Is pumpkin pie as we know it broken? This is what I was asking myself at 10 p.m. last night as I had words I will only express in asterisks going through my head as I was in my twentieth minute of trying to push a pumpkin pie filling through a very fine mesh strainer.
The source of the recipe, as some of you may have guessed by now, was the November 2008 issue of Cook’s Illustrated, wherein seeking to make a more complex and less grainy pie, those clever people up in Vermont came to a few conclusions. Swapping out some pumpkin puree with canned yams resulted in a better pumpkin flavor, as did concentrating the flavor by cooking the filling on the stove top before filling the crust. They also found that a mix of a higher and lower baking temperature kept the pie’s custard from curdling (making the filling a bit coarse). And then they found that passing the filling through a fine mesh strainer resulted in a less grainy filling.
Which pretty much brings us up to 10 p.m. Now, I should have known better than to start a recipe that late (after the gym, after dinner and after a long work day) and I have no doubt whatsoever that this was in part what wore down my patience. Also? I hate passing things through strainers. I must have the “finest” strainer known to man, because I swear, a cup of flour can take five minutes to sift in that thing. It is enough to make you strain your own sanity and question that of the bow-tied man. (In the end, I switched to a medium-mesh strainer and might have saved myself a few gray hairs. I can only hope.)
But when I tried the pie today, all of my frustration and asterisked words dissipated. This is some good pie. It is silky and not so heavy, it is smooth and a bit velvety, it is softly spiced and very pumpkin-y and I don’t mean to tattle or anything, but Alex has already had two slices. Of pie that did not involve chocolate.
I rest my case.
A new pumpkin pie! Since this was published, there’s been a new recipe on the site for a Classic Pumpkin Pie, with a less-classic-but-deserves-to-become-one Pecan Praline Sauce.
One year ago: Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Two years ago: Chocolate Stout Cake
Silky Smooth Pumpkin Pie
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, November & December 2008
A half-recipe of your favorite pie crust, chilled (Updated: My choice these days is my All-Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (I used 2 cups of half and half instead of one cup each of cream and milk)
3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can (regular canned yams can be substituted)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground because I’m not a huge fan of fresh ginger)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon table salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll out dough on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to make 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang all around pie plate.
Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Remove pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate. Bake 5 to 10 more minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove plate and baking sheet from oven.
Make the filling: While pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla together in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove pan from heat. Whisk in cream mixture slowly, until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl, using back of ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Re-whisk mixture and transfer to warm pre-baked pie shell. Return pie plate with baking sheet to oven and bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Continue baking until edges are set (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. (The pie finishes cooking with resident heat; to ensure the filling sets, cool it at room temperature and not in the refrigerator.)
319 comments on silky smooth pumpkin pie
Finally, someone else who shares a not-so-fondness for fresh ginger. I thought it was taboo to admit as such in foodcentric circles.
I’ll be trying this for sure, because I need to produce a pie that 1) doesn’t get a “meh, might as well buy one” reaction; and b) doesn’t contain any frippery like espresso or cheesecake or other non-pumpkin-pie-ness.
A friend made pumpkin pie cobbler the other day and my God, was it fabulous. I think it’s forever usurped pumpkin pie for me. I’m working frantically on a recipe to put on my site.
What? no ground cloves in the recipe? I love that part!
I like the idea of the yams and pumpkin. I’ve never cared for sweet pot pie because it was too pasty and dense..this sounds like a perfect combo. I also like the idea of the fresh milk or half&half..canned milk has a off taste that comes through..at least I think it does. I’ve never found my pumpkin pie lumpy or grainy..ever! But..it’s never been silky either. That’s what has me interested. Thanks for checking this out for us, Deb. I’ll give it a pre-TG trial.
Your pictures are stunning as always. I come here for inspiration- for cooking, taking pictures and writing. Thank you!
Oh…that’s a GREAT tip using pennies to weight and blind bake the crust. You clever woman you!
One of the other things the CI cooks were trying to adjust in their old pumpkin pie recipe was that they felt it was too heavily spiced, and that the cloves were a big part of this. I paused myself when I saw that there was only half a teaspoon of cinnamon but the pie is a delight. Delicately spiced and very pumpkin-y. Of course, you can always use these techniques and your own spice preferences, but I am glad I tried this new way out.
I will have to give this a try. Last year I made pumpkin and sweet potato pie. Now I’d only have to make one!! yeah!! I’ve never had a grainy pumpkin pie. I use the Libby recipe and it is always smooth or maybe I don’t know what smooth is?
I live the idea of mixing pumpkin and yams and your pie does indeed look velvety smooth and wonderful. Mmm. Nice. Thank you for sharing!
amazing photos – and a fabulous pie! thanks! i too like the pies medium-spiced so the taste of the pumpkin comes through…
CI is freaking amazing. I use their pumpkin pie recipe from “The New Best Recipe,” which does not involve yams or mesh strainers, but does involve pureeing the filling in a food processor and cooking it on the stovetop. It really does make a difference!
Thanks for providing their thoughts on their spice issue. I’ll take your word for the spice adjustment. After all, I’m doing a trial run and can adjust the spices for the big show if concensus dictates
I detest pumpkin pie :-( In all honesty I have tried very hard to like it and tried all my friends’ grandma’s and ma’s pumpkin pies and tried making my own. Alas, I disliked each and every one of them. In my 7 yrs in the U.S. I have attended 7 Thanksgiving feasts and on each one of them I sadly watched everyone devour their slice of the pie while I mourned. I thought to myself, “pumpkin and I can never ever be friends.” :-(
Then everything changed last Christmas! A friend brought me a pumpkin bread and I LOVED it. Then I decided that the next time I go to anyone’s Thanksgiving feast I will take along a pumpkin bread – for myself primarily. Now Thanksgiving is near and I don’t have a recipe. Since you are the queen of desserts, may I please request you for a recipe of PuB? I know that there are a lot of recipes out there but, your recipes are always a class apart. So, if you have time, please post a recipe for PuB.
This is exactly what I needed as I am in charge of pies for Thanksgiving. Do you think Pie making is something that requires a dry run? And thus me eating at least one entire pie prior to Thanksgiving. I’m thinking yes. More because I want pie then I am afraid of screwing it up.
Deb, you have gotten me even more addicted to cooking than I already was with all your fabulous recipes and stunning photos. One of my old roommates used to bake his pumpkin pie with a thin layer of lightly sweetened cream cheese spread about 1/8″ to 1/4″ on the bottom and the pumpkin pie on top. I thought it was a little strange at first, but by golly, it was the most decadent pie I’ve ever tasted!
Deb, I *just* (meaning yesterday!) searched your site for a good pumpkin pie recipe & was super surprised to find there wasn’t one to be found – – until now – – this pie looks scrumptious!
I have been looking for a recipe to replace the one on the back of the Libby’s can. Maybe this one this year!
I’ve tried CI’s old pumpkin pie recipe, and yes – way too heavily spiced. I was not a fan. I haven’t tried this one, but I’m glad to read your review. I’ll be sure to use a medium-mesh strainer if I ever make it.
For about 4 years in college I had this ‘signature’ pumpkin pie that I brought proudly to every autumn party I was invited to. It was horribly overspiced, grainy, too sweet and otherwise bad. I always wondered why there was so much leftovers. Haven’t attempted pumpkin pie since my realization that my pie sucked…. But I have a good strainer and I think I’ll give this a go. Thanks for the motivation.
WOW great recipe.. I will definitely try this one ..thanks for posting
I like the idea of a less grainy texture. And your crust looks almost too perfect.
