Years ago, a good friend gave me a pecan pie recipe that was supposed to turn out perfectly every time. But, the last time I made it, the pie didn’t set properly and was a little runny in the middle, so I was wondering what I had done wrong.
I soon realized that I had baked the pie in an oven I had never used before, and the length of time it takes to bake a pecan pie can vary with different ovens. The pie just needed to be cooked a little longer, and I had not checked it to make sure it was done.
A runny pecan pie filling can be fixed by baking it a little longer. Just cover the crust with foil so that it doesn’t burn, and bake it for 20 to 30 minutes longer. But, this should be done right away, or as soon as you notice that the filling isn’t set, so that the crust will not become soggy.
Runny Filling When Hot Is Normal
A pie with runny filling right out of the oven is perfectly normal.
A pecan pie will continue cooking for a time after it comes out of the oven and should set by the time it cools. But, if it does not set completely when almost cool, the best way to fix a runny pecan pie is by baking it for a few minutes longer.
Is A Runny Pecan Pie Safe To Eat?
Runny pecan pie is safe to eat. Even if a pecan pie did not set completely and the filling is runny, it was baked long enough to cook the eggs, which is the primary concern because raw eggs can be a source of the bacteria that causes botulism.
What Can Cause A Pecan Pie Not To Set
There are a number of things that can cause a pecan pie not to set. They include:
- If one or more of the ingredients are measured incorrectly, the recipe will be off, and the pie filling will not set.
- If the recipe is incorrect, whether it is because of an error in writing the recipe or because it was copied incorrectly, again, the recipe will be off, and the pie filling will not set.
- If an ingredient is left out of the pie filling, then the pie filling may not be set, depending on which ingredient is omitted.
- If the pie is undercooked, which is the primary reason for pecan pie failures, then the filling will not set. This can happen if you assume the pie is done when the suggested baking time is reached and go ahead and take it out of the oven. Always check to be sure the center is jiggly but does not have a lot of movement.
- If your oven thermostat is not set properly, then the pie will be undercooked, and the filling will not set.
How To Make Sure A Pecan Pie Will Set
Here is a list of things you can do to make sure your pecan pie will set:
- Pre-measure all ingredients to make sure you are adding the correct amount of each ingredient, and then measure again as you combine those ingredients.
- Bake the pie for the length of time prescribed by the recipe, then begin checking to see whether the center of the pie is just a little jiggly. If the center shows a lot of movement, however, continue baking the pie for 20 to 30 minutes more, checking after every 10 minutes for doneness.
- If you suspect that your oven thermostat is off and is not baking at the right temperature, have your oven checked. There is usually someone with your power company, electric or gas, or someone who can recommend that you can get to check the thermostat in your oven for accuracy.
How To Thicken Pecan Pie Filling
The primary reason that pecan pies do not set properly is that they are underbaked. And, even though quite a few folks suggest adding flour to thicken the pie filling, adding flour would change the texture of the pecan pie filling if you add it to the recipe. But, if you bake the pie for the designated time and it doesn’t set, I cannot see how flour would be added to a pie that has already been baked for at least an hour.
The best way to thicken pecan pie filling is by carefully measuring all ingredients precisely and then baking the pie for the correct length of time. Even if the pie filling doesn’t set perfectly, after refrigeration, it should be close enough to the right consistency that it can be cut evenly and eaten with a fork.
How to Tell if A Pecan Pie Is Undercooked
A pecan pie jiggles a little in the center when it comes from the oven and continues to cook until it cools. By the time the pie has cooled, the pie should be set, even in the center. But, when you take the pie out of the oven, and it shows a lot of movement in the center, then it is not done and should be baked a few minutes longer.
A pecan pie is basically a custard pie with pecans added, and as such, must reach an internal temperature of 200℉ in order to set. So, you can use a candy thermometer in the center of your pecan pie to make sure it has been cooked long enough and has reached 200℉.
Should I Prebake The Pie Crust For Pecan Pie?
Some pies that are made by cooking the filling in the crust tend to result in a crust that can be a little undercooked when the pie is done. As a result, I have found that pre-baking my pie crusts for approximately 10 minutes before adding the filling and baking by recipe directions can result in a pie and pie crust that are perfectly cooked.
How Long Does Pecan Pie Last?
How long a pie lasts depends primarily on the ingredients that were used in making the pie and the type of storage conditions available after it has been baked. Pecan pies, which contain eggs, should be refrigerated within 2 hours of baking and will remain good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If, however, there are a few pieces of pecan pie left at the end of 4 days, they can be wrapped well in a double layer of plastic wrap and/or foil or placed in an airtight plastic container and frozen to be thawed and eaten at a later date. But, if you have too many desserts and do not think that the leftover pecan pie will be eaten within 4 days of baking, go ahead and freeze it right away when the quality of the pie is at its best.
If wrapped properly and frozen, pecan pie will last for up to 6 months. It can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight. But, if thawed at room temperature, it should be consumed as soon as it has thawed.
Should Pecan Pie Be Refrigerated?
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), a pecan pie should be refrigerated within 2 hours after it comes out of the oven. In fact, all pies that contain eggs and/or any kind of dairy products must be refrigerated immediately after cooling.
What Can You Do To Make A Pecan Pie Last Longer?
There are several things you can do to extend the shelf life of a pecan pie. They include:
- Refrigerate within 2 hours after baking.
- If not refrigerated, store the pie in a cool, dry area where the temperature is 40℉ or lower and away from any sunlight or heat source.
- Keep the pie covered at all times by either using foil, plastic wrap, or a good airtight container (Amazon Recommendation).
- When serving, use a utensil that is dedicated to serving that particular pie to avoid cross-contamination with other food.
- After the pie has been refrigerated, avoid leaving it out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours at a time for serving.
- When a pie has been in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, it should be either discarded or wrapped carefully and frozen to be served at a later time.
How to Tell If Pecan Pie Has Gone Bad
There are three primary ways to tell whether a pecan pie has gone or is going bad which include:
- If a pecan pie has become watery and the crust is soggy, it is probably still edible, but with a taste and texture that is not the same as fresh pie.
- If the pecan pie has developed an odd taste or odor, that is a sure sign that the pie has gone bad and should be discarded right away.
- If there is any indication that mold is growing on the pie, it should be discarded immediately.
I recommend following USDA guidelines for leftovers and food safety.
The Perfect Pecan Pie Recipe
I’d like to share my favorite pecan pie recipe with you. It is very easy to make and turns out perfectly every time. Here is the recipe, and if you are interested, my video on how to make this quick and easy pecan pie.
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup White Karo Syrup
- 1 cup chopped Pecans
- 3 Eggs
- 4 tablespoons Butter (melted)
- ¼ teaspoon Salt (scant)
- 1 unbaked or slightly prebaked Pie Shell
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Add salt and well-beaten eggs, syrup, and chopped nuts.
- Mix ingredients well and pour into the pie shell.
- Bake for 1 hour at 300℉.
- Check to be sure the center is jiggly but does not have a lot of movement, and bake a few minutes longer if needed.
I hope this article has been helpful. You may want to check out my video on how to make pecan pie below:
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
For more, don’t miss How To Keep Pie Crust From Sticking (Two Easy Methods).
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.