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Brandy Alexander Pie Not Setting

Asked by justbakeit. Answered on 20th March 2014

Full question

I made the Brandy Alexander Pie, followed directions exactly. It tastes delicious-but it will not set up, the filling is quite runny. I am very good with baking, so I was surprised this happened-any suggestions?

Our answer

Nigella's My Brandy Alexander Pie (on the Nigella website) has a filling that is a combination of milk and melted marshmallows mixed with whipped cream. It is a similar mixture to Nigella's Grasshopper Pie (from Feast). The filling should set as it chills thanks to the gelatine in the marshmallows.

If the pie is not setting then it may just be that it needs to be chilled for longer. However if it is still too soft after an overnight chilling then there are a couple of possibile reasons. The first is that the marshmallow mixture was boiled or was too hot. Gelatine is sensitive to heat and if the mixture is boiled then this will stop the gelatine from re-setting. Make sure that the saucepan is taken off the heat when the milk is just starting to foam and not when it is actaully boiling. If you need to warm the mixture again to dissolve some remaining marshmallows then do this over a gentle heat - do not bring the mixture back up to the boil.

The other possibility is that the marshmallow mixture was too warm when it was added to the whipped cream. The cream will liquefy if it is warm and then the filling will be a little too runny. Make sure that the marshmallow mixture is fuly cooled before continuing with the filling.

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