Oh yeah, and high five for NaBloPoMo!
Yum! Worth the effort! I hear you on the mashing through a sieve woes, having spent an inordinate amount of time forcing raspberry or strawberry pulp through a chinois to make ice cream. The results are great, but boy is it tedious.
Love pumpkin pie. Definitely will try this.
This looks great! My secret ingredient for pumpkin pie is to sprinkle gingersnap crumbs over your pie crust before pouring in the filling. It’s such a great flavor!
Will try this recipe for Thanksgiving. I try a new pumpkin pie recipe every year. May I also comment on your chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate discs were beautiful. Have you ever tried milk chocolate in your cookies instead of bittersweet? If not, it is a whole different animal, er cookie.
Oy, would I ever love to make this! Unfortunately, the UK has a distinct lack of canned yams, candied or otherwise. Boo.
If you are going to go to the trouble to sieve canned pumpkin why not just roast your own? For my going away Thanksgiving dinner (missed it in America from the transatlantic move) I roasted (no water, salt or oil) Buttercup & Butternut squashes and then whirred the scraped squash in a food processor. No passing through any sieve needed. Smooth as silk and light, fresh pumpkin scent.
AMAZING PIE!! But I too can’t seem to find canned yams here… and I’m in the States!!
You can used fresh yams instead of canned – sweet potatoes is what we call them in Canada but I think the orange ones are actually yams…. Poke and microwave until done. Squash, like butternut, also makes a great pumpkin pie.
I have to try this pie!
I am usually in the ‘more is better’ spice camp (I often don’t measure spices and just sprinkle them on to my glory), but I will have to try a pie with less spice and see how I like it. Maybe less is more? :)
Looks great. I can’t wait to get my CI 2008 Annual.
this looks amazing! It’s also the second time in two days that I’ve read about pie weights but I’ve never used them – where can you get them? can’t wait to try this one, maybe now my husband will finally try a pumpkin pie!!
I’m really enjoying NaBloPoMo over here – thanks!
My treasured Thanksgiving traditions include getting together with my sister the day before to make the pies. We like to have one pie per guest, so while several guests bring dessert as well, we feel it incumbent upon us to put out, so to speak.
Whatever fun, new pie recipe we come up with, we always have to have the standards – Cook’s Illustrated Pumpkin and Pecan pies. We use the Best Recipe or the Baking cookbook (they’re a little different in each), and curse as we dig out the candy thermometer for the pecan pie, and the Very Old Beans for the pie weights, but the results are always worth the efforts. I haven’t strained the pumpkin before, but it does go through the food processor at some point. We now have an immersion blender, which should make this part easier.
This year my family will be at my grandmothers, and my sister will stay home, so I will miss our late night Get Out the Pie session.
Just after Halloween is a great time to get pumpkins cheaply. Look for small but “heavy for its size” ones. Canned pumpkin is bland in comparison.
Cut your pumpkin into long strips as you would a cantaloupe, then use your serrated knife to remove seeds and strings. Cook pumpkin (Check net for the many ways) I use a pressure cooker and cook for 12 minutes at 15lbs.
Put into a strainer and when cool remove the shell. You can freeze the pumpkin in zip bags and use in many recipes. Pumpkin soup rocks!
Use 3 cups pumpkin for a deep dish pie. 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground allspice, and 1/2 tsp ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp salt. 18 oz canned evaporated milk, 4 eggs. Beat on med high till smooth. If some small fibers collects on your beaters discard the fibers. Pout into your pie shell and bake at 425 for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 350 for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
If you have leftover pumpkin mix just bake it in an oven proof buttered bowl.
No, your pie won’t be silky smooth but this is a pie guys like me really love.
This sounds utterly fabulous, and my pumpkin-pie-loving associates agree. However I *know* I will skip the step that involves straining the filling and get a less silky texture as a result. You know what? I don’t care! I’m not sure it would seem like a proper pumpkin pie without a slight graininess. Of course, my fellow cook might disagree.
This may be wrong, but I cannot get behind a pumpkin pie that doesn’t contain molasses. It’s just not right.
Yumminess. Pumpkin pie is probably my favorite part of Thanksgiving. After mashed potatoes and gravy. I, too, am one of the Spice Queens. I always add a tiny bit of cloves (and mace, which takes it up a notch). For some reason it’s not the same without the spices for me– it’s like that combination of spices is the taste of pumpkin pie. Instead of canned milk/any other kind of milk, I always use egg nog, too. I don’t think I could handle a lightly spiced pie, but the cooking and yams could be the ticket. I think I’ll try the cooking part, too (but no strainer as I don’t have the patience, maybe the food processor will help?).
What our family does for pumpkin pie is use a pie crust recipe from Fanny Farmer and then make the filling according to the directions on Libby’s Pumpkin Puree. We’ve never needed anything else, it tastes delicious and is very easy! :-) Your version sounds time consuming and hard! We serve a pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving and Christmas and at any excuse between those times.
@ Tabitha – Most cookware stores carry pie weights; otherwise you can use any kind of dried beans or even rice. I myself would hesitate to use pennies because they seem so dirty (yes I know they don’t touch the pie).
@Nancy – They are all sweet potatoes. Real yams are pale and starchy and don’t grow in the New World. The orange ones began to be called “yams” as a marketing tool.
I’m so glad it’s fall – I love pumpkins and winter squashes and sweet potatoes!
Bless your dear, dear heart, Deb. Is that pie really HOURS better than the 15-minute recipe on the can? Which I enjoy immensely but then again, I like cheap wine as well. You were so cute on Martha Stewart, btw!
I don’t have an issue with pumpkin pie. I am not going to mess with mine especially not at the behest of Cooks Illustrated = don’t get me started on them! But, as usual, I salute you for doing due diligence on our collective behalf! Best, be well, Tha Hostess
My family loves pumpkin pie. We prefer the pie I make because it doesn’t have any spices except cinnamon. (The kids can’t stand the typical pumpkin pie spices like ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.) I always make my own crust. When I have time, my family prefers I make the filling from scratch too – not from a can. It’s a lot of extra work to cut, cook, and mash the pumpkin, but it tastes so much better. It’s kind of like the difference between instant mashed potatoes and real mashed potatoes.
Well, I tried something new last month. Instead of regular pumpkin pie, I made a pumpkin ice cream pie. Turned out pretty good if you ask me. You can try it if you like: http://www.ice-cream-freaks.com/ice-cream-pie-pumpkin.html
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH i have to try this along with your bourbon pumpkin cheesecake this year! It looks so yummy, I may just have to make it early. Oh did you know you can get the canned pumpkin year round?
I’ve just been told that my incredibly picky brother-in-law (who I love) gets really sad when there’s no traditional, plain-old pumpkin pie on the table at thanksgiving. Since they’re coming here, I’m SO glad you posted this recipe! This is the pie I will make. Thank you!
(and, it seems, I’ve just recently come out from under my rock to find your amazing blog. I’ve made a number of your recipes in the past few weeks and they’ve all been completely fabulous! Thank you, again!)
Why do you want it silky smooth ?
A good pumpkin (or sweet potatoe) pie should have a firm, fibrous texture. It’s pie, not babyfood.
People divide into two equally sound preferences. Some like the firm bodied fibrous texture and others prefer their custards to be silky smooth. I am definitely in the silky category myself and I have great success achieving that with pumpkin or sweet potato pie by pureeing in a food processor for a couple of minutes instead of straining.
