Britain's finest is sweetly known as castor sugar


February 16, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Q: What is castor sugar?

A: Castor sugar is a British term for an especially fine granulated sugar. It's also sometimes referred to as superfine sugar.

It dissolves very quickly so is perfect for cold liquids. It can be exchanged in equal amounts for regular granulated sugar.

Q: How does one get the hard backing off coconuts without breaking your fingers?

A: Removing the backing from a fresh coconut isn't easy even after you have conquered the shell. The easiest method I have found is to first cut the coconut meat into smaller manageable pieces.

Then, with a very sharp paring knife, try to cut the coconut away from the backing. The coconut can then be quickly grated in a food processor.

Q: Whenever I try serving a pumpkin pie that I have made, the side crust falls away from the filling (and this is the same day it has been baked).

What can I do?

A: To prevent the side crust of a pumpkin pie from falling away from the filling, it is best to follow a crust technique recommended for custard pies in general. Form the crust in the pie plate and then generously prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. Refrigerate the crust, covered, for at least one hour. The refrigeration will help set the crust and prevent shrinking. The pricking of the sides prevents water from evaporating from the crust in the form of steam, which can also contribute to separation.

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