How do you get your fruit pies to firm up?

New Year’s dinner was part ‘New Year’s’ and part ‘Mike’s 50’ so we should have a meal together dinner. (Pretty sure my grammar in that sentence was atrocious!) Anyway, work schedules since Christmas have prevented us from being able to have a family meal together. I had hoped yesterday would have been different but, as it were, two of our kids were unable to make it. Still, we had a nice meal, minus our two middle sons.

New year's dinner plate of ham, hoppin johns, potato salad and store bought rolls

I didn’t make the rolls.

I woke feeling sickly, a feeling that persisted all day long. I was moving so slowly as I prepped and cooked that I missed my opportunity to start the dough for dinner rolls. Bear was nice enough to run to Casey’s and get a bag of theirs, else we would have broken bread without actually having bread. The ham was easy, just basted with vinegar as it roasted in the oven. The potato salad was from scratch and the Hoppin’ John almost didn’t happen because I forgot to soak my black-eyed peas the night before.

Dessert was supposed to be homemade apple pie. I thought about this as I popped the top from a quart jar of cherry pie filling I made last summer. Oops. I had one homemade pie crust left in the freezer, two store-bought deep dishes and no desire to make pie crust so I used the store-bought crust and topped the cherry pie with the left over (frozen) crust Mike made for Thanksgiving pie making.

Cherry pie

Cherry pie, looks pretty good, huh?

I brushed sugar milk on top and cooked it for 50 minutes in a 375°F oven. It looked nice when I took it out but, as with every single fruit pie I’ve EVER made, the slices of pie ran out of the crust and all over everyone’s plate.


How do you get fruit pies to firm up when you cook them? All of my pie fillings do this, by the way. Our apple trees produced enough apples for me to make four quarts of pie filling this fall and I get the same results from them. I expect this to happen so much I always favor cobblers rather than pie because then I don’t feel so much like … failure. Store bought fruit pies don’t run when you slice them up. Restaurant ones don’t and neither did my Grandmother’s. I’m bound and determined to conquer the art of firmed-up-enough-to-stay-in-the-crust fruit pies but I’m clueless as to what I’m doing wrong.


Babygirl sliced and served the pie last night. When Boo, my three year old and brutally honest grand-daughter, saw her piece she looked at Babygirl and exclaimed, “YOU KILLED THE PIE!” Forever will I feel that shame unless I can correct my missteps and produce a ‘can-eat-it-with-a-fork’ fruit pie. I need tips and or tried-and-true recipes STAT! If you have them, spill in the comments and thanks so much! (also, you can use Twitter or email if that’s your bag)

Oh, one more thing. I don’t eat cherry or apple pie but my family said they taste great. They don’t complain about the consistency but I feel the shame regardless.


Posted on January 2, 2016, in Blog, Cooking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I don’t take risks with fruit pies not setting. I use a combination of low-sugar pectin, tapioca powder, arrowroot, and corn starch to thicken the filling. I probably really only need one of those, but I’m not good enough with fruit to guess which one or how much for each circumstance. I haven’t come across anything this combination won’t set.

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