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Old 11-11-2010, 02:12 PM   #1
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Pumpkin Pie Help Needed!

I am a newbie baker, determined to learn! I've only baked a few pies so far... several apple with perfect crusts (yeah!) and then the dreaded 1st attempt at pumpkin. Boo. It's crust was totally unbaked and gooey. I baked it at 425 for 10 minutes then turned down to 325 for @ 45 minutes. Recipe said to take out when filling firmed up, so I did. Filling seemed about perfect consistency, though it cracked on top when it cooled. What did I do wrong? How to fix? Any help would be so appreciated! I don't want to give up since I live to cook. It's just the baking that does me in.

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Old 11-11-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
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What kind of pie plate did you use? I find a glass pie plate does better than metal in cooking/browning a pie crust.

The recipe I use calls for 450 F for 15 minutes then another 50 minutes at 350F.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:33 PM   #3
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My recipe calls for the same temps and cooking times as Andy. I usually use disposable pie tins to make mine and always bake on the middle rack in the oven.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:34 PM   #4
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I didn't use a metal one. I think it's ceramic maybe? It's the same one I baked the apple pies in with no problems. I will have to try different times/temps. Thanks for giving me somewhere to start.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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Just a thought on the cracking... I think that happens when the pie is cooled too quickly. It can be a problem with pumpkin pies and cheesecakes. Some recipes even say to let them cool in the oven, as it's cooling down.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:57 PM   #6
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I can say that if the pie cracked that the filling was likely cooked too long. It should just jiggle like jello, but not slosh around when shaken gently. If it has firmed up a lot, it is overcooked and will crack, this goes for pumpkin pies, as well as other custards like cheesecake. The ideal internal temperature should be 150-160 for a perfect smooth texture (check with an instant read thermometer, if you don't mind a small hole in the pie).

The pan can be the culprit. I bought 2 Chicago Metallic pie plates, great quality with holes punched in the bottom for better browning, well they are pure crap! I read a recent review of pie pans and these scored the lowest, the testers had the same problem with gummy undercooked crusts.

Glass seems to work the best, but they kinda freak me out, I've had a few friends with exploding pyrex stories.

You could try "blind baking" the crust before adding the filling. This will get it nice and done without the sogginess.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:15 PM   #7
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I was wondering if you could/should blind bake the crust for a pumpkin pie, even though most recipes don't call for it. My pie dish is ceramic or stoneware which is what my mother-in-law suggested. She's been baking pies for 40+ years. I did not know I should check the pie's internal temp. I will try that. I think it was just jiggling when I took it out but not sure.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:20 PM   #8
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Be careful with blind baking. If you over do it, the crust will burn by the time the filling is done.

Try just adjusting your temps and times and bake the whole pie on a shelf in the lower third of the oven.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:53 PM   #9
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Blind baking doesn't have to be very hot, nor take very long. After brushing the inside with egg white, 350 F. for 10 minutes should be enough baking time to set the crust. The layer of egg white prevents a cream filling from soaking into the crust, but is invisible and has no flavor.

After blind baking, fashion a pie collar from aluminum foil that will cover the edge and about 1/2" over the filling, and it will prevent the crust from burning during the rest of the baking time. And as Andy M. said, bake on the lower part of the oven.

A pumpkin pie can jiggle and be done at the same time, but pay attention to the recipe baking time (to at least get into the ballpark) and I still use a wooden skewer to test the texture of the center. It should not be completely liquid, but pull out mostly clean.

To help prevent cracking, bake your pie with a pan of water beneath the pie. The humidity will help with the amount of cracking, but may not stop it entirely, based upon the speed of cooling.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:54 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for the help and suggestions. I will try again. I hope at some point I will can consider myself a decent baker, rather than just a cook!
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Pumpkin Pie Help Needed! I am a newbie baker, determined to learn! I've only baked a few pies so far... several apple with perfect crusts (yeah!) and then the dreaded 1st attempt at pumpkin. Boo.:sad: It's crust was totally unbaked and gooey. I baked it at 425 for 10 minutes then turned down to 325 for @ 45 minutes. Recipe said to take out when filling firmed up, so I did. Filling seemed about perfect consistency, though it cracked on top when it cooled. What did I do wrong? How to fix? Any help would be so appreciated! I don't want to give up since I live to cook. It's just the baking that does me in. 3 stars 1 reviews
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