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i've burned 4 pecan pies in 2 days....

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
hello all,

we're having an office holiday party for thanksgiving and i decided to bring a pecan pie. now, since this is my first pie, i figured i'd make a few test pies before the big day. well, heres my problem, i've burned every one. a total of 4. i don't understand why this is happening. i've even lowered the temp, but the crust and the edges always burn. and also, the center, well,,, umm... just doesn't look right. i'm expecting a beautiful light brown center, and it always looks gunky and very dark brown. instead of being smooth, it look like chunky peanutbutter. when i try to cut it, the top separates from the gooey part. heres the recipe i'm using. word for word.

Classic Pecan Pie

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 to 60 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings

  • 1 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen** deep-dish pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.
  3. Bake on center rack of oven for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.
  4. **To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.

any help would be appreciated.
post #2 of 6
Near as I can figure, your recipe ingredients ain't rah't. This is the listing in the old Joy of Cooking:
1/4 cup butter
1 c brown sugar
3 egg
1/2 c corn syrup
1 or 1 1/2 cup pecan
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
(the recipe in Professional Baking by Gisslen is different still)

1) Try same procedure, but with above ingredients

2) your oven temp ain't rah't. Buy an oven thermometer, and see how accurate the dial on your oven is compared to the store-bought thermometer.

When you figure it out, let us know so we can all learn :crazy:.
post #3 of 6
The formula is'nt the problem, it's the baking time and technique.
The filling should be warmed prior to baking.
1. Heat to boiling your corn syrup, 1/2 the sugar and butter.
2. Whip by hand the 1/2 sugar and eggs until well combined.
3. Now here is the tricky part, let the syrup cool slightly and then whisk into the egg/sugar mixture - temper it in and then pour into your pie crust, add Pecans.
4. Bake at 350 for about 30 min, check to see if it's set.
5. If you must bake longer, wrap some tin foil around the sides and just over the edge of the crust to protect it from over browning.

Warming the filling helps the eggs set faster in the oven avoiding over browning.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
post #4 of 6
John Folse Fig & Pecan pies

This is the recipe I use with good results. Practice with a couple of pies and I bet you get more comfortable making them. Plus the family will love it.

post #5 of 6
I think m.brown has the best technique by far. I also agree that the problem isn't the formula -- it's unexciting but fine. The recipe baking time is wrong, but even so ... the problem is you!

Overbaking the pies accounts for the problem with the crust and the filling. You must learn to let go of the clock, trust your nose, go into the kitchen when the pie starts smelling good, and start checking for burnt crust and "set filling." FWIW, the lag time on pecan pie for "smell good" and done is about 5 - 10 minutes -- no more.

If the crust is brown, the filling is done enough. If the filling is set, the crust is done enough.

Do you know how to check if the filling is set? Jiggle the pie -- if the center jiggles, the pie is done -- if the center is still liquid, cook some more. If you continue to cook after the center is set, the next step is separation; i.e., the filling will form a crust on top and liquify beneath. Sound familiar?

Baking time should have been about 35 minutes at 350F, the recipe was screwy, but whatever. Now you know.

Checking, tasting, smelling, touching, adjusting -- these are the habits which separate good cooks from people who put food in the oven. You're a good cook. Stop fighting it!

m.brown's tempering techniques should make for a superior filling texture. While I'm not about to say they're not worth the time or trouble, I don't think they're absolutely necessary either. You can make a reliably good pie without going through the extra steps -- just maybe not as good. God knows, I've made a lot without the extra steps. However, I'll try them with my next pecan or walnut pie.

'Tis the season.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
morning gang. i firgured it out. it was my fault. i thought that gram cracker crusts were the same as the unbaked or frozen** deep-dish pie crust. well, thats why the pie kept burning at the 25 minute mark. well, last night, after talking w/ mom, i tried the correct crust and BAM, it worked. next time i'll try one of the suggested recipes above. thanks again for all the help, guys.

i'll be trying a tiramisu cake next month. think i'm gonna have to buy a blender for that one.

thanks again,

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