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A Cooking Tip from Great Pies and Tarts
When you want to know if a particular fruit is a good candidate for a pie or a tart, here is my "secret" for testing it for moisture, texture, color, and flavor.
Peel, core, and cut an apple (as an example) into 1/4 inch slices. Place the pieces in an ovenproof glass dish (about 8-ounce capacity). Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar, and bake it at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling. Let the fruit cool for at least 15 minutes, then invert it onto a small plate. Note the amount of liquid that is present and how well the apple slices retain their shape. If it is of importance, check their color, and finally, taste them for flavor.
If the fruit is not too watery or mushy, use it for baking. Adjust the sweetening in the recipe to your taste, adding a touch more lemon juice if the fruit needs a lift. If the fruit is on the watery side, add a bit more thickening to the filling. I have used this method primarily for apples and pears, but you can test the waters with other fruits as well.