Fixing Pie (saving an undercooked pie)


This year’s Thanksgiving pumpkin pie came out less than ideally cooked, and we were able to save it from a runny fate by rebaking it. Here’s what happened. 

It was one of the frozen pies my mom purchased from my daughter as a fundraiser for the the school’s music department. Last year we thought these pies were actually quite yummy, so we looked forward to enjoying them again.

The instructions on the box said to bake the pie at a temperature 50 degrees lower if baking in a convection oven. So my mom thought this would be a good time to try out the convection feature of her new oven. Needless to say it resulted in an undercooked pie even though she let it bake for a few extra minutes. Those 50 degrees made a huge difference.

Perhaps it was somewhat the result of unfamiliarity with a new oven, but I don’t think convection instructions are always correct when they tell you to bake at a lower temperature. Why is this anyway? I thought a convection oven was supposed to cook quicker. That doesn’t happen when baking at a lower temperature.

Anyway, come time that any of us felt like squeezing another morse of food into our stomaches after stuffing ourselves with turkey, gravy, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing, we took our bites of pie and hesitated. Parts of the crust were doughy and the pie was runny in the center even though it had throughly cooled in the fridge.

We ate our pieces anyway because … pie. The flavor was still very good, but overall that poor little pie really needed more heat.

So we re-baked it.

We’d already cut a couple of pieces out of the pie so now there was a gaping hole left behind where those pieces had been. We needed a way to keep the filling from running into the crevasse when it got hot and even runnier as it re-liquified.

So we formed a sort of placeholder out of greased aluminum foil. A slices-of-pie shape cup was fashioned to sit where the eaten pieces had been. Then we filled that foil cup with some water to weigh it down, and keep it stable. This prevented the pie filling from oozing too much as it reheated. It also helped to stabilize the temperature.

We then popped pie in the pre-heated oven at the higher (non-convection) temperature and 35 minutes later — voila. Fixed pie.

The crust was now a lovely golden brown instead of the pale doughy impostor it had been, and the filling was now able to stand up on it’s own without wandering about the pie plate.

This process may not work with every pie. But it saved this particular doughy, undercooked excuse of (delicious) pumpkin pie goo and made it into a real, stand-up, yummy pumpkin pie.


(This post is also for NaBloPoMo.)

Adding a footnote since this is a popular topic on Thanksgiving 2018. I hope this helps save few a pies from a runny fate this turkey day. Thank you for visiting and feel free to leave feedback in the comments.

The temperature should be as high as the original temperature, at least 350 degrees. Use a thermometer to be sure. If you think your oven is running cool, but you have no thermometer you might want to crank it up to 375 or more. Check the pie regularly to make sure it’s not burning to a crisp.

If I was going to do the same again, I’d cover the edges of the crust. There were some slightly burned areas after the rebake. Make a ring of foil around just the edges. Remove it the last 10 minutes to make sure the crust is golden and flaky.

Also adding that since some pumpkin pie contains raw eggs, it’s probably not a great idea to eat the pie raw or undercooked. Heating completely through should take care of any nasties. But if the pie sat out at room temperature semi-raw for days or if there’s any evidence of a foul taste or smell, then probably best to toss it.

Also, this rebake method should work with many other pies that suffered from too little heat and ended up doughy or runny. Just be careful about burning the crust on the rebake. May not be quite as good as getting it right the first time, but better than tossing the whole pie. A rebaked pie is better than no pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. anisakazemi
    Nov 28, 2015 @ 18:36:04

    It looks good lol

    Reply

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