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What does this mean? Double-baked? I’ve often wondered about watery an apple pie which is the case if you make apple pie in summer. Why? More than likely, it is because you are using last year’s apples in your filling. Over time, even with the best great cold storage and along with your best baker’s efforts, even the best apples lose their apple perfection and can bake up into a watery pie. So I’ve wondered about cooking the filling a bit first, as pie filling manufacturers do, as evidenced if you’ve ever tasted canned pie filling or had a diner apple pie. I finally did it – cooking up the apples a bit first and I can say the results are really good. Is apple pie made better with this method (and let it be said it is not really double-baked; it is cooked filling and a baked pie)? I would say for apple-pie-in-summer, it’s not a bad approach. Which brings me to the apple-rhubarb combination. I love tart things and again, in summer, last year’s apple crop can taste simply starchy and sweet. But add a bit of summery rhubarb and the whole pie stands up and salutes. Just make sure when you add the par-cooked filling it is not warm or hot; otherwise it will compromise the pie pastry.

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