How To Know When Your Pecan Pie Is Perfectly Done

Just pie crust and filling are enough to turn any frown upside down and convince any stomach that maybe you're not as full as you thought you were. Pies are varied and delectable and, as pastries go, not too difficult to make if you know what to look for.

As opposed to the widely popular fruit pies, pecan pie with its custard filling and nutty toppings are a little less familiar and thus can be a bit harder to judge. Fruit pie filling will typically bubble above the crust and through the seams in the toppings, but because pecan pies are normally layered tightly with nuts on the top, which obscures the custard filling (which itself is difficult to tell if done at a glance), it's not at all obvious visually if a pecan pie is undercooked or overcooked. 

Real Simple states that a set and done pecan pie will look a luxuriously deep dark brown with a golden crust, but again reiterates that just looking at a pecan pie is usually not enough.

Signs of a finished pecan pie

The way to tell whether a pecan pie is done is a bit more involved than the eye test, but it's also a bit more fun as well. All you need to do is get jiggy with it. Grab the edges of the pie and jiggle it side to side and watch for how the filling and topping are moving. If the filling is moving in a wave from the center to the edge of the pie and appears to be moving more like a liquid than a solid your pie is not done, per Millican Pecan. Your pie should appear to be moving like jello or pudding, stable but soft. Some recipes like this chocolate-coffee pecan pie and this pecan pie muffin will vary in their movement because of the nature of the filling and the size respectively, but the same principles should hold. 

Another simple trick is to insert a knife or some other kitchen utensil into the filling in the center of the pie (of course taking care not to disturb your pie's presentation that you no doubt worked so hard on). If the knife comes out clean, your pie is ready to come out of the oven. If not, make sure to keep a close eye on it and check again later.