Looks so silky & good. I love pumpkin pie so much but don’t make it because nobody will want to eat it in the house. They prefer sugar pies.
…I have this thing where I try not to eat anything with pumpking in it until the pumpkin pie at TG. I know..it sounds silly, but I need to build up anticipation for pumpkin pie, or nobody will eat any of it on the big day. I think it started when we got sick of it after having it in so many treats before the holiday..and then everyone wasn’t interested in pumpkin anything by TG. So..to test this, I’ll just give everyone a bite..and send the rest away.
My pumpkin pie solution? Let my mom make it. Such a cop out but definitely the preference. And I have the finest strainer known to man as well. Once I had to sift the seeds out of a raspberry puree, and after awhile I couldn’t tell if the red color was the fruit or the blood from my wrists.
Deb – I abandoned the pumpkin pie years ago. it never lived up to my ambitions. They just never turned out that great. I will try the CI’s version this year. You have given me hope.
P.S. How do you put your pictures in that cute 2×2 square arrangement?
Our family loves pumpkin pie too and this no-clove recipe looks fabulous! We NEVER use actual pumpkin for pie in our family. We like to use the big, ugly, gray-green Hubbard squash my dad grows. They are so big and tough that my husband uses an ax to cut it up. Then, I put the chunks, skin and all, in a 9×13 pan with a little water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave until tender. Process it in a food processor and you’ve got the most delightful “pumpkin” for pie ever. And, our favorite pie has no cloves either! Hooray for lightly spiced, custardy, velvety smooth “Pumpkin” pie!
This pie sounds wonderful. I’ve been devoted to a pumpkin pie recipe that I got from a November issue of Gourmet several years ago, but your post is tempting me to change that tradition.
Wow that pie looks so good :) Can you believe I’ve never had pumpkin pie? Shame on me. Must have some this Thanksgiving.
I live in Australia so I find it absolutely bizarre you can get cans of pumpkin pie filling and cherry pie filling that I’ve read about previousl in regular supermarkets! I guess we don’t have a pie culture, except for meat pies!
whoops, hit post too early. I’m pretty sure I wont be able to find canned pumpkin pie filling, so what could I use instead? real pumpkin? this looks too delicious to pass up just for the lack of one ingredient.
phew third comment! Just read the recipe again and realised i’d never heard of candied yams, so I guess this recipe is out :(
You guys have weird stuff canned :P Sweet potato is used here pretty much for savoury only. Roasted, etc.
Hey Deb, I just emailed this to my mom, who is a pumpkin pie fanatic. She’s a totally lazy baker so there is no way she would ever take it on, but I told her to make Ross do it for Thanksgiving. He loves labor-intensive recipes. As long as he gets to make a huge mess and have Dad clean up after him.
Have to 2nd Shuna (#26). My friend finds that butternut squash makes things more pumpkiny and smoother and it’s easy to roast your own. For me it’s the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had and I didn’t have to make it. Best of both worlds.
Pie accomplished! I followed your recipe exactly — from the half and half to the 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground ginger. I was leery that the pie didn’t include cloves (and glad to hear that you were too!), but it IS spicy nonetheless. I attribute it to the cooking down of the pumpkin/yam/spice mixture. It’s smooth, thick, tall, and spicy. LOVE it. It’s now my go to pumpkin pie recipe. I used pennies as pie weights, and my own apple cider vinegar pie crust recipe. Delish!
PS — I wasn’t sure if my deep dish Emily Henry pie plate would be a good fit for the pie (the dish in the photos doesn’t look very deep), and baked with it anyway at my husband’s suggestion, it was a PERFECT fit. In fact, the pie would have runneth over had I used a shallower dish.
my housemate’s starting to freak out over not having an pumpkin pie for thanksgiving so i’ve been looking for a recipe! thanks for putting this up. it’ll be a challenge looking for pumpkin puree and candied yams in england though so wish me luck.
p/s the pie’s just beautiful!! x
OK, while I am sure this pie is fabulous, I must say that the thought of the canned pumpkin does make me wince. I never cared much for pumpkin pie and my hubby loves the stuff. Thus, two years ago, I decided to make one from scratch–not with the dreaded canned pumpkin stuff but by using a real (roasted) sugar pie pumpkin. All the while, dear hubby was giving me a hard time by saying that he’d “never be able to tell the difference” and “why was I going to such trouble?” I am proud to say that my husband swore he’d never eat a “regular” pumpkin pie again once he had the “real” deal and now anxiously awaits Thanksgiving to enjoy pumpkin pie. And happily I admit that now I, too, find it quite lovely.
Bianca, it doesn’t call for Canned Pumpkin Pie FILLING, just canned pumpkin puree. Totally different. (The filling has “stuff” in it. The puree is just pumpkin.)
If you can’t find it, you can just buy a small-ish pumpkin, quarter it, scrap the seeds and roast it in the oven. When it’s done, scrap out the “guts” and toss them in a food processor/blender.
I have the some of the same issues with pumpkin pie. This year I was going to try using kabocha pumpkin (which has a much smoother texture).
The “straining” sounds like it could be accomplished more easily by using a food mill. Not an item found in every kitchen, and I don’t suggest you go buy one unless you’re planning on making a lot of baby food or applesauce. It takes up a lot of space. I inherited one from my grandmother who made wicked good applesauce.
So you’re telling me its worth it? I have a pumpkin pie recipe from the 2006 Bon Appetit November issue that I really like.
My trick to the best pumpkin pie is real pumpkin. Whenever I tell people that they look horrified and ask how I have the patience….it really only takes an additional 10-15 minutes of actual hands-on time, and the difference is huge. The flavour is more mellow and smooth. I also use some sweetened condensed milk in the filling. This was a huge hit at our Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving was at the beginning of October) meal this year.
This looks like it might be good, but I definitely prefer my pumpkin pie to have texture rather than be too smooth. Though, pureed-to-death pumpkin works great for pumpkin custard or pudding. I usually use a recipe from my grandmother’s 1930’s cookbook to make my pumpkin pies. I go way lighter on the ginger, though, since it can overwhelm the other spices – especially the organic stuff I got at Whole Foods. Oh, and pumpkin cooks up easily in the microwave. Just cut it up and nuke it, then scrape out the ‘meat’ of it. I mash it with a potato masher :-) I usually buy a pumpkin or two in the fall and then can some of it to use later in the year when you can’t buy fresh ones.
I hate to say it, but in my opinion this isn’t “hours better” than other pumpkin pie. I tried it last night, and true, it made a delightful breakfast this morning, but I’ve got to say that it seems like fixing something that wasn’t really broken. Or maybe my discriminating tastes (hah) just don’t extend to pumpkin pie. As long as the crust is good, that is.
On the other hand, as one who takes the more-must-be-better approach to spicing things, I thought the spicing here was really good (I also did pwdered ginger) — I didn’t even miss my beloved cloves.
Is there a typo in the final part of the baking instructions? I’m making this right now and it’s been in the oven at 300 degrees for almost 50 minutes – still fairly loose in center and only at 150 on instant-read. I’m just going to pull it soon as I need to get to sleep! But just wondering if anyone else had this problem. Next time I’ll do the second temp at 350.
Yes, same problem here. Needed hotter and much longer in order to set up. But great texture and flavor after prolonged cooking.
Yes!! I cooked one in a convection oven and one in our regular over and both took significantly longer than stated to come to temperature- I started to think my thermometer was broken it took so long! It will be interesting to see how they finally turn out after cooling.
ive heard that using butternut squash instead of pumkin entirely works well and has even better flavor.
i just made this pie tonight… my first solo pie attempt. a few things…
1. mesh strainer= second level of hell, i had to send my boyfriend out half way through to get me a bigger/less fine version.
