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Old 08-11-2014, 05:15 PM   #1
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Pie that won't gel

A pie I have made for years with no problem now won't set recently. It's a custard based pie. I used fresh, new ingredients the second time and I changed the margarine brand. It set a little better this time. The recipe is over 30 years old. Could margarine be different now than years ago? Can butter be used instead to get better setting results?

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Old 08-11-2014, 05:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SDDean View Post
A pie I have made for years with no problem now won't set recently. It's a custard based pie. I used fresh, new ingredients the second time and I changed the margarine brand. It set a little better this time. The recipe is over 30 years old. Could margarine be different now than years ago? Can butter be used instead to get better setting results?
Don't know about the setting but it'll taste better
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:38 PM   #3
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How in the world do you expect anyone to answer your question when you provide basically no information? Is it a state secret?

What kind of pie is it? What are the ingredients? How did you make it? Better yet, post the recipe.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:14 PM   #4
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It's called Derby Pie. It contains pecans, chocolate chips, margarine, flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla. Nothing in the recipe has changed in 30 years. Stove is 7 years old. Not sure what is causing it...thus the inquiry. And there may not be a real answer (based on search on other sites), but thought I'd try.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:56 PM   #5
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The thing that makes it set are eggs. Are you using the same size eggs as always? You could always add an additional egg. High sugar custards (like pecan pie) can be finicky and take a long time to set in the oven.

I find that it is best to bake my pecan pies on the lower position of the oven, closer to the heat source, otherwise it seems to take forever to cook.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:05 PM   #6
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First I would sit down and pour myself a shot of bourbon, save enough for the next pie!

Then I would check the sugar you are using and make sure that it is pure cane sugar as opposed to beet sugar or some other horror.

I would also check the oven temperature to make sure the oven temperature is not off.

Finally I would compare the recipe that you are using with a couple of the recipes on the internet to see if you may be missing a key ingredient.

Good luck!
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:46 PM   #7
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If you post the exact 30 year old recipe, I'd be willing to bet someone here would test it for you. Not me, I don't bake, but I'd sure like a slice.

On the other hand, I doubt anyone here would use anything but butter.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
First I would sit down and pour myself a shot of bourbon, save enough for the next pie!

Then I would check the sugar you are using and make sure that it is pure cane sugar as opposed to beet sugar or some other horror.

I would also check the oven temperature to make sure the oven temperature is not off.

Finally I would compare the recipe that you are using with a couple of the recipes on the internet to see if you may be missing a key ingredient.

Good luck!
Great advice!
Without the quantities for the ingredients, I am at a loss to give you any useful advice.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:23 PM   #9
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I agree. A list of ingredients without quantities doesn't give enough information. Flour, eggs.... how much flour, how many eggs. Two eggs might work different in a recipe as would 1 tablespoon of flour compared to a cup.
Also, maybe the 7 year old stove has a non-working or faulty thermostat.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:51 PM   #10
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I don't really think the quantities of the ingredients is in question here. Unless of course the recipe has been rewritten on a new card or typed into a computer, then I'd go back and check for accuracy. Otherwise, if that's not the case, it's worked for 30 years so obviously it's something that has changed in the ingredients themselves or an oven issue.

Yes, margarine has changed, just like ice cream has changed. They started sneaking in air, then started sneaking in non-typical ice cream ingredients or using less of the typical ice cream ingredients and more fillers and putting "frozen dessert" in tiny little letters somewhere on the packaging, etc. They also started packing in smaller amounts for some things. Our local chain supermarket recently shifted to 4 pound bags of sugar (for the same price) from 5 pound bags on the down-low. We just happened to notice last time we bought sugar.

I'd use a good unsalted butter product, check the egg sizes, and double check the sugar, as well as check the oven temperature.

Oh, also, any moves to a high altitude or vice versa? I know that makes a difference in boiling times, not sure about baking though.

Also, did you change margarine brands? I make a cookie for Christmas that my mom always made and used margarine (which I don't normally use). I made the recipe with butter and the cookies didn't come out quite right, good but not like when I was a kid. I picked up some margarine that was on sale, made them and they still weren't right. Finally, I got the specific brand my mom used to use and they finally came out like they did when I was a kid. So, once a year, I buy a package of that particular brand of margarine and make the cookies. Don't know what I'll do if they quit making it or change their formula too much.
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Pie that won't gel A pie I have made for years with no problem now won't set recently. It's a custard based pie. I used fresh, new ingredients the second time and I changed the margarine brand. It set a little better this time. The recipe is over 30 years old. Could margarine be different now than years ago? Can butter be used instead to get better setting results? 3 stars 1 reviews
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