Everyone awaits a rich and incredible-tasting pumpkin pie. While the sweet dish has a simple recipe, baking one can be a little tricky.
Even experienced bakers encounter several problems when baking pumpkin pies. Are you facing one right now?
You may be wondering: Why is my pumpkin pie runny?
Well, you’ve come to the right place! This article talks about that and more, so stick around.
My Pumpkin Pie Is Runny: Why Does It Happen?
One of the most common problems in baking a pumpkin pie is when there’s water leaking out from the filling or on top of the pie.
A perfect pumpkin pie should have a smooth, creamy texture. If it’s watery, most likely it’s terrible.
Here are the possible reasons why your pumpkin pie is runny:
1 – Using Fresh Pumpkins Instead of Canned Ones
When it comes to cooking, they always say that fresh ingredients make the food taste better. However, this isn’t the case for pumpkin pies.
Each fresh pumpkin doesn’t contain the same amount of water. If you’re going to use homemade pumpkin puree, you’ll never be sure of the consistency of your main ingredient.
Unlike canned pumpkins, all cans will give you the same texture and consistency you need to make a delicious pumpkin pie.
2 – Not Enough Eggs in the Filling
The pumpkin pie filling is actually a custard, and it’s made by mixing eggs, sugar, and milk or cream. Eggs are the main thickener of the custard, and the yolks make it creamier and richer.
If the pumpkin pie is runny, it’s probably because your recipe lacks eggs.
3 – Docked the Pie Crust
According to Lindsey, the woman behind the Chef Lindsey Farr food blog, you don’t need to dock the pie crust if you’re using a liquid filling, like an unbaked custard, for instance.
Docking the pie crust will cause the liquid to seep into the dough.
4 – Placing the Pie in the Fridge Too Early
Placing the pie in the refrigerator before it has completely cooled will definitely cause it to become runny. If the pie is dewy when you take it out of the fridge, it’s because the pie was still warm when you put it in.
5 – Overbaked Pie
A runny filling doesn’t always mean that the pumpkin pie is undercooked. Overbaking can also cause the pie to become watery.
A sign of an overbaked pie is when the liquid appears on top of the pumpkin pie while it’s still inside the oven or is still hot.
Another indication is when there are small bubbles in the filling or if the filling separates from the pie crust. If this happens, immediately take the pie out of the oven.
How Can I Prevent a Runny Pumpkin Pie?
1 – Use Canned Pumpkins
Canned pumpkins come in the exact proportion to make a delicious pumpkin pie. In addition, the spices are distinct, making the dish more flavorful.
2 – Add an Extra Egg or Just the Yolk
As we said before, yolks help hold the ingredients together. For a quick fix, throw in an extra one to give the pie a firmer structure.
3 – Let the Pie Cool Down
When you’re finished baking the pumpkin pie, leave it for a minimum of two hours at room temperature. Let the steam evaporate to avoid excess moisture.
If there’s still moisture, simply blot it away by using a paper towel or a clean cloth.
Cooling the pie first before putting it inside the fridge will also let the dessert settle down perfectly.
4 – Don’t Overbake
A custard filling is watery when you put it inside the oven. Then, it should turn thick and solid after cooking.
Remove the pie from the oven when the center part is still slightly jiggly. It’ll continue to settle and firm up as it cools.
How to Distinguish a Well-Baked Pie Without Cutting Into It?
Carefully following the step-by-step procedures in your recipe can give you a perfectly baked pie, but you can also check for these indicators:
- The edges of the filling are curved and the middle part is a bit sunken in.
- If you insert a toothpick about an inch from the center, it should come out clean.
- The pie crust is brown and the custard filling is darker.
How To Test if the Pumpkin is Already Cooked?
We have three methods you can use to test if your pumpkin pie is ready to be taken out of the oven:
1 – The Jiggle Test
This test will tell you if the pumpkin pie is already cooked without poking a hole or slicing the pie. When the pie is finally well-baked, the middle part of the custard filling will slightly jiggle.
If the whole pumpkin pie is wiggly, continue baking.
2 – The Classic Knife Test
The knife test is the easiest way to check if the pie is done cooking. Simply insert a knife near the center of the pumpkin pie.
If the knife comes out clean, you can remove the pie from the oven. The only disadvantage of using the knife test is it’ll leave a visible crack from where you inserted the knife.
3 – The Instant-Read Thermometer Test
You can use an instant-read thermometer for cooking to check if the custard filling is already well-cooked.
The temperature should be around 160℉ to 180℉ (71℃ to 82℃) only. The perfect temperature is 175℉ (80℃).
Will the Pumpkin Pie Thicken After Baking?
Pumpkin pie, just like any other custard-filled pie, will continue to finish cooking after it has been removed from the oven. This is the reason why we want the middle part to be jiggly when we take the pumpkin pie out.
It’ll naturally thicken as it cools down. Once the pie has settled down perfectly, you can put some whipped cream to add a twist.
What is the Correct Way of Serving the Pumpkin Pie?
It’s important to let the pie cool first before serving. Slicing the pie while it’s still warm can be messy and may result in a landslide of filling.
You may serve the pumpkin pie either hot or cold—it’s appetizing both ways. No matter how you do it, you’ll never go wrong with whipped cream on top.
How to Properly Store Pumpkin Pie in the Refrigerator
Keeping the pie in the fridge will help you keep it delicious and prolong its life. If properly stored, you can consume the pumpkin pie for up to four days.
For a freshly baked pumpkin pie, place it on a cooling rack first. Let it cool for at least two hours at room temperature.
Once the pie is already unheated, cover it using plastic wrap or an air-tight container. At this point, you can place the pumpkin pie in the refrigerator.
Why is my pumpkin pie runny? There are various reasons why a pumpkin pie turns out runny or watery. One of the main causes is using fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned pumpkins. This may be simple but your decision greatly affects the outcome of your pie.
We have solutions for some of the factors why the dessert is runny. However, when the pie is already overbaked, there’s not much we can do. It’s still consumable though. It’s better to have a slightly overcooked dessert than an undercooked one.
After baking your pumpkin pie, be sure to let it cool before serving.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.