2. i left the pie in for almost an hour too and the middle was still pretty loose whenever i moved it to check ( i don’t yet have a thermometer). finally i cranked up the heat to 400 for the last seven minutes. there were a few crispy corners of the crust but better safe than sorry.
*i’ll let you know tomorrow how it turns out.
I made this pie yesterday. You were right; this is some good pie! I made one slight change and that was to add 1/8 tsp of cloves and reduce the nutmeg to 1/8 tsp as well; the flavor was perfect for me. I did taste pumpkin predominately with hints of spice. The texture was soft and smooth as silk and creamy light. My husband was admonishing me for undercooking the pie as he was stuffing his 2nd perfectly set wedge in his ‘pie hole.’ He just didn’t get the concept, but he will as I intend to make this pie again.
I am glad that the internal temp reading was provided, or I’d have left that pie in the oven longer. As #70 Trisha Lynn noted, it took mine almost an hour to come to temp, but I figured that was because I used a deep dish pie plate and baked it on a cookie sheet. I didn’t have stainer problems (mine is a med mesh) but I used my flat masher to break up the sweet potatoes when I first put them in the pan.
thank you, thank you, thank you!
this recipe inspired me to make my first pie from scratch. it’s in the oven as we speak, the house smells delightful, and i’m giving myself a little pat on the back.
thanks for the back up susan 71. my pie also ended up setting perfectly- tasted uhmazing. this is now my ‘go-to’ holiday dish to bring. thanks to deb for the recipe and also all others for tips, hints, and backup. :)
oh dear god… please post a pecan pie recipe. or email me a tried and true one. i have to bake for my in laws for thanksgiving and i’m freaking out. texture and crust (i refuse, repeat REFUSE to go store bought, bah) and sweetness and, and… my head is spinning. halp!
Thanks for the pie recipe! This was my first ever pumpkin pie and I found it wasn’t too hard to make at all. I used my food mill (hand crank food grinder (i.e. http://www.flickr.com/photos/teenytinyturkey/1469166265/ )- usually used to make baby food) instead of a strainer and that step was done in 30 seconds flat!
Response to #70 and #71 – I did my pie according the to instructions, and yes, the middle was totally not set by the end. I had the pie in for half an hour and then took it out and let it cool, and only 2-3 inches away from the crust had actually set. I’m making this again tomorrow for Thanksgiving, and I’ll definitely be leaving it in for longer! (50 minutes maybe?) Thanks for the help.
Made the pie this morning and pulled it out of the oven after 45 minutes (against my better judgment, because my thermometer hadn’t reached 175 degrees) and ended up with a pie that didn’t set completely.
Aesthetics aside, the texture was utterly amazing as was the balance of spices and sweetness! Now a little wiser, I will definitely make it again and adjust the time accordingly.
I made this pie for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it! I wasn’t too sure about the maple syrup flavor at first, but after a few bites, I was convinced. It was definitely worth the time and effort. Also, I used your all-butter pie crust recipe and instructions and it turned out perfectly! I’ve never been good at making pie crust and had previously resorted to using the store-bought kind (blech!), but I’ll never do that again.
Thanks for the great information and inspiration to create some wonderful food for my family this year!!
I made this as a test run for Thanksgiving, and my roommate and I adored it. I used Dorie’s pie crust and didn’t have trouble straining the filling through my medium mesh strainer. I too should have left it in the oven for longer (took it out after about 40 minutes), as it didn’t set up as firmly as I would have liked. I think my pie dish was also shallower than is normal, because I ended up only using about half of the filling! But it’s okay. I’m planning on baking up the leftover filling as a crustless custard-type thing to devour later with less guilt. :) We ate almost the whole pie by ourselves over the course of a week, and, sadly, I didn’t have time to make one for my family when T-Day came around! :( Thanks for the super recipe. This one’s a keeper.
Loved your recipe. Never considered using maple syrup. I think I’ll give this recipe a try at Christmas. I think we will do a taste test between yours with maple syrup and mine using your recipe with fresh pumpkin. I find that it has a unique taste when using fresh rather than processed pumpkin.
First post from long-time lurker–the pie was wonderful!! I’ve never liked pumpkin pie nor has my 85-yr. old mother, but decided to make this for our huge Thanksgiving gathering (45 people). I flew from CA into S.C. where my family now lives and my aunt, who sells her cakes and pies, my mother, and I all couldn’t believe how yummy this pie was. There was some extra filling so we each had a taste from a small ramekin full and loved it. Well, my pie was on the dessert table along with 3 other pumpkin pies and several other pies, cakes, brownies, etc. My pie was the only pumpkin pie totally demolished. I never got a taste, so I made another one a few days ago and my mother and I enjoyed it immensely.
I’ve almost posted a couple of times, but this pie finally drew me out. If the pumpkin-pie haters would give this a taste, I think they’d change their minds. I think the reason I have always disliked it is because it’s usually so heavily spiced. This one is definitely a winner!!
Thanks for all your recipes–I’ve tried several now and there’s only one that needed some tweaking IMHO. I also enjoy your humor, pics, and info about NY since I grew up on LI and moved to CA when I was 30 (23 years ago). Keep up the great work!
BTW, I also had to cook the pies for 50 min. @ 300 degrees after the 10 min. @ 400. I used an instant-read thermometer (purchased especially for this pie) and kept checking, but now I’m comfortable leaving it in for the extra time w/o constantly peeking.
Delicious pie! Mine took 45 min at 300. Straining wasn’t so bad because I used the hand mixer first. I like the addition of the yams. Thanks for another winner!
has anyone had the eggs curdle on them when adding hot pumpkin to milk and egg mixture?
going to make this today and the thought crossed my mind… I have made a lot of flour-less chocolate cakes… or rather I have messed up a few of them.
Hi pinktea — If you drizzle the cream mixture in slowly, you can safely avoid any curdling as that will temper it. (It probably won’t curdle even if hot because there is so much more milk/cream than eggs, but I always like to play it extra-safe.) I will update the recipe to suggest this, thanks. Good luck!
This came out really well- extremely smooth and perfectly spiced. The recommendation to use a food mill instead of a strainer was right on. It makes a lot of filling- use a deep dish and make sure your pie crust doesn’t shrink down or it won’t all fit. For the commenters who were not convinced and are still looking for the ultimate fall holiday pie, maybe you would like the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook sweet potato pie. It has lemon juice and buttermilk, which gives it a really bright, slightly tangy taste. If I could only make one squash/yam/pumpkin dessert (and thankfully it has not come to that), it would be their pie. The recipe is posted in many places, including here: http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/cookbook/2007/lee-southern/sweet-potato-pie.html
This is similar to Rose Levy Berenbaum’s recipe out of the Pie and Pastry bible, in that you cook the filling, which gives it an amazing texture.
My husband’s family thinks I’m a little nuts when I go to such efforts to make the perfect pie, but they all enjoy the results (even the ones who say they aren’t big pumpkin pie fans usually go back for seconds!)
BTW, Rose advocates using the canned pumpkin for reliability, and doesn’t think there’s much difference between “fresh” and canned; maybe I’ll have to do a side-by-side comparison…mmmmm
My mother in law makes her pumpkin pie with carrots instead of pumpkin. It’s hard to admit but it’s as good as my pumpkin pie I make with sugar pumpkins. Plus, it’s easier to find carrots and cooked carrots are easy to blend, no straining.
