

        It is what I always use. Minute Tapioca for juicy fruit pies. When peach season comes I am going to try grinding it to fine powder. I have occasionally have had the tapioca not completely dissolve,

      2. I'm getting cranked up about potato starch, though for health reasons I have to go easy with it. Besides being a great starch for coating fried foods, it's a wonderful thickener, since it dissolves even in cold water. I have not tried it as a pie thickener yet, but as the stone-fruit crop is supposed to be brilliant this year I'm sure I'll get lots of practice!

        4 Replies
          1. re: smartie

            I prefer Minute Tapoica for very juicy pies as rhubarb tends to be. If yo are going to try arrowroot be aware it loses it's thickening power if it cooks too long. So in a rhubarb pie unless you cook the filling first and then add the arrowroot just before pouring into the crust you can end up with a soupier pie than you started out with.

            1. re: Candy

              Candy, how long do you have before arrowroot goes soupy? I've never had that happen, but I also don't usually bake pies or cobblers slowly at low heat.

              1. re: amyzan

                Actually very little time. Once it comes to a boil it will start to lose thickneing power. It is not a thickeneing agent I would use for pastry

        1. I like cornstarch for rhubarb, but flour is fine. The egg is a liquid which, given normal proportions, would make the filling somewhat creamy. You don't need it. Rhubarb is low in pectin. Add a little lemon, which will aid the gel.

          1 Reply
          1. re: janeer

            I also would have said you do not need the egg. As 'janeer' said, "add a little lemon," and just a touch of flour - maybe even dredging/mixing the rhubarb in the flour as we do with blueberry pie. I'm still harvesting rhubarb from my garden, a few stalks every night, here in New England. Love it!!

          2. I would use arrowroot or tapioca flour, mixed in with the sugar, then sprinkle lemon juice over the filling once it's in the shell. I've never used an egg in rhubarb pie filling, don't know why you'd need that or how it would contribute? It's also good to let them cool thoroughly before cutting into them, very hard to wait! Congrats on your rhubarb patch! I only have one plant left from five I planted several years ago. They don't seem to like the extreme temperatures here.

            1. My mom swears by arrowroot, but in a pinch I've recently used both sweet rice flour (mochiko) and kudzu flour, both with good results. (All three have a relatively "neutral" taste, unlike cornstarch, and don't get gummy like wheat flour)