This week at school was pretty awesome. Over the last few weeks we have learned how to bake a lot of products using multiple methods, and now we are split into groups of four producing baked goods for the next four weeks with limited help from our instructor. The instructors are very good at what they do by observing everyone’s products, and taking out the imperfect ones to make us that much better.
Our assignment this week is a two-part piece:
Write a post about what we have learned in regards to pie and tart filling. Also examine some key points that I learned using starches, cooking methods and types of fruit used.
Examine and solve the following product outcomes. Apply conceptual framework for critical thinking:
- a plain biscuit is tough and misshapen
- an almond-honey-cranberry muffin spread too much during baking and has a very flat top.
- a rhubarb pie is very soggy after baking, both on top crust and the pie bottom shell.
In regards to pies, I’ve learned how not to get a soggy bottom by using a more mealy dough — because little to no gluten develops when the butter is added thoroughly with the flour. Another way is to only use cold filling in unbaked pies, and last but not least in the oven use a high bottom heat.
I didn’t even know there was so many different options of fruit used in baking:
- Fresh – excellent in pies of course but they need to be at their seasonal peak for best flavor.
- Frozen – widely used because of consistency in quality and how readily available they are.
- Solid pack – no water added, which is used in our apple pie filling when not using fresh
- Heavy packed – small amount of water or juice is added
- Water packed – canned with the water that was used to process them.
- Syrup packed – the fruit cocktails in most grocery stores.
- Dried fruits – re-hydrate desired amount of fruit in warm water for up to 10 mins, which is what we did for our cinnamon buns
There are two different cooking methods used with fruits:
- Cooked Juice method – used when little to no cooking before filling the pie or more delicate fruits like berries
- Cooked Fruit method – used when fruit requires cooking mostly fresh fruits except for berries
These past few weeks we have learned about the starches used in pies:
- Cornstarch – usually used in cream pies and some fruit pies because it hold its shape when cut.
- Waxy Maize – used for pies that can be frozen and the fruit pies for a soft paste rather than a firm gel.
- Tender Gel (pre-gelatinized starch or pre-cooked cornstarch) – used with fruit cold before baking in the oven.
- Flour, tapioca, potato or rice starch – barely anyone uses these due to the cloudiness factor in fruit fillings, and also flour has less thickening power than other starches.
Tart fillings I haven’t really done yet, other than the pecan tarts which used eggs that coagulate and form a structure when baked in the oven — which is the gelatinization of starches. I had to be careful not to use too high of a heat cause there is eggs, and they would scramble. I have observed others making tarts and each one is just a little different with how their eggs were incorporated.
Now if I were in the bakery and the following products didn’t work out, I would use the Venn Diagram, which is problem analyzing by ingredients, environment and the method you used.
Problem: a plain biscuit is tough and misshapen
- Too much flour,
- Not enough butter
- I don’t think the bakery would have anything to do with toughness or being misshapen
- Over working the dough, biscuits dough should be handled very little only a few folds and that’s it to create the layers when baked.
- Not baking your biscuits side by side so they rise when baked not lopsided.
Problem: an almond-honey-cranberry muffin spreads too much during baking and has a very flat top.
- The Cranberries weren’t frozen before adding to batter
- There is too much acid in this recipe with the cranberries and honey breaking down the product or
- Left out in pan too long before getting put in the oven
- Getting taken out of the oven too soon.
- Over creaming the butter at the very beginning of the recipe
- Over mixing the mixture the bowl lumps are okay.
Problem: a rhubarb pie is very soggy after baking, both on top crust and the pie bottom shell.
- Rhubarb not frozen before being baked
- Pie shell to thick
- to much butter
- Sat in queue to long before being baked.
- dark tray was used rather than a nice shiny one.
- Taken out of the oven to early
- Oven set to the wrong temperatures
My next week at school is going to be full of One-Stage and Muffin method products consisting of:
- Bran Muffins
- Carrot Zucchini Muffins/loaves
- Bird’s nest cookies
- Shortbread Fingers
- Coconut Macaroons
- Pecan Tarts
- Congress Tarts (meringue method)
- Dutch Oven Bread
The goal each day is to have three products done differently and ready to go to be sold in the bakeshop by 12pm. I’m looking forward to making the tarts which I haven’t made yet, but not looking forward to the shortbread fingers because they can be time-consuming.
I really hope you all are enjoy reading my blog post assignments, because I’m having tons of fun learning. Thanks for reading!