I’m looking for a new pumpkin/carrot pie recipe and I’m intrigued by yours, I like the idea of adding maple syrup. We have Thanksgiving in a few weeks so I’m testing out recipes.
This recipe was amazing.
In both the perfection of the outcome and the amount of work it took to get there.
I made this pie for Thankgiving and it is by far the best pumpkin pie I have ever had. A little more work,but well worth the effort. Can’t wait to make it again.
Any time I need a recipe I come straight here – I love it – and I just tried this recipe last night but I am not sure I did it right…
Everything turned out beautifully (even the sieving) but the final product was a little eggy for some reason. Has anyone else had this problem? It was still completely and totally awesome right down to my very first pie crust, but I’m worried I didn’t cook it long enough maybe? Maybe I just like my pie less like an egg custard. Do you think it would it mess too much with the texture if I left out some of the egg?
Made this for my first Canadian Thanksgiving! It was my first attempt at making pumpkin pie and it turned out beautifully! Couldn’t find canned/candied yams here in Quebec so just doubled the pumpkin filling. The pastry worked beautifully, I was glad of the tip to stop at the “size of peas” otherwise I would have kept going. The new boyfriend, a massive pumpkin pie fan, loved it :)
Thanks for the great recipe!
This was an all day effort, starting at 7am for me (a busy mom to a 2 and a 5 year old) with a pumpkin from our garden and fresh eggs from the farm nearby. It’s probably the most perfect pumpkin pie EVER! I can say that after I underbaked both the crust and the pie itself AND didnt push it through a sieve AND skipped the yams and used all pumpkin instead. The flavor is amazing! We’ll be making this again for Thanksgiving. As always, thanks!
Remarkable recipe. I took your light spice suggestion and I agree with your conservative approach. But for the ginger, I liked the bright flavor of freshly grated Hawaiian ginger.
On top of the work involved with this recipe, using roasted pumpkins and yams amounted to more work than I expected. And next time I’ll probably go withe a premade dough. At the time the homemade touches seemed like the right idea. Regardless of the time it took to make four pies–5 hours–the resulting texture and flavor made for a memorable desert.
All of the chunks from the pumpkins and yams did’t make it through the fine strainer. What didn’t make into the smooth pie found it’s way into another thick version. The thicker filling was just as good!
Is a silky-smooth consistency better?
Well done and thanks for your compassion with this sentimental dessert.
Oh man. I want to make this recipe. I really do. But I don’t have whole milk…or cream…or candied yams…or maple syrup (what?). And I don’t want to go to the store. Dang. I’ll get back to you when I make it…because it’s like I can already taste it. I heart ATK even though the consistenly make me dirty EVERY pan, bow,l and strainer I own.
This may be the answer to the fact that my crust never seems “done” when I’m making a single crust pie! I’ll give both a whirl – pie recipe sounds yummy!!
I made this last night as a test run for Thanksgiving, and it was Perfect! Very pronounced pumpkin flavor, and I love the fact that there are no strongly-flavored cloves taking over the dish. The texture is so light and smooth; this is now my go-to recipe for pumpkin pie, hands-down.
As many commenters have noted, I, too, had to cook it much longer than the listed 20-35 minutes–probably closer to an hour. Also, as many have said, using a medium mesh strainer, I had no problems whatsoever, and the straining step went very quickly.
Good luck everyone, and enjoy!
would this recipe work with an all butter flaky pie crust (from gourmet)?
Last year I made an Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie, and while I loved the apple butter flavor, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the pie overall (it was good, but nothing extraordinary). I tried this recipe and I loved it, and now I’m wondering about incorporating some apple butter. Anyone have a suggestion as to how much of the pumpkin and candied yam I should have substituted?
The other recipe called for one cup each of apple butter and pumpkin. With this recipe, there are about three cups of fruit so my instinct is to go with just under one cup each of pumpkin, candied yams and apple butter. Or should apple butter make up half the fruit and then let pumpkin and yam make up the other half in combination?
If it’s a matter of taste, I’ll go ahead and experiment… but I know baking needs to be exact, and I want to be sure to avoid a disaster! Any tips are welcome. Thanks!
I live in Istanbul and I absolutely want to make this recipe so bad. But I don’t have heavy cream…or candied yams…or maple syrup.
What can I use instead????
I love your recipes they have a lot more than just ingredients…
Thanks for sharing!!!
i made the pie for our family’s pre-thanksgiving get together and i have to say, it was the best pumpkin pie i’ve ever had. i will admit i bought the pie dough, but you that filling was so labor intensive i could care less.
oh, also i simply did some basic math and instead of putting all the different spices in, i did 2 and 3/4 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. save yourself the trouble!
I’ve just printed both teh pumpkin and sweet potato pie recipes for my kids to make (it’s a family tradition at this point), but i wondered is thre any reason why i couldn’t use the flaky crust that you recommended for the sweet potato pie also for this recipe?
Absolutely, you should. I need to update these links (I had posted the all-butter pie dough recipe after this last year, is what happened).
Could this safely be made tonight (Tuesday PM) to eat Thursday? Or would the crust be too damp under the filling for that long?
If you par-bake the crust, you shouldn’t have any issues of dampness. But even if you don’t, it’s not an overwhelmingly wet pie; you’ll probably be okay.
I mistakenly bought pureed sweet potato rather than candied yams – do you think this will be a problem? Perhaps I should increase the sugar a bit?
Perhaps. Try the batter and see if you think it needs more sweetener — you can always add before you bake it.
I just did this recipe tonight – I actually doubled the recipe to make two pies and I still have enough custard left over for nearly two more. Can’t wait to try it!
Deb, I love your blog! This is my first time commenting, b/c I just have to say that I’m already making this pie for the 3rd time in a few weeks (2nd time in two days!). Everyone who’s tried it RAVES about it, and I may have even converted a few non-pumpkin pie eaters. Love the subtle flavor and the amazing silky texture which reminds me of Chinese egg custards. I did have to bake it almost 20 minutes longer than the recipe stated and ended up with too much filling. I might just buy those little pre-made tart shells and fill them with the leftover!
i don’t know what happened but this did not work out! i made two different pie recipes this year (sour cream pumpkin pie from gourmet, which turned out great), and this one which worked only because i improvised when it became clear it would be disastrous! not sure where i went wrong, positive i got the measurements right, but when i started to add the cream mix into the warm pumpkin at a certain point it seemed the filling was the correct consistency but i still had about half of the cream mixture left to add. i should have stopped and trusted my instincts, but instead i thought, maybe that’s why everyone loves this pie, it’s some strange really-liquidy-filling that somehow works in the end. so i poured it all in, and it was pumpkin soup, but like, a really watery pumpkin soup. i tasted it and the flavor was delicious, but there was no way that was going to become a solid pumpkin filling, and definitely no way it would need to go through a strainer?! so i opened another can of pumpkin, used the rest of the sweet potato, added more spices and some of the liquid from the first attempt. all in all it ended up being fairly good, but the gourmet recipe was by far the favorite. where did i go wrong? the crust was also leaking butter in a way that has never happened with the recipe i usually use for pies (i had to keep opening the oven and wiping butter drips)! the only thing i did that maybe differed from the recipes was instead of using candied yams (couldn’t find any) i used pureed canned sweet potato. could that be the problem?
Hi Sasha — Not sure I completely followed, but the recipe if baked as-is was still liquidy was simply not baked enough.
