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Nov 17, 2008 08:36 AM

need recipe for pie using frozen fruit

Hi all,

I tried to make a 3 berry pie using frozen fruit, but the recipe wasn't clear about how long to thaw the fruit before stirring it into a boiled cornstarch mixture of water, lemon juice, and vanilla. The filling set up too much and the result was a pie that didn't taste bad, but had a rubbery texture, a little too gelled. I also overbaked the crust, so the whole thing was a flop. Does anyone have any fool proof, good recipes using frozen fruit? I need to know how long to thaw and what thickener would be best. I'd like to make a blueberry/raspberry/peach pie using all frozen fruit.

Thanks for your help. With the holidays coming up, I'd like to be bring something to company dinners that looks nice and tastes really good. Oh yes, one other thing. I plan to make a crumble topping for the pie rather than a 2 crust pie. Any good topping recipes???

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  1. Why not just thaw the fruit till it is, well, thawed? You should be able to judge that for yourself, without the recipe telling you how long it will take. A time estimate might help you plan ahead, but there are a lot of variables. How cold is your freezer? how warm the room? Is the fruit packed solid, or loose? In the bag or out, etc. You shouldn't have to thaw the fruit immediately before baking. It'll keep, thawed, in the fridge for part of a day if not more.

    1. First of all, there's no need to thaw the fruit before making a pie. Here's what I do when I use frozen fruit:

      For a 9-inch-ish pie, you'll need about 5 cups of fruit - whatever you're using. Quickly toss it with about 3/4 cup sugar (adjust to suit your taste and the sweetness of the fruit), 2 tbsp. of flour, 2 tbsp. of cornstarch (omit if using apple or other not-so-juicy fruit), and any spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, whatever). Place in the unbaked pastry shell and cover with top crust or streusel crumbs (recipe follows). Place on the bottom rack of your oven and bake immediately at 375o for 50 to 75 minutes - you'll have to poke a toothpick or knife into the fruit to really tell whether it's cooked or not. The juice from the fruit should be bubbling around the edges of the crumble topping and look clear-ish.

      That's it. You'll have a pie that's perfectly cooked, not overly gelled nor watery. Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste - that's the biggest variable in this recipe.

      Streusel topping
      1 cup flour
      1/2 cup butter
      1/2 cup light brown sugar
      1/2 tsp. cinnamon

      Cut together very well by hand or pulse with a food processor until the mixture becomes stuck-together crumbles. Sprinkle on top of pie before baking. Makes enough for 1 pie.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve

        I second Nyleve's report. This is how I make my fruit pies throughout the winter, when I'm using fruit I've frozen during the summer. Placing the pie on the bottom rack of your oven is key to getting a nice bottom crust. You can also prebake your bottom crust at 425 for 10-15 minutes if you're concerned about a soggy crust, but make sure you cover your edges with foil. Another alternative is to bake the pie on a preheated, heavy duty baking sheet, but I've found just putting it on the bottom rack works just fine.

        1. re: RosemaryHoney

          Good idea. Actually, I wondered if I could prebake the bottom crust, but wasn't sure about time and temp. I think I'll do this as my crust was a little soggy on the bottom.

        2. re: Nyleve

          That's perfect! We have been cleaning out my fridge to make room for thanksgiving! I'm making a old frozen black and blueberry crumble with the random bags of smoothie berries that are seriously old! better than tossing them out =)

          1. re: jeniyo

            You may want to look at this thread, which I started yesterday. Same issue: I was trying to make room in my freezer before stocking up for Thanksgiving.


          2. re: Nyleve

            I just copied your recipe. It seems so easy compared to waiting 45 minutes for my fruit to thaw, at room temp,draining the juice, then cooking, tossing, etc. The streussel topping sounds really good, too. Many thanks!!

          3. I am joining this thread because for the second time I bought frozen mixed berries at Costco planning to make a few pies, and I wondered if anyone had devised a good recipe for using them. The first time I did it I had the same experience as addicted2cake, using my tried-and-true berry pie recipe, for which I had always used fresh berries. I think the problem is that the quick-freeze process must take a lot of moisture out of the berries, so that it's not necessary to use as much thickener as usual. I always use tapioca. I guess I'll experiment with using less this time, and try to err on the side of a runny pie rather than risk the gummy version. And if I have success I'll let you know!

            1. I think this Cook's Illustrated Raspberry Chiffon Pie recipe is what you're looking for.