13 July 2009

Problem Pie

Posted in food at 7:34 pm by Tricia

Jonski Papa is a big fan of cherry pie, and it’s sour cherry season, so I decided to make a pie. I was startled to find that none of my cookbooks had a recipe for cherry pie. So I used this recipe from allrecipes.com. Elsewhere (in the same search) I came across recipes that mentioned you could use pearl tapioca instead of quick-cooking. I had to make a special trip to the grocery store for the tapioca (it’s not something we use regularly!), and the organic pearl tapioca came in a smaller package than quick-cooking, so that’s what I bought.

those white balls are not mold spores!

those white balls are not mold spores!

My first clue that I might have done something wrong was when I removed the baked pie and noticed white balls near the top. Uh-oh – the pearls did not dissolve! The ones further down in the filling were soft enough that they were unnoticeable, but the ones near the top were kind of crunchy. Cherry pie is not supposed to be crunchy! What did I do wrong?? Maybe I drained too much of the juice from the pitted cherries? Maybe a full crust instead of a lattice would have made them soft? Or rather, what is the proper way to use pearl tapioca?? I dunno. I guess I’ll have to get more cherries this week and try again…



  1. L said,

    Hummmm… I really don’t know. We’ve loads of sour cherries, but I’ve never, I don’t think, made cherry pie and haven’t a clue how. Cobblers and crisps I do… tarts are fine… but wonderful, American pies? No can.

    How was the crust? It it was good and everything else ok, could you repeat using corn starch instead?

    Anyhow, I don’t like tapioca, so don’t know much about it, but I thought you were supposed to soak or boil the pearls before using?

  2. Tricia said,

    I’d be interested in seeing your tart recipe. This week I made a crumble (one I’d had success with before, from the Moosewood Desserts book, subbing pecans for almonds). Z-boy admired it and tried it and liked it – success! I have a fruit dessert convert! (C-boy admired the lava-like bubbling nature as it came out of the oven, but claimed he doesn’t like cherries and thus shouldn’t have to try it.)

    Anyway, with the tapioca: I did see another pie recipe where you cooked the fruit (I forget which fruit) with tapioca and sugar and what have you. Maybe the cherry pie recipes I only glanced at called for that as well. As it turns out, the slightly-crunchy pearls had lost their crunch as the pie cooled, and stayed that way even when it was reheated, so it worked out in the long run.

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