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KA Pie Filling Enhancer?

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Placing an order with King Arthur one of these days, contemplating ordering some of their pie filling enhancer. I make a lot of pie in the summer and am always fussing over how much and what kind of thickener to use. This seems like it would take a lot of the guesswork out, and has great reviews. But part of me feels like it's a copout of some sort. Anyone have any experience with it and can give some feedback?

ETA: Also now seeing the Clearjel product. Would be interested in that, too...

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  1. I bought it once, but didn't care for the fact that it's got sugar in it (made it harder to calibrate sweetness of my pies), plus I thought it thickened some fruit pie fillings *too* much. Haven't tried clearjel.

    I just made a pie with frozen sour cherries using minute tapioca, and was very pleased with the results of that.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Allstonian

      Yes, I was concerned re: the added sugar. Good to know. I do want to try instant tapioca this summer.

      1. re: arielleeve

        Tapioca pearls can thicken the juices into globules (like bubble tea) that may seem too jelled for some people, but you can either pulverize the dry tapioca in a food processor/spice grinder or buy tapioca flour, also called manioc or cassava flour. I think Bob's Red Mill has it, and Asian markets sell it.

        1. re: greygarious

          Using Minute (instant) tapioca rather than pearls helps a lot with this - I had no problems with globules.

        2. re: arielleeve

          For a juicy fruit pie filling - cherries, maybe blueberries, super-juicy peaches - tapioca seems excellent. The recipe I used was from the KA Baking Companion - it called for 6 cups of canned or frozen cherries, drained, plus 3/4 cup of the drained juice and 1/4 cup of tapioca, which you mix together and let sit for 20 minutes before adding to the cherries and assembling the pie. (Along with sugar etc. added to the cherries.)

          I got the perfect level of set in the filling - just firm enough for clean slices that didn't melt out of the crust overnight, but not solid. Possibly my best cherry pie to date.

          1. re: Allstonian

            Agree about the set! Perfect, indeed. I make the Cooks Illustrated blueberry pie which calls for tapioca and grated apple (unobtrusive, adds pectin).

        3. re: Allstonian

          If you think it's too thick, use less clearjel, I've had pies come out too runny even with clearjel because I didn't use enough. It may take a little experimentation to find your perfect thickness.

        4. Love the instant clearjel, all the pie filling enhancer is is clearjel with sugar. You can do that at home and have better control over the sweetening of your end product.