Muddy’s Journal

ask a baker: is it done yet? the crunchy custard pie edition

Last time on Ask a Baker, we began a short series in answer to the question: 'How can I tell when a pie is finished baking?' I decided to break this answer down by types of pies, the first being perhaps the easiest to address: the fruit pie.

I've been frustrated in my attempts to break down other pies into smaller categories, other than to classify all egg-based baked pies as custard pies, and cream pies as well, cream pies. Typically people tend to group all custard pies together, but I will break these down into two categories, based on what we produce here at Muddy's: custard pies that form a crunchy crust on top and custard pies that don't form a crunchy crust on top. This week we will stick to just one of those categories: crunchy crust custard pies! Yum!

I don't know about you, but I love crunchy crust custard pies, especially those made in the Muddy's kitchen! These include our sinfully rich chocolate chess pie, the Cocoa Chanel Pie (pictured above); the famous Shady Wake Pie (a.k.a., the best Southern pecan pie in the history of ever); as well as our unique top customer-pick, the Tollhouse Jack Pie, a chocolate chip cookie pie laced with bourbon.

Of course you may find some variations in your own recipes at home, but generally with these type of pies, you are looking for two things to tell you they are done: a firmness to the touch (note, a vast majority of pies shouldn?t feel solid or hard, but they should show some resistance to slight pressure) and cracks. Not TOO many cracks, but if you see some small cracks forming and the pie is not jiggly, you should be good to go! You can see this well in the Tollhouse Jack Pie below.

Many baking sources tell you that inserting a toothpick in your pie filling (as you would do a cake to tell if it were done) is the best way to tell if a custard pie is done, but we in the Muddy?s kitchen have noticed that this does not work for our crunchy crust custard pies. Toothpicking is more likely to be of some help in gauging the doneness of your traditional smooth-topped custard pies, but we Muddy?s bakers have some methods we prefer that don?t make strange little holes throughout the pie filling! Next week, I will fill you in on those secrets!

Happy baking!