The only sure way to check your fruit pie filling is done.
Posted by Warren
How to tell fruit pie filling is done baking. Total added prep
Your fruit pie filling is done. Right?
The only true and real way to tell if the fruit in your pie is cooked through enough is to test it by piercing the fruit. Any sharp, long and thin object will work. Why not use a toothpick? (wooden skewers work too).
Before we describe how to do this, let us talk further on how most check to see if there pie is done.
Your fruit pie is done because it is brown. Yeah sure!
Just because the crust is brown, it does not mean your fruit filling is done. Why do I say this? Because it is possible for the crust to cook before the fruit filling is done and vice versa that the filling is done before the crust.
How do you check on your fruit pie?
Most say the pie is done if the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling.
The truth is it needs to bubble for at least 6 to 10 minutes to properly cook the fruit. This depends on how ripe the fruit was, how thin it was cut and the variety of the fruit.
But still, this is not the sure way to see if your pie is done.
Hot oven, cool oven – What have you done to my fruit pie?
An oven that is too hot will cook your pie crust before the filling has time to boil. Normally, this will happen sooner than later and reduce your baking time.
An oven that is too cool will cook your fruit filling before the crust has a chance to brown. Your crust will have a soggy bottom, and the fruit filling will bubble all over the top crust. Cooler oven temperatures will also lengthen the baking time of your pie.
Remember, low heat will cook the center only. High heat will only cook the crust. We need to be in the middle with the hopes that the crust and filling will bake completely at the same time.
Your oven is a roller coaster that goes up-down and all around.
To add to the complexity to the oven’s temperature, it is always fluctuating. It heats up and gets real hot, then it levels off. The temperature falls, and the process repeats over again.
So if you set the oven to 400° F, it will heat up to 425° F, cycle off, temperature drops, cycle on at 375° F and repeat. This means your oven’s average temperature was 400° F, but never stayed at 400° F.
Know your oven. Is it a hot head?
Most ovens are just a metal box with heating elements or gas burners. If you are fortunate, you might have a fan in it for convection baking.
Just because you set the temperature to 400° F, it does not mean it is 400° F in the oven. Some ovens are way off from their setting. It could be 450° F or 350° F and some.
If your crust seems to burn before the filling is done, then most likely your oven is getting too hot. Fix it by setting your oven to a lower setting than what the recipe calls for. Set it for 350° F when the recipe calls for 400° F.
Understanding your inconsistent oven
Some ovens seem to be inconsistent or wishy-washy. Maybe your oven is like that and you hate it. It just needs a little understanding.
Your oven is like a two-story house where some of the rooms get hot while others are cold. Normally, upstairs will warm up before the first floor.
Your oven is no different. Even though it seems all the same inside your oven, it is not. Some areas in your oven will get hotter than other areas.
Most ovens are hotter near the back, the upper top rack, and the bottom. The front and center areas are less hot.
So if you are going to bake a perfect fruit pie, you can not just shove it in the oven, hoping for the best. You have to know your oven and take the necessary steps to correct the positioning of the pie in the oven.
Want some proof?
Bake a pie either to the far back of the oven or towards the very front of your oven and notice how your pie crust will bake unevenly. One side will just about burn while the other side of the crust is pale and partly cooked.
Gas or electric, which is better for pies?
Electric ovens are better. I like to have control over how hot the oven gets and how long the heating elements stay on.
Electric ovens seem to be smarter than a gas oven. Gas ovens basically have a flame on and a flame off. It goes from intense heat, to off, and nothing in between. The flame on time produces such an intense heat that it is difficult to achieve an evenly baked pie crust.
If the pie filling should ever bubble out onto a gas oven, it is all over, smoke and flames are certain to come.
Most smart electric ovens can monitor the temperature more precisely and regulate how much heat the elements will produce. This all means I am in control of how I want the pie to bake.
—How to test your pie if the fruit is cooked—
What is needed?
One toothpick or wooden skewer
and a steady hand.
Directions for testing your fruit pie filling
1. First, you must have vent holes in the pie to use this method. I hope you vented your fruit pie.
2. When you think the pie is done, remove it from the oven quickly and close the door so the oven’s heat stays in.
If the toothpick is stuck
in a raw piece of fruit,
do not just yank it out.
You could destroy your crust.
Instead rotate the toothpick
as you withdraw it from the fruit.
3. Take a clean toothpick and insert it into one of the pie vents. As you insert take note of the resistance you feel:
- If you find it difficult to insert the toothpick, your fruit is undercooked.
- If you can feel the toothpick penetrating the fruit but goes through with little effort it is partly cooked, al Dante.
- If you insert the toothpick with ease so that there is no resistance. Almost like you are going through nothing, it is fully cooked (or overly cooked).
4. Now repeat step 3 in a few more vents. Be quick but gentle. If you find the pie needs more time in the oven, put it back into the oven and rotate your pie 180 degrees. We do this to equalize the pie baking.