How to Tell if Pecan Pie Is Done Without Cutting It

Here's an easy way to tell if your pecan pie is done and ready to come out of the oven.

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Pie baking is easy as pie, right? Maybe that old chestnut holds true for some, but we're not talking chestnuts; we're talking pecans. Unfortunately, when it comes to knowing when a pecan pie is done, the beautiful nut layer on top of your pie can make it a little hard to determine. With other Thanksgiving pies, like fruit pies, when the thick juices bubble up through the cut-outs in your nice golden crust—voila!—you can tell that your pie is ready. To help you cook your pecan pie thoroughly (but not too much), we're sharing some insight, like the signs it's done, how to cool it, and how to store it once it's cooled.

How to Tell if Pecan Pie Is Done

Jiggle vs. Wobble

There's an easy art to learning how to tell if pecan pie is done: It's simply the difference between a little jiggle and a full-on wobble. When you check your pie for doneness, gently and carefully hold it by one edge, then give it a little shake back and forth. If the filling is flowing in a wavy movement from the center to the edge, your pie isn't set quite yet. Look for the moment when the center of your pecan pie gives you just a little jiggle—like the stable but slightly wiggly movement of Jell-O when you give it a gentle shake—but the edges are stable and set.


Another thing to look for when you want to know when pecan pie is done is this: There will be a little puffiness at the edges of the pie, near the nicely browned crust. Also, the nuts and custard combination takes on a rich, medium-dark brown hue, and the crust will be a gorgeous deep golden color.

How to Cool Once It's Done

Once you hit the sweet spot where it looks done, take your slightly jiggly pecan pie out of the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack. The filling will continue to cook and fully set as the pie cools. Let your pie finish setting and cool completely for at least two hours and then be sure to refrigerate it at the ideal temperature.

How Long Pecan Pie Lasts

According to the USDA, you cannot store a pecan pie on the countertop indefinitely because the pie contains eggs. Cover your fully cooled pie within two hours with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a plastic wrap alternative. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

How to Freeze and Thaw

If you're looking to extend your pecan pie's shelf life, freezing is an option. Whether you're trying to get a jump start on holiday baking, or you didn't finish the whole pie, you just need to pop your baked pecan pie in an airtight freezer container or bag and safely freeze it for up to two months.

To thaw and warm a frozen pecan pie, place it in the refrigerator or at room temperature for at least four hours, then gently warm the pie in a low-heat oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

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