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Q & A: Cracks in frozen pies

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Most recent answer: 09/25/2014
I prepare pies for a bakery. My unbaked (prepared than frozen) rhubarb strawberry pies are cracking around the vent hole. After doing some online research I figured the filling (68% fruit, 9% water, 19% sugar) was expanding putting pressure on the frozen pastry causing it to crack. I tried thawing & steaming the fruit to get out as much moisture, adding more sugar to the filling, using hard wheat & adding more water to get more gluten formation but none of these fixed the problem. The only way to get substantially less cracks is to freeze the pies very gradually. Any ideas on how I could fix the problem? Thank you very much
- Tricia B (age 20)

Freezing the pie gradually sounds like a good idea. Here are some other suggestions:

  • Could you try making the pie shell a little bigger than it needs to be, so there's room for the filling to expand? I'm not sure how that would affect the final appearence of the pie after it is baked, though.
  • What if you added the top crust after freezing the filling? Assemble the pie except for the top crust, freeze it, then put the top crust on and put it back in the freezer.

If that doesn't help, you can always send us a pie for analysis. ;)

Rebecca Holmes

(published on 09/25/2014)

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