Fresh fruit pies made with sweet, fragrant fruit are perhaps the most perfect dessert, but working with super juicy fruit means your pie sometimes overrunneth. Luckily, you can control the juiciness with a little maceration.
Photo by Stu Spivack.
Actually, Food 52 has a few tips for making sure your pies don’t overflow with juice, which you can peep in the link below, but the maceration technique is my favourite. Technically, “macerating” is simply softening a food using any liquid, but it has become synonymous with the process of softening fruit using its own juices by drawing them out with a sprinkling of sugar . (Thanks, osmosis!)
To use this to better control the liquid level in your pies, toss your fresh fruit with the amount of sugar called for in your pie recipe, and let it sit for about half an hour, tossing occasionally. When your fruit is all nice and soft and has given up a good bit of juice, strain it off, pressing down on the fruit gently to get a little extra. Transfer the juice to a pan and simmer over medium heat until it reduces to around 1/4 of a cup. Add a small amount of the hot reduction to some cornstarch (a ratio of 1/4 cup cornstarch for every 5 cups of fruit works well) and make a slurry. Add the slurry and the fruit to the pot o’ juice reduction and stir to combine. Let cool, fill up that crust, and bake as usual.