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How do I avoid a soggy pie bottom?
July 8, 2012 11:40 AM   Subscribe

How can I avoid a soggy crust for a coconut cream pie?

I'm asking this for my mother who makes a wonderful scratch Coconut Cream pie. The flavor is great but she isn't happy about what the pie does to the crust. This happens to both store bought as well as homemade crusts.
posted by mmascolino to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Blind bake the crust.
posted by saeculorum at 11:42 AM on July 8, 2012


You can add a technique to the blind baking where you put an egg wash on the bottom near the end of the baking to create a protein glue seal against moist fillings.

To quote the Pie Maven: "You may want to moisture-proof your crust when blind baking by removing the crust from the oven when it has about 5 minutes left to bake and applying your egg wash with a pastry brush on the bottom of the crust and about an inch up the sides. Then resume baking the crust for the remaining 5 minutes."
posted by Foam Pants at 11:47 AM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


She can also consider a sweet tart crust, which is a good match for cream pies and holds up well since it's essentially shortbread.
posted by nuala at 11:57 AM on July 8, 2012


A thin coating of white chocolate works really well as a crust sealant for cream pies. I recently had a fantastic banana cream pie done that way, and I'm sure it would work really well with coconut.
posted by gimli at 12:23 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, the blind bake egg wash is a pie miracle. Otherwise you can just eat it really quickly before it has time to sog.
posted by elizardbits at 12:50 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lining the crust is really the most solid method, especially if the pie is to last for longer than one day. Caramel, chocolate, sugar syrup, anything that can be heated up, brushed on, and then cool to a solid is fine (caramel is delicious in cream pies though).
posted by ssg at 12:50 PM on July 8, 2012


Commercial gluten free crusts hold up much better - one place where gluten free is an improvement over a wheat crust - my cheat is a gf crust from Whole Foods.
posted by leslies at 2:20 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sweet tart crust does do better than the more traditional crust, but there's still a limit to how long it'll hold. How much in advance does she need to have a fully finished dessert? Does she do the meringue topping? My usual technique for any pie-like dessert involving pastry cream is to make the cream and the crust separately, and then combine right before serving.
posted by pie ninja at 2:34 PM on July 8, 2012


I second the white chocolate one the inside of the crust.

I have some white chocolate thinned with neutral oil that I keep in my freezer for this exact use. When you need to line a shell you just microwave the mix to melt it, pour it all in the blind baked and cooled shell, roll it around so it coats the sides and then pour it back into the container and freeze it again.

If you are going to blind bake the crust and then bake the filling in the shell eggwash near the end of baking is a better choice as the hot crust will absorb the chocolate.
posted by Infernarl at 4:08 PM on July 8, 2012


Susan Purdy recommends adding graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of tarts, pies, and such to absorb liquid.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 5:25 PM on July 8, 2012


Pastry professional here. Agree with all the folks talking up an egg wash for the final few minutes of the bake, but would advise using egg whites only as they hold up quite a bit better to a wet filling. And yes, a layer of chocolate is awesome and caramel will help for a short time, but both really effect the flavor profile of the dessert.

Also, when blind baking, make sure to remove the beans/weights and parchment paper for the second half of the bake.
posted by nenequesadilla at 7:06 PM on July 12, 2012


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