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Dec 20, 2012 11:44 AM

Technique for chocolate "underglaze" on pie?

In a recent discussion regarding alternative crusts for pies, the issue of keeping the crust dry was raised.

I've bought fruit-topped flans where there was a very, very thin layer of dark chocolate over the crust and under the filling, which served to keep the crust remarkably dry even after a day's refrigeration. I've also seen this technique used in bakery fancy slices with a puff pastry style crust.

Presumably using dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate is key to maximizing the impermeability, and it's applied after the crust is first baked.

Does anybody have any suggestions on technique? Types of chocolate that might work best? Just melt in a double-boiler or zap in the microwave and brush with a silicon brush?

Hmmm, I wonder if a layer of sugar, caramelized under a broiler or with a blow torch, might work.

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  1. yes, you can just melt chocolate and brush it on the crust. I do this all the time for fruit tarts and it works wonderfully.

    The easiest way to do it is to drop a few chocolate chips on the crust while it is warm, when the soften take an offset spatula and spread them around. Depending on how delicate the crust is, this has been known to pull up bits of the crust (just fyi) but they are easy to push back down and once the chocolate hardens you'd never know.

    1. You can use any type of chocolate, including white chocolate if you don't want to introduce an assertive new flavor into your pie. Melt and brush it on, or pour some in and spread it around (for a thicker coat). Thimes' trick of putting chips on a warm crust works too.

      1. You say 'after the crust is first baked'. Are you planning to bake again after filling? I think this technique is only for no-bake fillings like pastry cream.