Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tapioca Starch

Remember me telling you about berry picking last summer? This week I broke out two bags of berries out of deep freeze and decided to make pie. I chose Logan berries and rasberries. Tart, musky and sweet. I have stopped using corn starch for binding pies and cobblers and instead use Tapioca starch. Corn starch just does not feel good in my body when I eat it, and tapioca starch binds beautifully. Very low allergens associated with tapioca so that is a bonus too. Whole Foods or your co-op will have tapioca starch. Here is my recipe for filling. You can of course buy frozen berries or use fresh berries. Just thaw out the berries before you make the filling. Blueberries are a really lush pie filling and mixing them with rhubarb with a little bit of cinnamon just makes my head dizzy with excitement. You can make you own crust, but here is a tip....Pillsbury pie crusts in the egg/dairy section next to the biscuits and cold cookie dough work really well. Very flaky and tender. If you are in a pinch they work great. I prefer them over hippie crusts. Also, let the pie rest on your counter for a couple of hours before serving to let it set. If possible even over night. Just cover with tin foil. This is a great way of bringing summer brightness into you kitchen in the dead of winter. Your family will be shocked that you have berry pie for them. Strawberries are in season right now, so buy some and mix it with frozen rasberries, or splurge and buy a couple pints of blueberries. Strawberry and blueberry pie is delish. Of course it is 65 and sunny here and we are desperate for rain, so I can't remember what winter feels like!

Pie filling
4 cups berries of your choosing
4 Tbls tapioca starch
1 cup sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbls lemon juice

Stir pie filling together and pour into crust. Top with crust and pinch sides together. Cut a few slits on the top. Put pie on a cookie sheet, because it will bubble over and it sucks to get pie goo on your oven bottom. It will smoke up your kitchen too! If you buy ready made pie crust it will take you 10 minutes to make this recipe. It is really really good with Straus Organic Vanilla Icecream.

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