I had this same problem with it being too liquid while making a double batch. It was pure liquid, like a thin soup. I think maybe I didn’t cook it down enough before adding the cream mixture? I was able to save it though for anyone else having the problem!
SOLUTION: I added 2 more egg yolks (I’d suggest 1 for a single batch) and then put the entire mixture back on the stove and cooked it down over low/med heat constantly stirring. It took another 15+ minutes of this to get it down to the right consistency. After 10 minutes I actually had my husband take over stirring so I could start Googling backup plans. It was after another 5 I noticed it was FINALLY getting thicker. After this, I ran it through the strainer and continued with the recipe.
I figured it was worth the risk putting the entire mixture back on the stove, because I wouldn’t have been able to use it as is. In the end the pies were delicious and had a nice form/consistency! This was my first time making pumpkin pie and even the hard-core pumpkin pie lovers were very happy with the end result.
no, no. thanks for the response + sorry if unclear. i made the filling as directed and it looked sooooo liquidy when i was done adding the cream to the pumpkin (even before being poured into the pie crust + baked) that i only used a little of the recipe filling and added to that another can of pumpkin and more spices (leaving me w. a ball jar of pumkin “milk” in the fridge). what was the consistency of your filling before baking? i assumed that because you included the step using the strainer it must have been fairly thick; if i had put mine through a strainer, it would have poured right through, almost like milk. though, i did eat the pie leftover today (my changed version) and it was alot better leftover than on thanksgiving, esp. the crust. still, i know something went wrong but i cannot for the life of me figure out what it was, as i am certain my measurements were exact. the only thing i could think was the canned pureed sweet potato instead of candied yams?!
Hi Sasha — No, not very thick. The straining is really to remove any remaining pumpkin/yam strands or bits, to ensure the pie is “silky”. Sorry it did not work out for your meal!
I made this for T-day last week and it was the most delicious pumpkin pie I ever tasted. It did seem very liquid-y and needed to stay in the oven longer than I thought it should, but it came out great. I also modified slightly by adding hazelnuts (with melted butter and brown sugar) on top and placing it under the broiler for a minute right before serving. Yum!
My sister and my cousin and I made this for Thanksgiving this year. It was the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made. We had a grand experiment too. We tried 3 different pie crusts, 2 pumpkin pie fillings, 2 kinds of apple pies, and we made a tart combining two of the recipes on your site: whole lemon tart filling w/ gingersnap crust (from the dark chocolate tart). It was to die for!
I agree with Laurie, it did need to be in the oven a bit longer, but the outcome was OUTSTANDING.
Truth be told, before this I have never made a “from scratch” pumpkin pie. I’m so happy I trusted the reviews of this and tried it out.
I have yet to find a single pumpkin pie recipe that does not call for ‘a 15 oz can of pumpkin pie filling.’ I have recently moved to a country which does not see fit to import this product. I’ve been too scared to try to recreate it. What would you recommend? Just steam and mash? Start with 15 ounces of fresh pumpkin?
15 oz yes. She teaches how to make from scratch. I used two small pumpkins, baked in halves, puréed, then added as 15 oz.
I want to try this recipe because pumpkin pie is one of my most favorite things…but I can’t find pumpkin anywhere!! I might have to just buy a whole pumpkin and cook it myself and scrape it out.
Natasha- you can buy canned pumpkin many places. I usually get mine from my local super market. If you choose to get organic pumpkin, you could try finding it at specialty stores, or health food markets.
Hope that helps!
The recipe looks good to.
I can’t stand that these pies (THREE) are sitting around setting, only to be eaten tomorrow evening! darn… and in other not so fortunate news, as i was rolling out my dough, the oven decided it would not heat. ran to neighbors to ask for the use of their oven, just as they were leaving for the cottage (canadian thanksgiving (thank goodness for long weekends)). oh boy! i can not say it was easy, but these pies are looking and smelling so tasty!
oh and i doubled the recipe, and yet am still left with quite a lot of filling… can’t say i’m complaining.
I made a double batch of this recipe and, unfortunately, had trouble with the filling not setting by the 30 minute mark. The outer edge of the crusts are burned but the pies themselves are so delicious and smooth. I only had half the maple syrup required and I thought the maple flavoring was perfect. I ended up baking at a higher temp for 30 minutes for the second pie and it looks much better this time. Next time I might try not par-baking the crust.
Anyone have an opinion on swapping buttermilk for the regular milk? I have at least a cup that needs to be used up…
Hi Deb, I can’t wait to try this recipe. Was wondering if there is an alternative if I don’t have pie weights or pennies. I’ve heard dried beans? But I actually use my dried beans for cooking. Will they be effected by baking? Thanks!
Nirmala — You can use dry beans but they will take muuuuch longer to cook and may not get as soft when you are done. You could also try weighting it with another pie dish, if it’s lightweight, maybe something else ovenproof to hold it down. Or, you could skip the prebaking step entirely. The crust won’t be as crisp but this is not a deal breaker for everyone. (It hardly bothers me, personally, on pumpkin pies.)
Is the oven temperature setting here for a regular oven or convection setting? I have noticed on your site that you don’t specify.
i have loved every recipe that i have ever tried from your collection, but i am nervous about making this one for thanksgiving, since i do not care for maple syrup. can anyone tell me if you can actually taste the syrup in the pie?
Patty — It’s not really strong. You might try honey instead.
We liked this pie and I’m planning to make it again for Thanksgiving this year! I followed the recipe as written, but minus the straining and with slight adjustments to the bake temp/time. Instead, I blended the filling after having mixed in all the cream/egg mixture. It came out beautifully silky and smooth when baked. Next time I will ratchet back the sugar a bit – perhaps to 1/2 cup sugar rather than 3/4 cup. Maybe my candied yams were more candied than some? I made do with another pie pan to weight down the pie crust during pre-baking…but the bottom still puffed/bubbled up. Am going to ask for pie weights for the holidays now. :) For bake time I did the 10 minutes at 400, about 30 minutes at 350, and then a little longer at 300.
Sorry Deb, one more question. I went searching for yams and only found yams under the label of sweet potato? Ok to use? Thanks for your advice on beans and pie crust. much appreciated.
I have this pie cooling on the counter right now…my kitchen looks like a pumpkin exploded! I tripped on the kitchen rug when I was putting the filling into the crust, and pumpkin pie filling went everywhere, including down the sides of the crust and in between the oven and the cabinet (gotta love that).
I have a few quick questions: I had quite a bit of leftover pie filling – is this because I didn’t use a deep-dish pie pan? I used a regular Pyrex pie pan. I poured the leftovers into a little ramekin and baked it next to the pie on the baking sheet – when I tasted it, the filling in the ramekin was curdled. I hope that doesn’t mean the pie is curdled as well – I took it out right when it was about 175 degrees in the center, maybe a few degrees over, but very very close.
My second question is regarding the crust – after I prebaked it for the allotted time, it was really gooey and buttery looking – not at all crisp. I ended up baking it for a few more minutes on its own (no baking sheet), and it seemed to turn out okay, but is the crust supposed to look so wet and buttery and bubbling when it’s first baking?
Thanks for such great recipes and tutorials!
I made this pie last night and it turned out fabulously!!! I did something a little different: I food processed the pumpkin and sweet potato (my store didn’t have “yams”) before cooking them. It seemed to make the texture a perfectly smooth consistency; almost like a mousse!
I did have to cook my pie a lot longer, and ended up turning up the oven’s temp to around 350º. It eventually reached an internal temp. of about 170º. I stopped at that point and called it a day.
