If not, you can use any dried beans or rice. Bake the pastry Blind without filling at 3. F1. 80 degrees. C for 1. Remove the paper and beans, and allow crust to cool. After crust has cooled completely, pour your filling into pre baked tart shell, and bake as your recipe instructs. Fruit Pie Filling Tips Great Thickener For Fruit Pies For a wonderful way to thicken fruit pie juices without cloudiness or taste, use potato starch in the recipe instead of cornstarch or arrowroot. Weeping Meringues Bakers sometimes notice that their meringue weeps or sweats after baking. The key is to spread the meringue over the filling while its still very warm. Lemon or cream pies with a soft meringue topping have been known to weep so excessively that the meringue skids slickly off the filling as the pie is served And if youve had that happen, youll know how annoying it is. The culprit is a thin layer of water sitting just at the point where the filling and the meringue meet. Weeping meringue is usually a two part problem, resting with both the egg white foam and the pie filling. Usually the egg whites havent been beaten sufficiently after the sugar is added. It is wise to begin with room temperature egg whites and very fine granulated sugar. Once dissolved, sugar holds moisture within the whites, so its less able to leak away. While there are other methods of making meringues, those in which the sugar is beaten into the egg whites are more stable than meringues in which sugar is folded into beaten egg whites. Add the sugar gradually, on tablespoon at a time, beating well, so it dissolves in the egg whites. Beat until foamy and the peaks bend over in soft curls when the beater is lifted. Those fluffy peaks are stretched protein films surrounding bubbles of air that swell as the air expands during baking. The temperature of the filing also influences the tendency of meringue to weep. If the filling is allowed to cool, the underside of the meringue never becomes hot enough to firm properly, so liquid leaks from the undercooked meringue. To counteract this, heat the filled pie shell in a 3. Remove from the oven and quickly spoon meringue onto filling. Now, when its returned to the oven, the heat from the filling will cook the bottom of the meringue, while its surface browns. Sometimes amber colored droplets appear on the surface of a meringue. If this beading happens immediately, usually its because the foam has been over jelled during baking. Baking a meringue in a hot oven for a short time can minimize this problem. Baking a meringue on a humid day can also contribute to beading because the sugar in the meringue attracts moisture from the air. After the meringue cools, beads of syrup form at the surface. A meringue topping baked quickly 4 to 5 minutes at 4. But beware of overcooking. Meringue that is baked too long also weeps because its moisture has been squeezed out by egg white proteins that have over thickened. A good meringue is soft, fluffy, slightly moist, and very tender. It should have a glossy sheen and a fine grain. Meringue making is a technique worth practicing, for a perfect meringue offers a spectacular finish to a homemade pieRunny Pie Filling Pie filling is runny most likely because it is not being baked long enough. Simply try baking 5 to 1. For High Acid Pie Fillings Use tapioca rather than cornstarch to thicken high acid fillings like cherries, which can cause cornstarch to fail. Tips on Making Fruit Pies and Pie Crust Make the dough the day before and let it rest for 1 hour refrigerated after rolling and shaping to prevent distortion and for the best shape. If making the pie to eat the day after baking, decrease the cornstarch by 1 teaspoon. Use dark heavy metal, ceramic, or Pyrex pie plates for the crispest crust. For the flakiest crust with the most attractive border, preheat the oven for at least 2. Porkchop. For a crisp bottom crust, try baking directly on the floor of the oven for the first 3. The pies juices must be bubbling thickly all over to ensure that all of the cornstarch can absorb liquid and thicken the filling. Single crust pies need to have the edges protected from over browning after the first 1. If the top of the pie is browning too much, tent it with foil, but be sure to make a steam hole in the center for moisture to escape so the crust stays crisp. Allow the pie to cool on a rack to room temperature, or until barely warm, before slicing to ensure that the filling is set and will not run. This will take between 2 to 4 hours, depending on the thickness of the pie. If you spray the pie pan lightly with nonstick vegetable shortening before lining it with the pastry, or if you grease and flour it, it is usually possible to slide out and unmold the whole pie after it has cooled completely. This makes cutting it easier and is better for both the knife and the pie plate Greasing and flouring also gives a pleasant, slightly rough texture to the bottom crust. Do not glaze the top of a pie. Although it will make the pie look shiny and very appealing, it seals in moisture and keeps the dough from breathing. It makes a tough crust. A light dusting of sugar is the one exception. Seal the bottom crust of the pie. Rose obliterates soggy bottom by brushing the bottom crust with egg white, sieved preserves for extra flavor, or melted chocolate for the most effective moisture proofing of all. For certain juicy pies peach, nectarine raspberry, bake the pie directly on the floor of the oven for a truly crispy bottom crust. The food processor method for making pie crusts is the easiest. It is faster than mixing by hand, and because the dough is handled less, it keeps the ingredients more chilled. In fruit pies, berries become bitter when cooked. The solution is to bind uncooked berries with a glaze or cook only 14 of the berries and the remainder uncooked. Slice apples thinly for apple pie. Thick slices promote air space and create a gap between the fruit and the crust. For the purest flavor in fruit pies, macerate marinate the fruit, capture the juices, and boil and reduce the liquid. The will decrease the amount of thickener and create more intense, focused flavor and a juicy filling. One tablespoon of cider vinegar relaxes pie dough and makes it easier to roll.