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Nov 21, 2013 12:22 AM

Does alcohol in a pecan pie cook out?

For Thanksgiving, I'm going to be making the John Thorne Pecan Pie that several Chowhounders have raved about. The recipe calls for 2 T. of dark rum. Will the rum cook out / burn off during the 50 minutes of baking? I'm concerned about whether the alcohol will affect the children who'll be sure to eat the pie. If it doesn't cook out, what would be a good non-alcoholic substitute?


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  1. It will cook out at the temperature and time needed to bake a pie. All that sugar is a bigger concern.

    1. most (not all) of the alcohol will cook off.

      A typical pie is cut into 8 wedges. (pecan often more, as it's so rich)

      2T (6 teaspoons) of rum divided by 8 slices is just 3/4 teaspoon of rum per slice -- not enough to intoxicate anyone old enough to eat the pie -- and that's before cooking.

      I agree that the sugar content will be a bigger issue with the mommies.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        Given that vanilla can be so much higher in alcohol content, I also think the 2 Tablespoons of rum is a nonissue as children go. If someone couldn't have alcohol for religious reasons, that's a different issue altogether.

        1. re: chowser

          Not my first choice, but if the rum is an issue with the moms, there's always rum extract.

      2. Alcohol never totally cooks off, no matter what you do.

        But I agree with the others that the tiny amount still left is a nonissue.

        1. I am very relaxed about this sort of thing. My kids eat stews and daubes all the time that contain up to 3 cups of wine in them. I don't kid myself that it all cooks out.

          It's not a big deal.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Becca Porter

            Grew up with alcohol spiked cherries in desserts, wine in stews, etc. and am still here :). Ate an entire box of brandy filled chocolates at age 6 and Mom didn't bat an eye.

          2. Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. There are no religious or moral concerns, so I'm not going to worry about it. Rum, it is! :-)

            1 Reply
            1. re: goodeatsgal

              And some flavor compounds are only alcohol soluble, so the pie wouldn't have been as tasty without the alcohol, flavoring it would have contributed aside. ;D