Substituting liquid question

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16
Joined May 2, 2016
Hello, my coworker and I have been playing around with a key lime pie recipe we use at work. We have been taking out the key lime juice and adding different juices or liquors to make different pie flavors. He burned off the alcohol of brown sugar bourbon and used that, i used orange juice and zest to flavor it. But it seems even though we use the same amount of as we would for key lime juice it comes out watery. The recipe is as follows

28oz sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C sour cream
3/4 C key lime juice (this is what we change to try different flavors but only the key lime juice keeps the mix thicker)
3 egg yolks

Can anyone simply explain as to why when we change out the key lime juice with something else it becomes watery and we have to cook it much longer to set? He tried weighting the liquid out and still was a lot looser. Does the viscosity of the liquids have that much of a difference? Thank you ahead of time for any help.
 

phatch

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The acid of the lime helps coagulate the protein.

I couldn't find anything specific about alcohol and custard. Might be you formed a negative azeotrope like antifreeze, raising the boiling point. Alcohol doesn't mix well with fat either.
 
66
16
Joined May 2, 2016
Thank you for responding. Would there be a way to adjust the recipe to accept other flavors? Or should we search for a different recipe for each?
 
71
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Joined Apr 29, 2019
so whats the end goal here? a "bourbon condensed milk-thickened (cream) pie"? and what else have you tried this with? other alcohols? other citrus juices? because yeah id think for sure any citrus would work in this format, its the interaction between acid and dairy proteins and fats. You cant expect alcohol to be have the same way. not like-for-like, volume wise. If you really want to get alcohol in there id really suggest using a far more concentrated reduction, or hell even just straight up extracts/flavourings.

We'd do something similar with a "coffee" syrup that we'd make for the purpose of ice-creams and cakes. The coffee would have large amount of sugar added to it and gradually reduced on the stove over hours. itd be taken to less than a 1/5th of the original volume. The end result is almost impalatable, its so bitter and harsh. but swirl that into fat and dairy or a creme anglaise and the fat in there picks it up beautifully.
 

phatch

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I would say to increase the egg yolk and cook longer. You may need to also reduce temp a bit and use a bain-marie to keep good texture.

Take temperature of the custard along the way and take notes. You may get good enough info to figure out guidelines and then you've got a new business and book to publish.
 
66
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Joined May 2, 2016
Initially the end goal was to just figure out why when we used key lime juice the mixture would remain thick before baking and take very short bake time. When we tried experimenting with different flavorings by taking out the key lime juice like using the bourbon or when i tried using orange juice the mixture was thin like water and took alot longer. We put it in a water bath to bake with a very low temp past couple days and that seems to of worked well with the orange juice. Lowered temp to 250 and cooked for probably more then a half an hour. Phatch was kind enough to answer the question as to why the lime juice worked but not the others. Like i said the other things we tried in the recipe was the brown sugar bourbon which we burned off the alcohol before using and orange juice. Sorry for taking a few days to respond. Work became rather busy and I did not get on my computer till tonight.
 
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