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Oct 3, 2010 08:41 PM

soggy crusts

I blind bake both puff pastry and pie crusts, but the bottoms are still soggy after completion of the recipe. Would an eggwhite wash help?

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  1. It does help, but I think it really boils down to a good recipe and execution. What are you trying to bake?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jindomommy

      I'm making tarts. I do my own puff pastry and it the side crusts are very flaky --- just what I want. I do a plain tart with a rum/apricot jam base and fresh fruit -- I've also made them for a crowd with canned pears. Everything is good except the bottom part of the crust. The suggestion for a layer of chocolate sounds excellent.

    2. I find that baking in a pyrex pan really helps this problem for me.

      1. Egg white MAY help, but just how much will probably be determined by how much time passes before the last bite is gone. Something that WILL work is a thin layer of chocolate (white, milk or dark) on the bottom of the shell before it is filled. An apricot glaze is also a more traditional coating, but it has to have nearly all of the water cooked out of it so it is closer to being a candy than a jam. A fairly thin layer of Italian meringue will also slow the sogginess, but it won't stop it altogether over a longer period. In a word, what you need to do is create a moisture barrier between your shell and the filling. Good luck!.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Caroline1

          Caroline, would you just make a ganache coat the crust after the blind baking, then put the fruit on and bake as you would normally?


          1. re: dutchdot

            I don't think a ganache would work as well as just plain old melted chocolate, maybe tempered with a touch of butter, then painting it on the bottom of your puff pastry crust prior to filling and let the chocolate harden before filling. The problem with ganache, which is basically just 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 cream, is that it has too much fluid in it to work well as a moisture barrier. But who knows? I've never tried ganache as a moisture barrier. It MIGHT work?

            1. re: Caroline1

              Thanks. I'll do it your way. Sure fire is much better than MIGHT!

              1. re: dutchdot

                Enjoy! It's not "my" way. I learned it from a German baker. God, I miss him! '-)

              2. re: Caroline1

                adding butter does NOT temper chocolate!

                  1. re: dutchdot

                    temper chocolate? it's about heating and cooling the chocolate to specific temperature to alter the beta crystals in the chocolate. The result is a chocolate that cools to a glossy finish and snaps when you break it... think of a milk chocolate Hershey bar...

                    1. re: mollygirl

                      Yes. There are at least a couple of ways to temper chocolate. Either way takes a long time and is a lot of work, often involving the use of a large marble or granite slab. A minimum of 45 minutes if you're fast, or longer if you're not. HOWEVER, dutchdot only wants to use the chocolate to coat the bottom of a puff pastry shell, not to make shiny Easter bunnies or chocolate leaves. Adding a dot of butter to melted chocolate will help it keep its glossy appearance when cooled without the extra hour's work. In fact, since she will be adding a filling on top of the chocolate and only using the chocolate as a moisture barrier, she needn't bother with the butter. Who will know if the chocolate isn't all shiny and bright before pouring the filling over it? I apologize for using "temper" as a verb. Shame on me..

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        You were right the first time. In this instance "temper" is describing an action and is a verb (from a very old English major). However, I'm not going to temper the chocolate in my tart. I wish the family would finish my last failure so I could try my new recipe. Thanks to all of you ----

                        1. re: dutchdot

                          I was, in no way, implying that you SHOULD temper the chocolate. For your purposes, you could melt down a Hershey bar and paint the tart. However, Caroline said that butter would temper chocolate and that is why I commented. Dutchdot asked how I would temper chocolate and I replied. I don't what peeved Caroline off.........

                          1. re: mollygirl

                            Maybe the way you said it, ya think? We have NO vocal inflection here, so things come across cold. '-)

                  2. re: mollygirl

                    Well, yes, you're right. But it does retain the glossiness when it cools, which is what tempering does, but it's a LOT more work.

            2. Also try baking your pie on a pre-heated baking stone. And I've read that metal pie plates are best. And are you baking the pie long enough? Pies need a long bake time, IMO. At least an hour for a double crust fruit pie.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Procrastibaker

                I may try the baking stone also. The recipe called for about 40 minutes and I cooked it longer, but I also might try your suggestion with a really long cooking time. I hate for a recipe to get the best of me and I love to make tarts. This was the first time I made a filling with the fruit. I usually just use a glaze and the fruit and it's better. It's still not as crisp on the bottom as I like.

                1. re: dutchdot

                  Good luck! I always struggle with this b/c I insist on using my pretty emile henri stoneware pie pan and it never gets the bottom crust done quite right! My own fault, but I'm a sucker for the nice looking plate...

              2. Thought I should report. I made my last tart before being barred from the oven for the duration of DH's diet. I blindbaked a tart on a baking stone for longer than I normally do and it looked great. I then coated it with a thin layer of chocolate (with a dollop of butter!), let that set and proceeded with a brown butter raspberry tart ( cooking it on the stone. The stone is a disaster in that part of the baking process. The tart eventually finished baking, but it took at least twice as long. I remembered why I had taken the stone out of my oven ages ago ---- it absorbs the heat. It's great for pizza cooked right on it, but that's it in my opinion.

                The end results were good, however. The chocolate adds a taste to the tart --- I think I'll use it for a straight fruit tart glazed with rum and apricot --- but the bottom crust was nice and crisp/flaky.

                Thanks for all your help -- you really made a difference.!

                1 Reply
                1. re: dutchdot

                  Thanks for the feed back and happy tart baking.... as soon as your DH finishes his diet '-)