One of my family’s all-time favorite pies is sweet potato. I can’t remember a single holiday throughout my life when we didn’t have at least one. But, the hardest thing about making them is knowing when they are done.
Sweet potato pie is done when the pie is set everywhere except the very center which will still be a little jiggly. At this point, when you stick a knife or toothpick into the pie filling, it will come out moist, but clean. If you cook until the center is set completely, it will often be overcooked.
In the following paragraphs, we will discuss in more detail how you can tell when a sweet potato pie is done.
4 Ways to Tell When Sweet Potato Pie Is Done
Here are four easy things to look for to tell when sweet potato pie is done:
- The pie is done when the pie appears to be set everywhere except the very center.
- The center of the pie is still just a little jiggly.
- When you stick a knife or toothpick into the pie filling, it will come out clean, but will be a little moist.
- An instant-read thermometer will read 175 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the pie filling.
Can Sweet Potato Pie Be Overcooked?
A sweet potato pie can be overcooked if you cook it until the center of the pie is done. This is due to something called carryover heat, which means that even though food is removed from the heat source, it will continue to cook internally for a certain length of time.
Carryover heat is the reason sweet potato pie should be removed from the oven when the center is still jiggly. Overcooking can cause the pie to be tough and pull away from the crust around the edges. The filling will also crack when overcooked.
What Causes Carryover Heat?
Carryover heat has to do with thermodynamics which means that even after the heat source is removed, the food will continue to cook because the heat spreads so that whatever type of food it is doesn’t begin to cool until the entire cookie or piece of meat or pie, in this case, reaches the same temperature.
How Do I Know When My Pie Is Done?
When the outer part of the pie tests done when you insert a toothpick into it and it comes out clean but the center is still a little jiggly, the pie is done. But, if the center of the pie is still very loose, let it cook for a few minutes more.
Why Is My Sweet Potato Pie Runny?
If your sweet potato pie is runny and doesn’t hold its shape when cut, it was either not cooked long enough or too much liquid was added to the pie filling.
How Can I Fix a Runny Sweet Potato Pie?
If you inadvertently add too much liquid to the pie filling, before it is baked you should add a little flour to fix the problem.
If the sweet potato pie is runny because it wasn’t baked long enough, bake it for a few more minutes until the center if just a little jiggly.
How Do You Know When the Pie Crust Is Done?
It is really upsetting to serve a beautiful sweet potato or any other kind of fruit pie that is baked in the pie crust, but when eaten, the crust is soggy and doughy and does not taste done.
Pies that are made by cooking the filling and baking the crust separately are not that difficult to make and to know that the crust is cooked perfectly. But, when the filling is baked in the crust, it is hard to tell whether the crust has gotten completely done. If you use a glass pie pan, it is a little easier to tell whether the crust is done by holding the pie up and looking at the bottom of the crust.
But, here is the trick I use when baking a pie that calls for the filling to be baked in the crust. I prebake the crust for approximately 10 minutes until the crust appears to be getting done but has not yet started browning. At that point, I pour in my pie filling and bake by the directions called for in the recipe I am using.
In this video, I show the entire process for making sweet potato pie:
What Is the Best Way to Store Sweet Potato Pie?
The best way to store sweet potato pie is in the refrigerator, and it should be refrigerated within two hours of baking. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.
- To store in the refrigerator, sweet potato pie should be wrapped in either plastic wrap or aluminum foil or placed in a pie taker or other plastic or glass container.
To store in the freezer, sweet potato pie should be:
- Completely cooled before freezing.
- Wrapped in at least two plastic wrap layers, making sure there is a good seal to avoid odors from other foods.
- A good layer of aluminum foil added in addition to the plastic wrap to protect from freezer burn.
- Put into a freezer-safe container, like this one from Amazon, for extra protection.
Can I Leave a Sweet Potato Pie Out of the Refrigerator Overnight?
As long as you have an area in your home where the temperature is relatively cool, 40 degrees or below is better, it would be safe to leave the pies there overnight without being refrigerated. This could be a utility room, a pantry, or a screened porch, as long as the pie has been covered or placed in a pie taker so that pests are unable to get to it.
I personally have made my pies the night before a holiday meal and left them unrefrigerated in the coolest area in the house (which was probably not as low as 40 degrees) until the meal the next day, and they were always perfectly fine. This however contradicts the ruling of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) that sweet potato, pumpkin, and pecan pies should be refrigerated not more than 2 hours after baking.
Should Sweet Potato Pie Be Served Hot or Cold?
The correct way to serve sweet potato pie is a matter of preference. If you like sweet potato pie hot, it should be served hot. If you are partial to sweet potato pie that is cold, then by all means chill the pie in the refrigerator before serving. Only you and your family can answer the question of whether sweet potato pie should be served hot or cold.
The next time you make a sweet potato, pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie, how about trying my tip on prebaking the crust for about 10 minutes before filling and baking the pie and see how that extra step works for you and whether it improves the texture of your pie crust.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
For more, don’t miss How to Store Sweet Potato Pie | The Best Way.
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