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Tapioca as Pie Thickener

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13 replies to this topic

#1 Longblades

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 08:16 AM

How much minute tapioca do you use to thicken pie fillings? I read through every one of the rhubarb pie posts and no, the recommended amount is NOT on the box I just purchased.

I will be making rhubarb pie but also apple, sour cherry, raspberry and blueberry later in the season. I will freeze most of the pies, unbaked, but would appreciate knowing what amounts you use for immediate baking as well. Also, I will be using tinfoil pie plates that say they are 10" but I think are really more like 9 inchers. They certainly do not hold anywhere near as much as my 10" pyrex pie plate.

I tried tapicoa years and years ago and decided I preferred flour but my sister now has a gluten allergy so I'm going to try tapioca again. That way she can at least scrape out the filling and eat it. Can I just substitute equal amounts of minute tapioca for the flour?

My method with the flour has been to mix it with the sugar and sprinkle some on the bottom crust, then a layer of fresh fruit. then a sprinkle of flour/sugar, with usually only two of three layers of fruit and finishing with a sprinkle of the flour/sugar. Can I do that with the tapioca?

Oh, and strawberries in the rhubarb pie? No way, DH would kill me. Rhubarb is his favourite and he says strawberries contaminate a rhubarb pie. :rolleyes:

#2 srhcb

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 08:45 AM

For a 9" straight Rhubarb Pie, (wo/strawberries), I'd use 2Tbl Minute Tapioca.

I would mix all the filling ingredients together before putting them into the shell and let it st for a little while to let the tapioca soften up.

#3 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 06:00 AM

The first time I used minute tapioca was in a fruit cobbler. Well I didn't know you had to wait until the beads soak up moisture before baking..........and well I had hard tapioca beads left in my cobbler. NOT GOOD. So make sure your beads have soaked in moisture before you bake.

#4 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 06:05 AM

I use a third of a cup of Minute Tapioca as a thickening agent when I make my peach and plum pie. I like the texture and it is clear and makes the pie even prettier .. since it is an open face pie (not unlike a tart), and the fruit is arranged in concentric rings of alternating colors of red and gold, the tapioca works well.
Yes, it needs time to soak up the liquid before baking (15 minutes).
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#5 KarenS

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 09:22 PM

I use tapioca starch, tapioca in a powdered form. It does not thicken as tightly as cornstarch- or as gluey as flour. Use twice the amount of tapioca starch that you would of flour. It can be found in almost any Asian market. Tapioca expands in moisture(and absorbs it), I always stir the filling (sometimes adding a dash of water), until moistened.

#6 Longblades

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 07:25 AM

Thanks to all who responded. Made nine pies on the weekend, baked one right away and the rest are in the freezer. Seems DH and I still prefer flour in the mix. Plus using tapicoa instead of flour was much more time consuming due to the need to let the mixture sit and absorb first. And nine bowls to wash up. Actually, due to a splitting migraine headache, the mixture sat for several hours and became quite liquid. I anticipate soggy bottom crusts.

Don't know the results on the frozen ones yet but the fresh baked had too much tapioca - I used 3 TBs for +4 cups of rhubarb in a 9" pie. We like our pies runny and it wasn't, at all. But maybe the frozen ones will be better as I find more thickener is needed when they are frozen.

I had to buy more minute tapicoa and this box did have thickening instructions but I found them to be contradictory as it said to use the same amount as you would for flour or cornstarch. But don't you only need half as much cornstarch as flour for the same amount of thickening?

#7 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 11:00 AM

I am making a pie and just realized I do not have cornstarch or tapioca but I do have tapioca starch?

I have no idea how much I need to use to thicken a blackberry pie?

I prefer the pie insides are firm enough so they don't fall out with the first slice (these are juicy berries!) will this work you think?



I can use flour I guess but since I have the tapioca starch I would like to try it


anyone know?

thanks so much in advance

Edited by hummingbirdkiss, 28 July 2007 - 11:00 AM.


#8 srhcb

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 12:07 PM

Generally, you can substitute tapioca starch (aka tapioca flour/powder) for cornstarch one for one.

If you use tapioca (pearl) it should be dissolved for at least 15 minutes, along with the fruit and sugar.

SB (likes pie :biggrin: )(but hates rolling crusts :sad: )

#9 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 12:38 PM

Generally, you can substitute tapioca starch (aka tapioca flour/powder) for cornstarch one for one. 

If you use tapioca (pearl) it should be dissolved for at least 15 minutes, along with the fruit and sugar.

SB (likes pie :biggrin: )(but hates rolling crusts :sad: )

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Thank you! I have the attention span of a flea so I did that and am feeling validated now !

I love to roll the crust ..but ...I think my butter to flour ratio is off because the sunflower I stuck on top with the extra dough is not very visable right now ...the crimping melted down too ..

I have to stop looking at it until the buzzer goes off or I am going to cry!

what if the whole crust dissolves????

#10 srhcb

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 01:21 PM

what if the whole crust dissolves????

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Use the oldest trick in the cooksbook.

Pretend it was supposed to be that way! :rolleyes:

Call it "Blackberry Pandowdy" or something, and top it with a generous scoop of good vanilla ice cream. People will rave about it! :laugh:

SB (and DON'T share the recipe :wink: )

#11 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 01:26 PM

what if the whole crust dissolves????

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Use the oldest trick in the cooksbook.

Pretend it was supposed to be that way! :rolleyes:

Call it "Blackberry Pandowdy" or something, and top it with a generous scoop of good vanilla ice cream. People will rave about it! :laugh:

SB (and DON'T share the recipe :wink: )

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It is intact!!! the pie at least looks nice not exactly how I thought it would but the crust is intact and you can see the flower!

...the proof will be in the cutting however ..that is usually where I go horribly wrong when even after a good long cool all the filling gushes out with the first piece cut ...and that piece is nothing but an empty crust cut in a triangle!...

I like that kind of thinking btw I have to use that technique with my next disaster!!!

thanks for your help!!!!

#12 pennylane

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 01:55 PM

So what happened when you cut that pie?

Or has it been too long...?

#13 Jmahl

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 06:55 PM

I use 1 tbs. of minute tapioca ground in a spice grinder with some sugar from the recipe. I'm afraid you will have to experiment with the quantity to arrive at the consistency that you desire.

Jmahl
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#14 janeer

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 05:13 PM

I absolutely agree with the questioner that flour (gluey? who says?) is the thickener of choice for most fruit pies; for some, like cherry and currant, I combine it with cornstarch. Key is to get correct amount; always underestimate: better a bit runnier than gummy. I don't like tapioca for pies. But I confess I have not tried tapioca flour so perhaps I will pick some up next time I go to an Asian market.





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