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My pecan pie used to be firm years ago. Now going by the same recipe it's always runny. This time I added an extra egg, stirred it less and with a wood spoon so as not to get air and foam in the mix.

The full recipe: stir 4 beaten eggs into 1 cup karo, add 2T flour, 1/2c white sugar, 1/2c dark brown sugar, stir, add a pinch of salt, 1t vanilla, 1 1/2c pecans, 2T butter, mix gently. Pour in a 9" unbaked pie shell and baked at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

The only think I have changed from the way I used to make it getting a firm filling is using dark brown sugar instead of all white sugar. I have never cooked the filling before pouring into the pie shell. I have tried adding more flour and it didn't help. How do I fix this?

  • 2
    Has your oven changed... Or is it now really old. The thermostat differs from oven to oven plus age deterioration is a common issue. Plus dark sugar is wetter than white so could also be making the filling a little looser. I definitely reckon longer cooking will fix your issue – Doug Nov 28 '14 at 21:06
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I'm looking at the recipe from Karo. The only thing that stands out as potentially being your problem is that the Karo recipe calls for a longer bake time. That recipe gives a final temperature too, 200F (93C). Could it be that your pie is undercooked?

  • @Jolenealaka - That seems likely. I make a similar 12 inch (thiner filling) pie, and the recipe calls for oven at 350°F: "Bake 35 minutes. Cover edge loosely with foil. Bake 15 minutes more, or until filling is set." Thicker filling would take longer to heat up. – Wayfaring Stranger Nov 28 '14 at 20:25
  • I make pecan pies several times a year and it always takes a good 60 minutes (granted, I'm at a higher elevation...). I was taught to keep baking it until a knife inserted in the filling came out "clear." I've used all white sugar, all dark sugar, light corn syrup, dark corn syrup, Roger's cane syrup, etc. and as long as the knife comes out with a thin layer of clear gel on it the filling always thickens up. – S. Burt Feb 8 '16 at 21:25
  • @S.Burt That's good info. Feel free to edit it into the answer if you like.You could also write another answer. – Jolenealaska Feb 8 '16 at 22:27
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Has your altitude or oven changed? I agree with Jolenealaska that you probably need a longer bake time. I always needed 55-60 minutes for my pecan pies to set and I cook them several times a year. (As noted by Wayfaring Stranger, sometimes you need to cover the crust edges with foil to avoid getting them too dark). I don't think the type of sugar will have much effect - I've used all white sugar, all brown sugar (dark, light, medium), a mix of white and brown sugar, as well as light corn syrup, dark corn syrup, Roger's cane syrup, generic brand, karo syrup brand, etc. It's possible that some generic brands have a higher water content; in that case, it would take a little longer to cook before it will set up.

In the end, the secret that I was taught to ensure the filling sets up is to insert a butter knife into the filling. If the knife comes out covered with a lumpy or a colored gel, the filling isn't ready. As soon as the knife comes out "clear" (i.e., with a very thin layer of clear gel on it) the filling will thicken once it cools.

For reference, my recipe is almost identical to yours; I use only 3 eggs and no flour in the filling. I mix the filling quite thoroughly (I don't think I've every gotten it foamy, but I do try to get the melted butter evenly mixed into the egg/sugar mixture before pouring it over the pecans).

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I'm having the same problem, all my pies came out perfect up until last week. I think the problem for me is I used generic corn syrup instead of the karo brand. I used the generic corn syrup with the Karo recipe because I thought the off brand was such a good value. I guess every brand has different measurements, and concoctions? I'm going to retry making the pie using the brand name corn syrup instead of the generic and see what kind of results I end up with!

  • Let us know how it goes! – Jolenealaska Sep 28 '15 at 1:25
  • I just used my tried and proved recipe and it came out runny....I, also, used a generic brand of syrup......that must be the problem. – user41923 Dec 24 '15 at 23:25
  • This is a tough call, because the style is hard to read, but I'll leave it here as an answer, because it offers a possible explanation (generic syrup). Even if the explanation is wrong, this is no reason to delete. – rumtscho Dec 26 '15 at 11:05

protected by Community Feb 8 '16 at 20:57

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