Author Topic: Secrets from a Baker  (Read 28651 times)

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PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2012, 11:46:29 AM »

I am so excited you started this thread!  ;D

Do you have any tips on getting a cheesecake not to crack?
  • Don't use a springform pan :)  
  • bake it in a water bath at a temperature no higher than 250 degrees for at least 1 hour. depending on size it can take up to 2 hours   
  • Don't bake it in a convection oven. 
  • Turn the oven off when the whole top moves with no ripples. This means it is set
  • Leave it in the oven for at least an hour to cool down slowly. 
  • Let it set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably 8 hours
You may have some small cracks, but it should be fine.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 11:49:08 AM by PastryGoddess »

PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2012, 11:50:07 AM »
Custard pies.


I can make flan perfectly.


But custard pies eludes me.  It comes out almost scrambled and not creamy like custard should.


Any ideas why?

How do you mix in your eggs and sugar? Give me a step by step of how you make your pies - scrambled sounds like a problem with mixing and heat.

POD to this. Post the recipe and we'll troubleshoot it

PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2012, 11:52:22 AM »
Tip for making meringue:  Use old eggs.  They whip up so much better.  I made a lemon pie on the weekend for Easter (my Dad's favourite and bright yellow is an easter colour, right?) and my three egg whites from eggs bought at the beginning of March made a huge, thick meringue for the pie.  It was fabulous.

PastryGoddess, if I prebake the bottom shell for a few minutes, how do I crimp the top shell to the now partially baked bottom shell?

cover the sides with foil to prevent them from baking and use an egg wash to glue the top shell to the bottom

PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2012, 11:56:19 AM »
Meringue Tip #2
Mix the whites and sugar together and HEAT over a double boiler.  If you have a thermometer heat up to at least 140 degrees.  If no thermometer, stir over heat until all sugar is dissolved. Then put on the mixer and whip. 


You've just made Swiss Meringue and that is the basis for our next tip.......

Zilla

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2012, 11:58:54 AM »
I have used a few but here are two that I remember:


http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grandmas-egg-custard-pie


http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Buttermilk-Pie/


The buttermilk pie fared the worst of the two.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2012, 12:04:25 PM »
.....Swiss Meringue Icing!


Recipe:
  • 2 cups or 1/2 L Whites
  • 2.5 pounds of sugar
  • 2.5 pounds of butter, cut into small chunks.  put in fridge or freezer
  • Heat the whites and sugar together over a double boiler. 
  • Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved and/ or temp reaches 140.  If you do not have a thermometer, there should be steam coming off of the mixture
  • put in mixing bowl and mix on MEDIUM for about 10 min and on HIGH FOR 20.
  • Turn speed down to LOW and start adding cold butter one chunk at a time
  • Once all butter is in, mix on LOW for 5 min then crank up to HIGH for 20 min
  • Voila!! You now have Swiss Meringue Icing
Keep away from all children, husbands, and dogs.

alkira6

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2012, 12:06:39 PM »
I have used a few but here are two that I remember:


http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grandmas-egg-custard-pie


http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Buttermilk-Pie/


The buttermilk pie fared the worst of the two.

The buttermilk pie recipe is baffling to me. Why is there lemon juice in it? This will make the eggs and/or milk start to curdle, and  it gets worse when heat is applied. Leave out the lemon juice and do not beat the eggs as much, they only have to be very slightly frothy for the pie to come out well.

For the egg custard, are you letting the milk cool before using? I don't even scald my milk, I either nuke it for 30 seconds or let ot come to room temp. and use it. Try this and see if there is a difference.

Zilla

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2012, 12:07:56 PM »
I have used a few but here are two that I remember:


http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grandmas-egg-custard-pie


http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Buttermilk-Pie/


The buttermilk pie fared the worst of the two.

The buttermilk pie recipe is baffling to me. Why is there lemon juice in it? This will make the eggs and/or milk start to curdle, and  it gets worse when heat is applied. Leave out the lemon juice and do not beat the eggs as much, they only have to be very slightly frothy for the pie to come out well.

For the egg custard, are you letting the milk cool before using? I don't even scald my milk, I either nuke it for 30 seconds or let ot come to room temp. and use it. Try this and see if there is a difference.


I have done it both without scalding and cooling or just room temp.

wheeitsme

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2012, 12:48:28 PM »
Warm egg whites whip higher than cold ones.  Room temperature is ok.  A little warmer is better.  And the slightest yolk or oil will mess them up.

Julian

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2012, 07:30:03 PM »
Warm egg whites whip higher than cold ones.  Room temperature is ok.  A little warmer is better.  And the slightest yolk or oil will mess them up.

Always use glass or metal mixing bowls too - plastic can retain a film of oil, no matter how clean it is.  And make sure your mixer blades are scrupulously clean for the same reason.

I've made many pavlovas and meringues over the years, made my first sugar-free pav with Splenda a few months back.  It turned out just fine, although it looked yellow after baking. 

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2012, 07:43:32 PM »
re the cheesecake - a pan with boiling water on the lower shelf, AND leaving the cheesecake in the oven (turned off) does it every time. Before you put the cheesecake in the 'fridge, run a very sharp knife around the sides. I've never had a crack.

Not a baking tip per se, but it worked wonders for me - rather than dipping something (chicken, say) in flour, then egg - use corn starch. Results in crispy rather than gummy.

Lastly, when baking cookies or brownies - moisture (i.e. chewy) comes from brown sugar, not butter or eggs. So if you want chewier chocolate chip cookies, add a little extra sugar.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2012, 09:54:33 PM »
I think all of the problems of the world would be solved if you added a little sugar




....and chocolate




....and wine

Shopaholic

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2012, 01:23:42 AM »
.....Swiss Meringue Icing!


Recipe:
  • 2 cups or 1/2 L Whites
  • 2.5 pounds of sugar
  • 2.5 pounds of butter, cut into small chunks.  put in fridge or freezer
  • Heat the whites and sugar together over a double boiler. 
  • Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved and/ or temp reaches 140.  If you do not have a thermometer, there should be steam coming off of the mixture
  • put in mixing bowl and mix on MEDIUM for about 10 min and on HIGH FOR 20.
  • Turn speed down to LOW and start adding cold butter one chunk at a time
  • Once all butter is in, mix on LOW for 5 min then crank up to HIGH for 20 min
  • Voila!! You now have Swiss Meringue Icing
Keep away from all children, husbands, and dogs.

Wow! That's enough meringue for an army.

Q; I thought Swiss meringue was the one where you add the sugar in syrup form to the whites while beating?
That's what I use for Swiss meringue icing. Comes out heavenly.

apple

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2012, 01:41:45 AM »
When it comes to pies, I always use glass pie plates (rather than metal ones). The glass makes for a crispy bottom crust. The baking temperature needs to be reduced by 25 degrees when using glass.

This is a great gadget to have for pie baking:

http://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Andersons-Pie-Crust-Shield/dp/B00004S1BU

I put it on the pie once the edges get as brown as I'd like. It keeps them from burning. There is a new pie shield made of silicon that I've been meaning to buy and try out. 

I agree about slow cooling for cheesecakes. When the baking time is over, I open the oven door slightly  and let the cheesecake cool in the oven.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 01:45:36 AM by apple »

General Jinjur

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2012, 08:10:24 AM »
Custard pies.


I can make flan perfectly.


But custard pies eludes me.  It comes out almost scrambled and not creamy like custard should.


Any ideas why?

Try using room temp eggs. That worked for me.