The Fresh Loaf

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Baking Apple Pie For Lactose Intolerant Friend

kah22's picture

Baking Apple Pie For Lactose Intolerant Friend

I bake an apple pie for my lactose intolerant friend but it suffer from the dreaded soggy bottom!

I've tried a number of standard dough recipes, but exchanging  block margarine for butter but still the soggy bottom

 I'm quite happy with my preparations e.g I let my apples drain their juice but something is wrong somewhere!

So any suggestions I might try, perhaps I should use all margarine rather that 50/50 margarine and lard ?

As always many thanks for your help

pmccool's picture

Recipes vary but many call for something, whether flour or corn starch or breadcrumbs, to absorb or bind the juices from the fruit.  That helps reduce the likelihood of a soggy bottom crust. 

I wonder if the pie is getting enough heat from the bottom while baking?  Maybe place the pie on a lower rack or baking at a higher temperature would help.


tpassin's picture

Here are some standard measures to take.  For all I know you are already using some or all of them.  If so, great, and I don't have any more.

Par-bake the bottom crust, lining it with pie weights or an improvised substitute to keep it from bubbling or heaving.

Paint the bottom crust with something waterproof, like oil (butter has water in it, so even though it tastes better oil might be preferable).

Some sources suggest pre-cooking the apple pieces in a microwave for a few minutes to drive out some water.  You can collect the juice and reduce it in a sauce pan to add back to the pie filling so you get most of the flavor but less liquid.

All apples are not equal for cooking.  Using apples recommended for cooking may produce less juice.  Many good recipes suggest using a mix of several kinds of apples, and I think that improves the flavor. 

Add a little thickener to reduce the liquidity.  Pectin or cornstarch are fairly common. Don't overdo it!


therearenotenoughnoodlesintheworld's picture

If you are at a loss, just make an apple crumble.   No soggy bottom as there is no bottom.

Also super quick, easy and the combination of apple & crumble texture is perfection. Of course, if your pies are eaten hand held then sure crust is essential - for everything else crumble can do it.

P.S.  For me, the best references for these would be vintage NZ or AUS.  Also, avoid anything that tries to get fancy with additional add ins - they're unnecessary distractions, and will only take you further away from "pie"

Apologies to any pie die hards...but some times you have to make things work within the constraints and time you have.

Moe C's picture
Moe C

Tom's suggestions are good. It helps to brush the prebaked, hot shell with egg white. The heat cooks it. Put your pie plate (in lower oven) on a heated stone or cookie sheet. And never, ever use a shiny, foil pie pan. Those things don't transfer heat properly.

I don't think it's your recipes; it's trying to get the bottom crust to bake with a wet filling. I make a rhubarb custard pie where the bottom crust is baked completely before the raw filling is added and it's put back into the oven. The bottom crust does not get overdone with this method. It is necessary, of course, to shield the top edge from burning. That pie does not have a top crust, so not sure how to attach your top crust to an already baked bottom crust.

Sugarowl's picture

You don't want to substitute margarine for butter. They are completely different. What you want is an oil-based pie crust recipe. It will not be flaky, but it will still be delicious.

Soggy bottom can also be a result of your filling. Is your filling thick or saucy? Are you cooking the pie crust first then the filling or putting it all together at once? Is your filling saucy after cooking it? Then put less liquid in it. Remember, sugar is also a liquid.

If you don't normally have a problem with your filling making the bottom soggy, then it's definitely the margarine.

jo_en's picture

Hi ,

I tried Benny's pie crust reference to a recipe here . The crust kept a good crunch the next day.

If I use fresh apples, I make a quick stove top cook to just wilt the apple slices (add sugar and cinnamon) . Then I put in a small amount of cornstarch slurry just to get the juices to glaze over the apples. I also slightly prebake the bottom shell - not browned but just getting puffy and a bit dry on the surface.

Bring out the bottom crust from the oven, ladle the just barely wilted filling and hold back the thickened juices if there is too much; then  I work quickly to add the top crust. Put it back into oven until the top crust is browned.

If using frozen sliced apples, I let them thaw in a colander until no longer icy. Give them a pre-cook on the stove top as above. A lot of juice will come out of frozen apples but thicken with a cornstarch slurry again. When you load apples into precooked bottom shell, you will have to keep back a  lot more of the juices.

This has worked for me (even with store bought pie shells like Marie Calendar).

Hope you will keep experimenting with apple pies! They are a favorite for many.