The New Bakers Dozen
Mixed berry streusel crisp... runny slop?

The The Bakers Dozen: Mixed berry streusel crisp... runny slop?
By d. on Monday, August 23, 1999 - 04:16 pm: Edit

god knows how many times I've experimented making a mixed berry crisp(straw.,rasp.,blueberries) and it always turns out runny. I've tried arrowroot, tapioca, cornstarch and col-flo(I think its waxy maize). I think so far the cornstarch and the col-flo have produced the best results. I usually start by using IQF blueberries and straw., thaw them and drain the crap out of them. I cook and thicken the juice and then add back the drained fruit and add to that fresh rasp.Cool the fruit, sprinkle the streusel and bake off. I've tried just using all fresh fruit and mixing it with flour and sugar and baking it off...doesn't work, specially when you have to make 20 hotel pans and the center doesn't cook. Any ideas anyone? Much obliged.

By makubo on Monday, August 23, 1999 - 06:31 pm: Edit

Dear d.
two ideas come to mind,
-Sprinkle a thin layer of white sponge crumbs(just enough so it is covered) then apply your crumble dough and bake it, with more heat from the top than from the bottom
-Fill your fruit preparation into the desired dish,
bake the crumble on a separate sheet, tossing on turning it as if it was almonds, until golden brown, remove from the oven, let cool down and distribute on to the dish

By d. on Monday, August 23, 1999 - 08:10 pm: Edit

Thanks makubo, but the problem is in the filling. After the crisp bakes, I usually fill in the spaces where the juice bubbles over with more crumble that I have baked separately.

By jeee2 on Monday, August 23, 1999 - 08:15 pm: Edit


>> and the center doesn't cook>>

You mean the topping in the middle doesn't bake?
because you already cooked the filling.
I use convections and they would do a good job on that sort of thing, I do full sheetpans with no problem. If it works in a smaller pie shell but not in the bigger pan, its the oven's peculiarities.

IQF strawberries are a pain, I tried making strawberry brioche with them and they are all water, switched to apple instead.

Using IQF strawberries you might as well open a bucket of strawberry pi filling and add fruit to that. Baking it in a shallow tray would help too, its fighting the deep pan.
Cheers, Gerard

By makubo on Monday, August 23, 1999 - 08:53 pm: Edit

If you precook your filling, the only thing you are actually baking is the crumble on top, giving it color so to speak, a piping hot oven, just flash it and your filling does'nt have a chance to cook over.

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, August 24, 1999 - 08:07 am: Edit

The people ahead of me are correct.
I find cornstarch works best for me. I sprinkle my berries (even frozen berries)with butter then add seasoning & sugar if desired and dust cornstarch directly on berries without precooking a sauce. For fresh blueberries I use flour and sugar just like making a pie.
When I do a mixed berry cobbler I always make it mainly blueberry with a small amount of other berries. B.B. cooks the best the other berries don't bake well. I find raspberries make slop and strawberries also water it down.
You probably don't have enough cornstarch in your base when the watery fruits give way.

By d. on Tuesday, August 24, 1999 - 03:51 pm: Edit

The crisps(the catering managers insist on selling them as "cobblers", even when I have tirelessly explained to them the differences bet. a cobbler and a crisp)need to be served in hotel pans because they go on a buffet. I have had no problems with the peach nor the apple(and I do use IQF), even if I bake them the night before. The berry one, on the other hand, tends to become more watery as it sits. When I meant the center doesn't cook I didn't mean the streusel. I meant that if I tried the method that W.DeBord suggested(not precooking the fruit; just tossing the fruit directly with the starch and sugar, topping with crumble and baking off)after 40 minutes of baking the center(the filling)isn't thouroughly cooked while all around it the juices are bubbling over the edge of the pan. This method only works on smaller shallower baking dishes. I will stick to the cooked juice method and just try using a heck of a lot more starch. Let you know how it turns out. Thanks to all.

By jee2 on Tuesday, August 24, 1999 - 07:00 pm: Edit


By the time you get through you might as well open a can of rhubarb strawberry filling and doctor it up. Sometimes it better to punt.


By W.DeBord on Wednesday, August 25, 1999 - 08:54 am: Edit

D. maybe I misunderstood. Didn't you mention you added the raspberries last after you did your thickening. I think they your problem. They can release so much juice that your cornstarch can't keep up. More starch has got to fix your problem.

By Mike Henders (Mikeh) on Wednesday, August 25, 1999 - 09:29 am: Edit


If cornstarch only absorbs water when it is boiling, I don't see how adding more will soak up the juice of the raspberries added after the fact.


By jeee2 on Wednesday, August 25, 1999 - 09:54 am: Edit

>If cornstarch only absorbs water when it is boiling, I don't see how adding more
will soak up the juice of the raspberries added after the fact. >>

The starch will bloom when the pie bakes, a pie is done when it bubbles(boils) in the middle,
apple pies are made by adding corn starch,sugar and lemon juice to apples, no pre-cookin.
A crisp might be better made with less succulent fruits, I know peach works very well.
Frozen raspberries and blueberries don't release as much water as strawberries do.

Ciao, Gerard

By Mike Henders (Mikeh) on Wednesday, August 25, 1999 - 12:07 pm: Edit


Duh...forgot about the baking part :(

A little off topic, but do you know if it is possible to poach an apple without having it turn to mush?


By jeee2 on Wednesday, August 25, 1999 - 05:55 pm: Edit

Yeh, poach til its =just= done enough then plunge in cold water or syrup to stop it turning to mush.

Saute'd with butter and a bit o' sugar will help keep its shape, depends what you want it for I s'pose. I'm thinkking peeled sliced.

Regards, Gerard

By Wjhanna (Wjhanna) on Saturday, September 11, 1999 - 12:48 pm: Edit

Has anyone heard of what has been called a "wet" streusel, using an icing or glaze instead of powdered sugar before adding the streusel topping? It is said to make it more serveable by holding together better.

By Cflower on Tuesday, July 11, 2000 - 07:15 am: Edit

I'd leave off the strawberries and make it raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

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