Question: I've been baking pies for 20 years, but can't find a solution as to why my pumpkin pies shrink away from the crust. I take them out of the oven looking so perfect and as soon as they cool the crust shrinks away from the filling. Hope you have a solution for me.
Answer: A spokesperson for Libby's canned pumpkin says that the filling's shrinking away from the crust can be caused by the oven temperature being a little too high or the baking time a little too long. For best results, be certain the pie is baked at the recommended temperature in the center of the oven.
The pie is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Little bubbles forming around the outside edge of the filling near the crust are a sign of overbaking.
Other possible causes for this problem include using a pastry with a high degree of fat and cooling the baked pie in a draft. Be sure to let the filling reach room temperature before refrigerating.
Q: I have two recipes calling for farina, but both the supermarket and health food stores tell me they don't carry it. I assume that this is a generic rather than brand name but what should I purchase?
A: The dictionary defines farina as a fine meal of vegetable matter (as cereal grains) used chiefly for puddings or as a breakfast cereal. The key is to look for the words "enriched farina" under Nabisco's Cream of Wheat in the cereal section of the supermarket. It comes in regular, quick and instant varieties.
Q: I've recently noticed that my wine glasses have a cloudy film. What do you think is causing this? I put them in my dishwasher and include a rinse agent.
A: Filmy or cloudy build-up on glassware may be either hard water filming or etching according to representatives of Whirlpool Corp. Determine if the film is removable by dampening a soft cloth with vinegar and firmly rubbing a cloudy area of the glass. Let the glass dry. If the cloudiness remains, the glass is permanently etched and, unfortunately, can't be cleaned or restored. Etching is permanent and irreversible.
If the vinegar does remove the cloudiness, it is hard water filming. Remove the film by loading the dishwasher as usual, selecting a cycle with two washes and filling both detergent dispensers. Omit the dry cycle by selecting air dry.
Remove all metal items after the final rinse. Place 2 cups of white vinegar in a glass bowl or measuring cup and set it upright in the bottom rack. Then run the dishwasher through a complete cycle having two wash portions and include heat dry.
There is also a commercial film and spot remover product called Glass Magic on the market. Follow package instructions when using this product.