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Why was the pumpkin pie wet?

DaisyM Nov 26, 2010 03:57 AM

I used the libby pie recipe. I let it cool and covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. The next day when I lifted off the plastic wrap it seemed wet on top.

Did I not bake it long enough? Was I wrong to cover it in plastic wrap? Did I not cool it enough?

My husband said it was great and didn't notice. But something didn't look quite right.

  1. todao Nov 26, 2010 07:08 AM

    Yes, you were wrong to cover it in plastic. Not because plastic isn't acceptable, but that when the temperature of the pie is greater than the temperature inside the refrigerator the moist air trapped between the pie and the plastic condenses as liquid creating the condition you describe. To avoid a wet pie surface, cool the pie uncovered until it is at least down to room temperature. I cool mine on a rack and then put them outside on the porch exposed to cold air to bring the temperature down further before covering it with plastic wrap. If you cover it loosely (slipping it into a plastic bag rather than wrapping it tightly, you'll be less likely to create a wet pie filling and soggy crust.
    You can also put them in the refrigerator, uncovered, after they've come to room temperature to pre-cool them before covering but you need to be careful to get them covered within 30 - 60 minutes because flavors of other foods in the refrigerator will infiltrate your pie and spiol its delicate flavor.
    To better evaluate whether or not your pie has cooled enough, hold the cooled pie witih the open palm of one hand when you believe it's cooled. You'll find that there's can be quite a difference between the top of the pie and the bottom of the pan.

    6 Replies
    1. re: todao
      DaisyM Nov 26, 2010 07:38 AM

      Thanks! I thought I had cooled it, but I guess not enough. Great idea with the bag. BTW, is the pumpkin pie better if you make it the day before or the day you are eating it. ( I honestly, don't like pumpkin pie, but my husband loves it.)

      1. re: DaisyM
        todao Nov 26, 2010 07:49 AM

        IMO, pumpkin pie does not improve in flavor with age. Crust tends to lose its crisp firmness and the filling can get a bit mushy, regardless of whether it's pumpkin or any other form of pie. My motto for pies of any kind has always been "fresh is best".

        1. re: todao
          zamorski Nov 26, 2010 03:42 PM

          Ruth Levy Berenbaum's recipe in her Pie and Pastry Bible is brilliant: She lines the bottom with a thin layer of crushed gingersnaps and pecans, and these help soak up extra liquid. In addition, she bakes it on the floor of the oven, so the bottom gets nice and crisp (this gave me the jitters the first time, but it works beautifully).

          1. re: zamorski
            todao Nov 26, 2010 04:03 PM

            Her approach to creating a wonderfully tasty pie is admirable. But even Ruth Levy Berenbaum's pie will get wet and soggy if you cover it and put it in the refrigerator prematurely.

            1. re: todao
              DaisyM Nov 27, 2010 04:12 AM

              Just in case people are looking for her book....her first name is Rose, not Ruth.

        2. re: DaisyM
          LauraGrace Nov 27, 2010 05:40 AM

          Just to be contrary: I think pumpkin pie is one of those things that can only improve with a couple days' age on it. I think the flavors of the spices taste mellower and rounder after it sits. Of course, growing up, we put the pies and everything else made in advance in the "garagerator" which, in Colorado in November, is obviously MUCH drier than a fridge, so we didn't have the sogginess problem.

      2. c
        classylady Nov 26, 2010 05:04 AM

        I also make the Libby recipe. The pie had to stand 20 minutes on a rack and then refrigerated. The custard was soft the first day and on Thanksgiving it was fine. Perhaps covering the pie with plastic may have caused the moisture.

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