Okay, maybe he likes Banana Cream Pie too. Yeah for Pie Season!
When it’s time for pie, my kids always want to help. Rather than risk them “ruining” a big pie, I let my kids make mini pies. They help roll out the crusts, beat the eggs and line the crust with the nuts. I love seeing their faces when the pies are finished and they realize, “They DID IT!” If you want another fun "mini" recipe to make with your kids, try our Mini Apple Dumplings recipe.
I've included some helpful tips below to help you get the perfect pecan pie every time.
How do you keep a pecan pie from being runny?
Pecan pie is essentially a custard pie, and it can turn out runny if you're not careful. The reason a pie turns out runny is because it is undercooked. The tricky part is there's a fine line between done and overdone. If you're struggling with runny pies, you may want to take some preventative measures by throwing in some extra pecans, mixing an extra egg into the filling, or adding a Tablespoon of thickener like flour or cornstarch to the filling. You can tell your pie is ready to come out of the oven when it is slightly jiggly. You don't want it to completely set up in the oven, because it will continue cooking for a bit after you pull it out, so a slight jiggle is where it's at.
A runny pie could also be the result of not cooling it completely before enjoying a slice. Leave your pie cooling on the counter for at least two hours. Resist the urge to cool your pie too quickly using the refrigerator, since that will cause your filling to crack.
If you've already pulled your pecan pie out of the oven, and can see it is going to be runny, don't despair. You can cover the pie with foil and put it back in the oven at 425-450° F for about 12 minutes. If your pie still ends up a bit runny, simply serve it topped with ice cream or whipped topping and all will be forgiven.
Why is my pecan pie not cooked in the middle?
If your pie is turning out runny in the middle, it's because you didn't bake it long enough. Pies, and other baked goods, tend to cook from the outside in, so the middle is the last part to finish. When you are watching for that "slightly jiggly" phase before you pull it out of the oven, make sure the center of the pie is your focal point. If the center is really runny after you pull it out, cover the pecan pie with foil and continue baking it at 425-450° F for up to 12 minutes. Before you do that though, remember that the filling will continue to set as it cools, so try to gauge whether it requires more baking time, or just needs to cool.
Should you pre-bake a pie crust for pecan pie?
Pre-baking your pecan pie crust is not recommended. If you're experiencing soggy pie crusts, let me first offer my condolences, and then provide a solution. Soggy crusts happen when the pie isn't cooked at a high enough temperature. A low temp makes the butter absorb into the crust instead of evaporating. To fix this, start your pie out at a higher temperature (for a large pie, I'd suggest 425-450° F) for the first 20-30 minutes, before lowering the temperature to 350° F for the remainder of the time.
If you're having other pie baking issues, you may want to check out these 10 Pecan Pie Problems and How to Fix Them.
Now, you're ready to bake. Here’s the recipe for Grandma’s Pecan Pie, that makes one 9-inch pie or three minis.
Grandma's Pecan Pie Recipe
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3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecan halves
1 recipe Pie Dough
Whisk together eggs, sugar, syrup, vanilla and salt. Allow to sit while you roll out your pie dough. The granulated sugar will dissolve slightly while it sits. Cover the bottom of your unbaked crust with pecans and pour mixture over nuts. Bake large pies for up to one hour at 350° F. For mini pies, bake for 25-30 minutes or until pie is bubbly at the edges and slightly jiggly. Cool completely for about two hours before serving.
No Fail Pie Dough Recipe
(Note: For a gluten free option, try our Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe.)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cold
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
Cut cold butter into small bits. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together salt and flour. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut in butter. Add water one tablespoon at a time while you combine the dough with your hands. Do not overwork the dough as the heat from your hands will melt the butter. Mix just until dough sticks together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill before making your crust. Makes enough dough for one 9-10 inch crust or three mini crusts.