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Kim Shook

Why let pastry cream filling sit in pie shell overnight?

13 posts in this topic

I'm taking a coconut cream pie to my MIL's for Easter.  Having not made it in a bit, I'm looking at it tonight to see what I can do ahead of time since we'll be at church all Easter morning.  I'm going to make the dough for the crust on Friday and bake it off on Saturday.  I was thinking that I could make the filling on Saturday, too, and fill the pie and top with whipped cream on Sunday.  But in reading the recipe it specifically says to fill the crust and cover and chill overnight.  Why?  Is there some reason that you would want to do this?  Doesn't it seem like it would dampen the crust at least a bit?  BTW, I'll be using the CI Vodka crust.  I haven't made this in a really long time and don't remember what I did before.  Thanks so much!

 

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Sometimes, if the cream has set overnight in a bowl, it's difficult to fill a shell because the cream is kind of chunky -kind of like trying to spread jello cubes around. That said, it usually gives in a bit if you beat it for a few minutes.

 

Anyway, when making cream pies, to protect the crust, I always paint mine with chocolate, mostly white or, sometimes dark. It forms a nice barrier and if you are careful to keep it in temper, it gives a nice snap when cut. -Making the crust seem even crisper.

 

Good luck with your pie!

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I really like the chocolate coating idea.  Would the chocolate work as a wetness barrier even if it were not in temper, but merely melted?


Darienne

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Kim, how big a shell is the pie in?  You can spread the pastry cream in a separate pie plate of the same size and transfer it to the shell the next day.  Set it on a warm towel to loosen it up and slide it into the shell.  I've done this with custard pies before.

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I really like the chocolate coating idea.  Would the chocolate work as a wetness barrier even if it were not in temper, but merely melted?

darienne-in my experience, yes. i use this trick as well, and frequently after the crust is blind-baked, i scatter chopped chocolate over the still-warm surface, let it sit a few minutes, then spread it over the surface with an offset spatula. no tempering, no problem. if the flavors of the filling don't lend themselves to chocolate, i sometimes use raspberry jam (pairs well with lemon curd, for example--better than chocolate). while it doesn't provide the snap, it does keep the custard from sogging up the crust.

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"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

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I really like the chocolate coating idea.  Would the chocolate work as a wetness barrier even if it were not in temper, but merely melted?

I always use white coating chocolate to mask inside any crust shell, regardless if it pie, tart, etc with cream fillings.  It does help prolong the crust from becoming soggy. 

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I really like the chocolate coating idea.  Would the chocolate work as a wetness barrier even if it were not in temper, but merely melted?

 

Yes,the chocolate will still work as a barrier, but, you need to be careful. Untempered chocolate is soft, and might get moved around too much or scraped off the crust completely while placing the filling inside if you're really active/aggressive in spreading the filling. Just try to avoid going too deep with whatever tool you are using to spread in the filling.

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Thanks, everyone.  I think I'm going to use the melted chocolate idea.  I got some white chocolate and will be using that.  That way I can fill the pie shell on Saturday evening and the crust should be ok Easter afternoon.

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I wonder if some people might prefer letting the pastry cream soften the crust overnight so it melds together and is easier to cut. I appreciate a crisp dry crust as much as anyone, but you have to admit, getting nice slices of a crisp-crusted tart can be a challenge.

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I wonder if some people might prefer letting the pastry cream soften the crust overnight so it melds together and is easier to cut. I appreciate a crisp dry crust as much as anyone, but you have to admit, getting nice slices of a crisp-crusted tart can be a challenge.

I agree with that.  It is a bit of a challenge.  But this is just a standard vodka pie crust, so I think it will be ok if it is crisp.

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I agree with that.  It is a bit of a challenge.  But this is just a standard vodka pie crust, so I think it will be ok if it is crisp.

 

Excuse me if I'm being a bit slow, but why would you put vodka in pastry?

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Excuse me if I'm being a bit slow, but why would you put vodka in pastry?

Supposedly it encourages tenderness.  Using water in pie crust helps it bind together and be soft enough to roll.  It also encourages gluten, which toughens the dough.  Vodka in place of the water provides all the positives, without encouraging the gluten.  This is all according to Cook's Illustrated.  I just know that this crust is the most tender, flaky stuff I've ever made.  So I'm not gonna mess with success! :smile:

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