HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Cherry Rhubarb Pie: tapioca pearls vs. starch?

breadwinner May 9, 2013 06:00 PM

I'm a beginner pie-maker. I've only made pumpkin and apple pie so far, and today I'm attempting my first berry pie that requires a thickener: a cherry rhubarb pie to be exact!

So the recipe I found calls for a 1/4 cup of quick-cooking tapioca. I don't have that, but I do have tapioca starch on hand from making pandan waffles. Would that work instead? Can I use the same amount or more/less?

Also, I'm wondering if I should make a lattice-top or not...

Thanks ahead of time! :)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. greygarious RE: breadwinner May 9, 2013 06:28 PM

    Yes, you definitely can use tapioca starch - matter of fact, lots of bakers whir their pearls in a coffee grinder or processor to make them more floury. I would err on the low side, more like 3 tbsp.

    Lattice is fussy if you are a beginner. If you want evaporation, roll out a solid top crust, then use mini-cookie cutters - or something as simple as the tube of a funnel, or a bottle cap, to cut an overall pattern into the pastry round before placing it atop the filling.

    1. c
      Claudette RE: breadwinner May 9, 2013 07:48 PM

      The only problem with starch is that it makes lumps, so I always make a slurry first with some of the fruit's juices. Quantities are tricky: depends on how juicy the fruit is - each fruit and even each batch of fruit can vary.

      1. w
        walker RE: breadwinner May 9, 2013 10:58 PM

        On a thread here about blackberries I was making into a pie, here's what I did that resulted in a perfect pie:

        walker Sep 10, 2012 04:13 AM

        Wild success, thanks to everyone here. I've collected SO MANY recipes for crust! I had to sort through them and decide. Went with Chowser's this time, rolled out PERFECTLY. Smitten Kitchen recs grinding instant tapioca in a coffee grinder (I cleaned it out first by grinding rice; I only use this one for grinding spices but there was a little cumin that did not want to come out).

        I used 2 Tbl tapioca, made a syrup out of the blackberry juices; made a nice lattice crust on top. The second pie was a fresh peach pie and for the crust I used a recipe that called for 1 cup butter, 4 Tbl shortening (used non-hydrogenated from WF); I wanted to see if it was flakier. Used the tapioca in this one, too, lattice crust.

        Both are delicious and perfect, not too sweet.

        Thanks for all your help!

        Show Hidden Posts