Tapioca 'Cassava Starch' - Pie Filling Thickening
Posted by Warren
How to thicken juicy pie fillings.
Can tapioca be over cooked? Yes
What temperature does it thicken? before it boils at 212° F
Does tapioca flour have a taste? Yes, slightly sweet
What is tapioca?
Tapioca is made from the cassava root. Cassava powder is tapioca before it is subjected to the “beading” process. This process gives us that pebbly like texture used in puddings.
It is nearly flavorless and gives a transparent gloss to fruits.
Tapioca is commonly available in three forms:
1. Pearl tapioca (it comes in both small and large sizes)
2. Quick-cooking tapioca are available in most supermarkets
3. Tapioca flour (it is a starchy, slightly sweet, white flour)
Tapioca flour or cassava is great for pies
We want a silky smooth filling and glaze. Therefore, cassava powder is more suited for pies. This will produce a clear, glossy filling without the starchy flavor.
Tapioca flour is a good choice for thickening pie fillings, since it thickens at a lower temperature than cornstarch, before 212° F. It remains stable when frozen, and imparts a glossy sheen.
Okay with acid
The one minor advantage tapioca, cassava, offers over cornstarch is that it is not as affected by acid.
Not good for open-faced pies
Tapioca does not work well when it is exposed to the air while cooking. The hot will cause the thickener to dry out and turn hard. For this reason, avoid using tapioca in a lattice pie.
Do not over cook
Tapioca becomes less effective the longer it is cooked. So do not over-bake your pies when using this thickener.
Tapioca has twice the thickening power of flour.
Tapioca shelf life
Shelf life for tapioca or cassava is about 2 years, if stored in an airtight, moisture-proof container, but use it with in a year. It seems to lose a little of its thickening power after this.
Cassava is available from Asian stores. King Arthur makes a good cassava flour that you can find at your local store or health food center.