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Pecan Pie Woes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Okay here is the deal. The recipe calls for a moderate oven, the first attempt on this recipe i used 350° for about 50~ minutes. It looked right, firmness was relative considering the inside was molten jelly... To say the least it tasted absolutly wonderful but the center had not jelled over and was a tad runny. So tonight i gave it another go this time instead i cooked it at 375° for 60 minutes. The color was much better this time around again the firmness was relative given the cooking situation. Its still cooling now so i wont know how it turned out until i have a slice in the morning for breakfest :yum:.

I do understand that moderate oven temperature seems to range from 350-375, thats why i opted for the higher temperature this go round. Im thinking my oven (shes old) might be a little slow. Im going to purchase a temp gauge for it and do some tests to see how accurate she is.

Any thoughts on why it failed to firmed up in the center?

Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie

4 eggs
1 1/2 cup Southern cane syrup (or corn syrup)
1 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely broken
1 cup white sugar
4 tbsp butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Boil sugar and syrup together for 2 to 3 minutes. Beat eggs thoroughly and slowly pour the hot syrup into the eggs. Add butter, vanilla, and pecan meats. Turn into unbaked pie shell and bake in moderate oven about 45 minutes, or until set.
post #2 of 6
I think if you reduce the amount of butter to 2 Tbs, and add two egg yolks to your other eggs in the recipe, I think it should firm up fine.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #3 of 6
Baking pecan pies is very very complicated business.

The filling of a pecan pie is basically a custard. Custards like low slow water bath cooking. Unfortunately you're dealing with a crust that needs browning.

Add to that the fact that an overcooked custard can have similar attributes to an undercooked one makes pecan pie baking very complicated indeed.

When you say the middle was 'runny' was it a weepy sort of runny or a gooey kind of runny? Is it spongey and loose or is it dense and loose?

Spongey/weepy - overcooked/cooked too fast
Gooey/dense - undercooked

I definitely wouldn't bake a pecan pie at a higher temp than the recipe. The filling just can't handle it.
post #4 of 6
Bake your pie in a pre-baked crust.
Don't follow the time, so much as how your pie looks. It should be pufffing up slightly from the edge to the center.
Make sure your liquid sugar isn't molten hot when you pour it into the eggs. Temper it in when you do add it, but let it cool down to 200F. befroe doing so.
I like to completely fill the shell with toasted pecans before adding the liquid. This is expensive, but makes for a much more flavorful, less gooey pie.
Given the amount of corn syrup/sugar, you need at least 8-12 eggs to get a good set. Add an ounce of cornstarch to your cold eggs before tempering in the sugar.
350 is a fine baking temp. Get an oven thermometer, to be sure.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well the verdict is in. It turned out much better this go round... The insides
jelled nicely and had a slightly gooey but firm texture, no runny juices this
time :).

To address the previous questions:

The first go round it was very gooey and had no real texture in the middle.
Looked like a lump of melting butter, my first indication that the oven may be
a bit slow...

The second time around (last night) it has a firm texture not really any run
that i could see after cutting. However several minutes later i did notice a
small amount of 'sepage' it looked like sugar syrup. Overall it turned out very
nice, the crust was nice and flakey, it hadnt absorbed any noticeable amounts of
the pie filling.

I was pouring the sugar directly from the stove (after bubbling subsided) over
the eggs slowly, i will pull out the candy thermo next time and see what temp
it is and allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding.

The pie center did rise as you indicated, it actually puffs up quite a bit at
first then levels down to a small puff. I assume this is normal? I'm going to
give this recipe one more go before i scrap the idea of using it for
thanksgiving. All in all the second pie did turn out good and was very tasty
for breakfest :).

I'll take a picture of the pie tonight and you can judge the texture and what
not from the picture and see if it helps any in determining the culprit...

Thanks again everyone :)
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Whats the correct way to judge firmness during the cooking process? How much jiggle in the center is enough? too much? puffiness?

I forgot about the picture, not that it matters much now, its almost all gone.
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