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meagan's avatar

Why didn't my pecan pie set up?

Asked by meagan (4625 points ) November 21st, 2010

Hey, everyone.
I made this recipe : http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/chocolate-pecan-pie-everyday-food?backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/thanksgiving-pies#slide_4

I followed all of the instructions and added all of the ingredients, but after I allowed my pie to set over night, I cut into it and syrup was in the middle! :(

I think I might not have cooked it long enough. But the top of the pie is a caramelized crust. It totally cooked the top!

What does everyone think? What went wrong?

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13 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I’ve had similar problems with pecan pies in the past, so I always add a little less corn syrup than my recipe calls for. You have to be careful, though, not to eliminate too much… I’ve also had pies come out hard as a rock.

JLeslie's avatar

Here is the Karo syrup recipe maybe compare the two?

meagan's avatar

Maybe this is a rookie mistake, but I just popped the pie back in the oven. Its already ruined, so I’m going to see if a little more bake-time will help everything set up (which I doubt).

Would corn starch help, later on? Maybe that will help thicken things.. :-/
(Such a shame that this happened! I even braided the crust. Very pretty pie.)

ram201pa's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for the link. She makes it look so easy. Now I am hungry for pecan pie.

marinelife's avatar

m thinking that you may not have let it cook enough. I don’t think putting it back in the oven will help if it has been refrigerated in the interim.

john65pennington's avatar

More time in the oven is needed. silly question, but your oven is not on preheat, is it? use the same settings and bake for a few more minutes. i wouldlower the heat in order to avoid scorching the top.

MissAusten's avatar

I’ve found that Martha Stewart recipes are hit-and-miss. Sometimes they are great, and other times something about the recipe is off. If you’re making something for the first time or aren’t an experienced cook, it can be really hard to figure out what went wrong.

The cooking time, temperature, or measurements could have been off. Or, some combination of all three. This recipe from another site uses cocoa instead of chocolate, less corn syrup, and bakes at a lower temperature. It has excellent reviews, which I always read because they often contain tips to make the recipe better, easier, or faster.

Unfortunately, you can’t use a skewer or thin knife to test if this kind of pie is done. After about 40 minutes of baking, give the pie a jiggle. If the center wiggles a lot, it’s not done. Wait another 5–10 minutes, then jiggle it again. The pie is done when the center wiggles slightly. Then, after cooling all night, it should fully set up.

If the top is getting too brown but the pie doesn’t seem done, cover it loosely with foil and continue baking until the center of the pie is almost set. I’m sure your next attempt will be much better!

crisw's avatar

Also, have you checked your oven temperature with a thermometer? Many ovens are way off.

BarnacleBill's avatar

This is my fail-proof pie. If you use whole pecans, and eliminate the bourbon, you have chocolate pecan pie. If you don’t, it’s totally awesome. BTW, this recipe multiplies well; it’s as easy to make 2 pies as one.

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted
3 to 4 tablespoons bourbon
¼ cup corn starch
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits

Combine the eggs, sugar, melted butter and bourbon. Add the cornstarch to the mixture, blending in slowly.

Stir in the pecans and chocolate bits. Pour into an unbaked 9-inch pie shell.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for approximately 45 – 50 minutes. Cool, and serve with whipped cream.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t understand putting cc bits in a pecan pie. It ruins it for me.

JLeslie's avatar

Can I piggy back on this question and ask if anyone has tried egg beaters when making pecan pie? Did it set up ok?

meagan's avatar

Thanks for the advice. I put the pie in the oven for about 60 minutes. The top had a crust, so I assumed it was done. Next time I’ll put the foil over the top and see what happens. :) Thanks.

plt's avatar

Pecan pie is my favorite pie. My mom always made it during the holidays. She always used the Betty Crocker Southern Style Pecan Pie recipe, so do I. One recipe calls for a temperature of 350, another calls for 375. The recipe I use calls for a temperature of 350 at 50 minutes. But I’m having the same problem you are. The center of the pie doesn’t firm up. So I turn down the temperature to 250 and let it cook another hour, taking it out at 20 minute intervals to check if it’s firming up better. Than I let it cool to room temperature and put it in the refrigerator a few hours or overnight. It does firm up better but still not as much as it should. The crust is nice and brown, the top of the pie is beautiful and the body of the pie is firm until getting closer to the center which is still looser than it should be. I’ve also put an oven thermometer in the oven to check the temperature and everything checks out fine. Hope that helps out a little.

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