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I am assembling a recipe for a glazed fruit pie, refrigerated and not cooked. The glaze will be made from a starch which will be boiled with water and sugar, poured over berries in a jelly roll pan and refrigerated to soft set. They'll then be placed into a cookie crumb crust and put back in the fridge to finish setting. It's all fairly simple.

However most of the recipes I have found call for cornstarch. The store-bought glaze mixes I've found include tapioca starch (along with citric acid, salt, and some natural flavors/coloring). I have both tapioca starch and cornstarch on hand, as well as potato starch. Is there a benefit of any one over the others? For instance, I have read that cornstarch can impart a significant cornstarch flavor. Also, cornstarch will often result in a cloudier appearance when set. The goal here is a completely transparent appearance so one could barely tell that there was anything beyond fruit present. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

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Is there a reason you don't want to use the store-bought mix? I'm sure that is totally transparent, and perhaps easier than making your own. –  Mien Jul 10 '13 at 6:35
    
Four major reasons: 1) I like making it myself and the whole DIY approach, 2) I can make it on my own for cheaper than buying packets of glaze mix, 3) I don't trust "food colorings and flavors" when they won't describe what they are in the ingredients list, and finally 4) the glaze is actually from Canada, I haven't found anything similar here in the US. –  Matthew Jul 10 '13 at 15:11
    
Okay :) I was just wondering. Good luck! –  Mien Jul 11 '13 at 9:53
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Use the tapioca starch, or, if you cannot find that, another tuber starch. It is more waxy than cornstarch, and therefore better suited for a glaze. It will give you a glossy, transparent appearance.

Cornstarch is a mealy starch, with high amylopectin content, and creates a soft, fluffy, somewhat cloudy mass, not as glossy or as transparent as waxy starches. By the way, it shouldn't have an off-taste if you cook it through.

I guess that most recipes haunting the Internet use cornstarch because it is so much more common in a home kitchen, and the home bakers found the result good enough for their purposes and/or were not aware that tapioca will give them a better end product. As you describe that you want a really good glaze, go for the tapioca.

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Excellent, thank you! The one other option was arrowroot, but from what I saw everything points to tuber based starches instead of cornstarch being optimal for the nice jewel-clear set appearance. Your answer backs that up. Thank you so much! –  Matthew Jul 10 '13 at 15:13
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