Seeking a recipe for pecan pie that is chewy/not at all jiggly
November 17, 2018 9:59 AM   Subscribe

It seems to me there are two kinds of pecan pie. I like one and not the other, and I'm looking for recipes.

There's pecan pie that has an almost custardy consistency. I suspect it may be a matter of how many eggs are in the recipe, but I don't know what to adjust if I cut the eggs.

I hate jiggly food. The kind I like is more soft/chewy, almost like caramel. I remember a really good version at Afterwords in DC, which is probably way too specific to be helpful but I'm enjoying its nongelatinous memory.

If anyone finds this distinction remotely comprehensible and has a recipe for the chewier pecan pie, I'm all eyes!
posted by Smearcase to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I’m just spit-balling here, but I feel like using less filling in general would make it less jiggly, just because there’s less to jiggle? I’d use like 3/4 of everything except the pecans, which I’d use the normal amount of. (I'd also make a test pie before the big event to make sure it worked. Bonus: more pie!)
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:27 AM on November 17, 2018

If I understand you correctly, my recipe (or similar) is what you're looking for. The syrup turns into a dense flavorful non-jiggly filling. I also usually fill the shell at least halfway (probably more like 2/3) with pecans before I pour the syrup in.

One recommendation: be sure to use the egg wash to fill in any cracks in the crust, because if the syrup leaks through it bonds extremely well to the pie tin and makes it impossible to lift out unbroken wedges. Broken "ugly" servings taste just as good, but presentation is important too!

(makes 1 large/deep-dish or 2 medium pies)

2 eggs
1/2 C dark corn syrup
1/4 C melted butter
1/3 C honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tbsp molasses
1 C pecans
2 Tbsp rum or bourbon (opt.)

Preheat oven to 450°. Brush graham-cracker pie crust with egg yolk and partially bake (5-7 min). Reduce oven to 375°. Combine everything but the pecans and beat thoroughly.

Pour desired amount of pecans into the crust(s), holding back a few non-broken halves. Fill the rest of the way with the syrup then decorate the top with the remaining pecans. Bake 50-60 min or until knife comes out clean.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:27 AM on November 17, 2018 [15 favorites]

IF you are okay with something less traditional I find these bars to be chewy and caramel-y with none of the weird sludge of traditional pecan pie. I also find the shortbread crust infinitely easier than rolling out pie dough.

Pecan Shortbread Bars

1 3/4 c all purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

3/4 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
7 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and hot
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups pecan halves, toasted (it has to be halves to hold together and brown well)

Optional but recommended:
1.2 tsp flaky sea salt to top the finished bars

Prepare the crust:
Preheat oven to 350, make a foil sling for an 9x13 baking pan. Push the foil into the corners. Lightly spray with cooking oil spray

Then whisk flour, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until a dough forms. Then use your hands to work flour into it until no dry flour remains. Scatter the dough onto the foil and press it into an even thickness in the pan, no need to go up the sides. Set aside.

Make the topping:
Whisk sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla and salt until smooth in a medium bowl. Mixture will look separated at first but have heart! stir until homogenous. Fold in pecans.

Pour the topping over the crust, nudge topping into corners with spoon. Bake until the top is evenly distributed and rapidnly bubbling across the entire surface, about 23-25 minutes.

Transfer pan to wire rack and sprinkle sea salt if using.

Let bars cool completely then put out with foil sling. Makes about 24 bars.

These are the most asked for thing I've ever made (and I make tons of ridiculous, elaborate stuff). They are also easier to serve than pie but have the exact flavor profile.
posted by Saminal at 2:29 PM on November 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

Pecan pie is pretty much a custard pie with pecans in it, which usually uses corn syrup to keep the sugars from crystallizing. I make the recipe in "How to Cook Everything" and it calls for five (5) eggs, but where it really departs from the standard is that it omits corn syrup in favor of brown and refined sugar. I wouldn't describe it as jiggly at all, but it's definitely on the creamy/custardy end of things. There's a whole Food Science™ thing with corn syrup that's beyond my amateur baking skills to summarize accurately, and I'm unsure from the way you're describing it, but I think you might want to try a recipe without corn syrup like Bittman's to see if the resulting texture is more your style. For crust, BTW, I do the Cooks Illustrated foolproof pie crust and not Bittman's recipe, and I sub bourbon in for the vodka.
posted by fedward at 7:40 PM on November 17, 2018

I highly recommend this recipe. I’ve had so many compliments from every sector of family and friends.

Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie
posted by bulclippr at 6:59 PM on November 23, 2018

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