It was delicious, and I’m definitely making it for Thanksgiving!
I have a challenge for you that I really hope you’ll take on. My mother spent time on the farm of a family friend and the wife was apparently a fantastic cook. Only sad thing is all her recipes have vanished. The one my mom still thinks about today is a layer pumpkin-custard pie with the custard on the bottom. I have looked everywhere for this recipe and cannot find it. I am definitely not ready to just create my own recipe, so if you figured this one out I would adore you. Okay, I already do but still…
Can I make this one or two days in advance? Is three unheard of?? I’ve been assigned “pastry chef” for Thanksgiving this year and I’m trying to figure out how to get it all done, and travel! Thank you so much for your help – this looks delicious :)
Allyson — I don’t see why it wouldn’t keep for a few days in the fridge.
made this last week. BEST. PUMPKIN. PIE. EVER.
Today Iam making the pie crust and plan to freeze it in pan. Do you think I can also just make the filling and just freeze the whole thing? I plan to bake it the night before Thanksgiving.
So I couldn’t find candied yams, either. Have people been MAKING candied yams to use . . . or just upping the sugar and maple quotient?
I’m wondering whether the par-cooked filling can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready for baking. Thoughts?
Mel – I made this pie last year for Thanksgiving. I made and parbaked the crust, then packed that up, along with the filling in a tupperware container, to take to my in-laws’ house. Once there, I filled the crust and baked it. Everything turned out great! Just refridgerate the filling because of the eggs.
Best of luck!
The original recipe from CI calls for adding the pie filling to a still-warm crust in order to ensure a crisp crust is maintained. Has anyone that may have parbaked the crust and allowed it to fully cool before filling the pie noticed a significant difference?
Trisha — I never notice a huge difference with pumpkin pies. But if you can’t stand an even slightly softened crust, it never hurts to par-bake the shell first.
I bought a fresh pumpkin to make my pie this year. If I use this recipe, can I just use the same amount of fresh pumpkin (30 oz) as you use of canned pumpkin/yam? Are there other adjustments I should make??
Chiming in that mine took an hour to be cooked through at 300 degrees, but was none the worse for the extra time. Oh, and USE A MEDIUM MESH STRAINER. I wanted to pitch the entire filling at several points because I don’t have one. It was dangerous and I may or may not have taken a nap afterward. But the pie is superb.
My pie plate was a little too shallow, so I didn’t end up using all of the filling. And I’m glad others said they had to cook the pie longer – I’m at a little over an hour and the internal temp is just approaching 170 – plus I bumped the temp up to 325 after checking at 50 minutes. Crossing my fingers it tastes good… too bad it’s not de rigueur to bring a pie to a family function with a piece missing… :D
Just made the pie and I’m super nervous about it turning out. I read all the comments too late about the pie possibly needing to cook for an hour. I baked mine for 40-45 minutes, till my thermometer died, made sure the edges were set and took it out. Praying that all my hard work is rewarded. Deb, you are my go-to-girl for amazing recipes. I especially love to use your recipes to make an old standard absolutely amazing (like brown butter salted rice crispy treats!). Anyway, I haven’t baked for the holidays in a few years, and missed it. I also wondered why I had stopped, but was reminded why when my 3 and 7 year old went completely crazy today while mommy was busy in the kitchen. I’ll be complementing the pros and cons while enjoying your pumpkin pie tomorrow :O) Thanks!
When I read “Bake on rimmed baking sheet”, I wondered, why a rimmed one? I don’t own a rimmed one, so I used the rimless one I have. Glad to say that the pie crust and I survived, but I now know why a rimmed sheet is best :O)
Kellee — In case it drips, so it doesn’t run off a flat sheet onto the floor of your oven.
Hey Deb – this is try #2 for this recipe for me. I made it when you first published it 2 years ago, which became the family joke – “Would you like pumpkin pudding?” it was sooo super runny. I’m going to try to cook it longer this year with the hopes that it solidifies. However, even with a deep dish pie shell, I ended up with 3 cups extra filling! Clearly I need to reduce this recipe for next time, but I’m not sure how to do it. What would you recommend? The cream? Or maybe halve it all around? Thanks!
This is the first Smitten Kitchen recipe I have made that I have been unsatisfied with the results. I felt the texture in the middle was still too soft and almost flan-like. I didn’t think the flavor was that great either. And the crust, although it rolled out like a dream puffed up and shrank like crazy, losing all the crimps. I don’t understand that during the par-baking they have you take out the weights/foil but then it puffed up and looked like a crazy tortilla shell. I tried again with the crust and the second one, even though I had folded it gently under the rim and crimped it, still un crimped and melted down from the rim! What did I do wrong?
p.s The bourbon pumpkin cheesecake was AMAZINGGGGG!
Deb – PLEASE HELP. First, I should say that the filling is lovely, creamy, thicker than most and so smooth.
My problem is with par-baking the crust.
I made your All Butter, Flaky Crust pie dough recipe two days before Thanksgiving. Making the dough and rolling was a breeze. I followed the instructions for par-baking, first baking it with weights for the required time and then took weights out as instructed for the additional 5-10 minutes with just the crust. This is when things went south. My crust puffed up to beautiful dome-like, convex shape – reminded me of the old fashioned stove top Jiffy Pop. There was no way this crust could be saved since no filling could be put into it! Tried it with the second crust of the same batch with same results.
I thought it was my butter since I used a special local butter w high fat content, so I swapped it our with generic Land O Lakes for the second batch. Same thing happened with crust #1. So, I improvised with the second and last crust (it’s now day before Thanksgiving and still no pie crust!) by just par-baking it with weights and not baking it alone for the additional 5-10. The result was OK, but I noticed that when I filled the crust, there was so much residual melted butter at the bottom that when I filled it with the filling, some of it pooled near the fluted edge. It also caused my bottom to be soggy.
Anyway, do you know why I am getting the dome-like shape when I tried to your second par-bake step? Has this happened to you? It’s day after Thanksgiving now, yet, I feel the need to keep at this recipe until it comes out right!!
I made this pie for Thanksgiving and I will never make a plain old pumpkin pie again. I got rave reviews from my family.
Hi Deb, Just wanted to let you know my Thanksgiving table of 16 adults, all declared this to be the Best Pumpkin Pie they have ever tasted. All Thanks to you :)
One Q: i used your All Butter Crust – I had it fluted and edged .5in above the rim, and followed all your chilling techniques – but sadly my crust shrank terribly in the oven, way below the rim after the first pre-bake and I performed emergency techniques to save it! :) Any thoughts on where I went wrong?
I made this for T-giving this year as well and it was a STUNNER. (Also made your mom’s Apple Cake which my mom declared to possibly be “the best thing she’s ever eaten”). I used a farmers market squash that I had pureed and wanted to just share that I had made a practice run pie that didn’t turn out as well because my squash had more moisture than what comes in a can…. so for anyone out there pureeing your own– be sure to put it over a cheesecloth (I used an old tea towel) and a collander overnight before you try to bake with it.
Also, I ended up having to nearly double the baking time on this bad boy… but I’m blaming that on my oven.
pennies? ewww. dehydrated beans yes. but i love this blog. use it all the time.
oh sorry. misread. you line it with foil. pennies easier and more economical.
