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My pecan pie did not set up properly.

I followed the America's Test Kitchen recipe exactly, but my pie did not set up properly. I baked it 1 day ahead, so it was completely cooled. When I cut into it, it was more like pecan pudding. It was tasty, but would not slice. Any ideas why?

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  1. What was the testing method for doneness before removing it from the oven?

    1. It wasn't cooked long enough. Sugar needs to get to a certain temp to gel. I combine the sugars (brown, corn) in a sauce pan and heat till a boil to dissolve the brown sugar and to get the temp up, I then let it cool a little and slowly temper the eggs into the mixture, then add in the nuts and it all goes into the oven. I start at 400, then reduce to 350 when the pie goes in. I bake for about 30-40 minutes. Middle should be slightly puffed, and bubbly.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jennifer Luxmoore

        ATK said remove the pie when it is still a little "jiggly" in the center (like with a pumpkin pie or cheesecake), so that is what I did. I did exactly that. I guess they were wrong. It was definitely not a little puffed in center. I will try it your way next time.

        1. re: Jennifer Luxmoore

          Not sure what you mean by sugar gelling. The eggs are what thickens the pie.

        2. Yes, it sounds undercooked. And now I want to make a pecan pie LOL. I have't made one since Thanksgiving lol.

          7 Replies
          1. re: rasputina

            Hi, rasputina:

            The ATK recipe from the Holiday Entertaining issue is fantastic. My Thanksgiving guests this year who professed to disliking pecan pie went crazy for this preparation.

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            1. re: kaleokahu

              I actually love the Yankee Pecan pie made with maple syrup from King Arthur Flour. It's become my new standard, even replacing my moms recipe

              oops don't tell her that lol

              1. re: rasputina

                Hi, rasputina:

                I'll look for that one. The ATK recipe is also maple-syrup-based (i.e., Caro-less). Have you made both and favor the Yankee one?

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  The one I made was the maple-syrup pie. I followed the recipe exactly. I am a very good cook and bake a lot. It said "Bake Pie: Scatter pecans in pie shell. Carefully pour filling over. Place pie in hot oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until filling is set and center jiggles slightly when pie is gently shaken, 45 to 60 minutes. Cool pie on rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate until set, about 3 hours and up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving." That is exactly what I did, and it never set up. It tasted great, but never set.

                  1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                    Never heard of refrigerating a pecan pie....for any reason.

                    1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                      I've never ever refrigerated a pecan pie, and the right recipe certainly does not need that step for it to set correctly.

              2. Can't overcooking the pie also result in a more liquid filling? I haven't made the ATK recipe; I use the one on the back of the Karo syrup bottle (but use double the weight of pecans). That recipe says to pull the pie when the filling is something like 200 degrees. Since I began using the instant-read to measure doneness, I've not had an under/overcooked pecan pie.

                1 Reply
                1. re: OldSchool

                  That is interesting. Having no pecan pie experience, I took it out when the very center was a tiny bit jiggly, then did all the other instructions. If I try it again, I will use my instant read thermometer and take it out at 200.I definitely didn't over cook because it was just a bit of tiny jiggle in dead center. It absolutely did not puff up...wish it had! lol.
                  I think of ATK like the holy grail, but I guess even they can give a blooper once in a while. It tasted wonderful, with the maple syrup and a tad of blackstrap molasses, so maybe I will try again, but take the temperature and forget the refrigeration!