Just discovered your site and I love it. I always use fresh pumpkin for pumpkin pie. I use a cheese pumpkin which is lighter in color (beige) than a jack o lantern pumpkin. I cut the pumpkin in half, put it on a cookie sheet cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven. I use the food processor to puree the pumpkin. ( I have never had a problem with it being grainy or stringy once food processed). I ziplock 2 cup batches of pumpkin and then freeze so that I have pumpkin available to me all winter long. I have always used condensed milk in my recipe so I am looking forward to trying the heavy cream and milk. I also use the cinnamon and ginger spices from Penzeys spices which is far superior than the spices at the supermarket.
I use soy non dairy creamer instead of cream/canned milk in pumpkin pie recipes for my non dairy sister. You can’t even detect the difference. Nice to have a good substitute for her :0)
I made this for my husband’s birthday because it’s his favorite desert — every Thanksgiving we go through 20 Costco pumpkin pies because he eats half of one in one sitting. But he HATED this one! After reading the other comments, I’m thinking I probably should have cooked it a bit longer, but I still think it’s the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. It’s smooth and creamy and melt-in-your-mouth-omg-the-smoothness yummy. He, apparently, wanted the gritty, off-the-can version. There’s no accounting for taste, I suppose.
I made this recipe last night twice and had problems with it setting, edges were set filling was 175 but it never set, both of them, I tried it twice to see if maybe I messed up the first time, I am an established baker, and dont understand why this is happening, any suggestions????
Made this yesterday. So good. For some reason, I couldn’t find any of the canned ingredients, so I just bought a pumpkin and some yams, haha. For the 3/4 cup of sugar, I replaced one third with brown. And I used fresh ginger! I could actually barely taste it… When I saw how runny the filling was, I was surprised… This was my first time making pumpkin pie (or any kind of pie), so I couldn’t really imagine it setting… but it worked! I baked it maybe 35-40 minutes and let it cool in the oven… The only thing I’d do differently is to not coat the dough with so much flour. It turned out a bit too hard, and was kind of difficult to cut through… But still so goooood.
Just whipped this up before work on the last day before the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. My first ever attempt at pie, and my first ever T-giving (I’m from Australia and have never even eaten pumpkin pie before). Brought it to the office; everyone loves it! I got an “excellent” from my supervisor, and the lady who hates pumpkin thought it was great: Well done SK, thanks for the tips. Only thing was for some reason I had half the filling quantity left over.. But this is good as I need to make a second one for Monday’s dinner with the other half of my pastry dough :) Next time I will cook the crust longer til more golden, it was kinda beige and doughy still but tasted goood. No one is saying anything about me coming in 1.5 hours late, so it was a huge hit! Thanks again!
I made these last night too, getting ready for Canadian Thanksgiving! I’ve done some baking but not a lot so I was intimidated by my “first” SK recipe! Like kmac above, I had half the filling leftover when I was done last night.
I actually made tarts from this. Two dozen mini-tarts and two dozen regular tarts. I’ve brought some to work (as well as the SK pumpkin cupcakes) and everyone’s commented how the texture is really nice and they were happily surprised to know there was yam in them! For the tarts, I baked the empty shells for 8-10 mins, then with filling for 15 mins.
The part that stressed me out was only when I was adding the milk to the mixture from the stove, I thought it was starting to get soup-y as someone else had posted, so I did put it back on low heat and it came back together. I also had made the mistake of using a ‘fine-mesh strainer’ that was too fine so I used a regular strainer instead.
I’m baking this pie right now. I can’t stand pumpkin pie, but I’m hosting a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow (here in the USA Monday is not a holiday for most people) so I’m baking one for my guests.
As kmac in #163 said, I have half the filling left over. Is this recipe intended to make two pies? I’m very confused. This is of course only my second ever pie…the first one I made an hour ago using your Apple pie recipe.
Thank you for your wonderful website – I first found you when I came across your lemon bar recipe…it is absolutely amazing…the best lemon bars I have ever had…I couldn’t believe I made them myself!
I agree with Andrew N above: An amazing blog SK! Thanks for all the hard work that goes into it. You make us all into culinary geniuses. (I made a second pie for T-giving weekend and the crust was absolutely a-maze-ing).
I also agree with aimee above: My first SK recipe but certainly not my last. Next may very well be mac and cheese, another north american favourite that I will probably not understand until I try the SK recipe!
I just tried your recipe for our thanksgiving dinner(Canada) and it was just fabulous! I’m not great with pastry so I bought the ready made kind(2 shells) and the filling fit both with a small portion left over. This is my first ever pie and the family loved it. I’ll be making it again and again. Thank you so much!
You’ve changed my life! I’m running to the grocery store right now…oh and P.S…It’s 10pm. lol
I see you substituted 2 cups of half and half. Could you use fat free half and half? Some of my family is on weight watchers and while they do relax a little for the holidays, I would like to cut back on points for them as much as possible.
I haven’t tried the fat-free stuff so I don’t know whether it will substitute well. Might be worth making a mini of the pie to see if tastes okay.
Umm, I think ATK is in MA. Kimball is from Vermont.
I have been wanting to try out a caramel pumpkin pie, do you think this would be a good recipe to add the caramel to? Or would that make it too sweet?
I’m from australia so pumpkin desserts are really there and i’ve never tried pumpkin pie before but i made one for my spanish class on halloween because my american friend was missing it soo much. It was SENSATIONAL! Everyone kept on popping into our class to steal a slice.
Just to clarify: do you have to pierce the crust with a fork before you pre-bake it? I know other recipes require that, and I was wondering if/why this one doesn’t.
It’s not necessary but you can do so if you prefer it. It keeps the crust from puffing; I’ve never had much of an issue with pie crust puffing too much.
I want to make this pie as fresh as possible, but I am traveling about 5 hours on Wednesday early in the morning. I am wondering if it would be OK to make the filling ahead and keep it refrigerated for about a day and a half before assembling & baking the pie on Thanksgiving day? Thank you!!
Maya — Honestly, I think pumpkin pie is delicious when made a day ahead. Something about the way the flavors settle once it rests. Nevertheless, I cannot tell you whether the filling will spoil in 5 hours but I’m sure if it’s sealed in a cooler, it should be fine.
don’t think i can find candied yams in Paris…can I just go all pumpkin? And fresh roasted pumpkin (actually, potiron) at that?
If you can find orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, I’d roast them and replace the canned with that.
Deb! Help, I’m making this tomorrow and here in the dominican Rep all I could find was yam puree, how much do u think I should use??
BTW you have a loyal fan here!
Heads up that this is now the second Thanksgiving where I’ve used this recipe and each time I impress the pants off the dinner guests. Thanks for that ;-)
When I blind bake, I don’t bother with the baking beans or pennies. I just put a sheet of baking paper and throw 2 butter knifes or forks on top. Voila! Just let the utensils cool down and they are good to go again.
What a huge pain in the ass with the straining and whatnot! But delicious.
sweet potatoes have been roasted and are ready to jump into this pie…I will let you know how it goes!
i’ve used this recipe several times now (sometime using canned, sometimes using fresh roasted) and it always turns out perfect pie. tonight, i made two pumpkin/yam, two substituting butternut for the pumpkin/yam, and one pumpkin/yam/butternut combo. hopefully they all come out well. like many others, i always seem to get enough filling for two pies (more like 2.5), but i just make extra crusts to compensate. i figure, more pie for me!
Made this a while ago, went with my gut with the pureed sweet potatoes…
It came out beautiful! looks and smells dreamy, the custard tasted quite yummy before baking it too… last test will be the cutting tomorrow… I left them to cool overnight, will refrigerate tomorrow… Thanks for another wonderful recipe Deb! Happy Turkey Day :)
Deb – I found the recipe on CI 2-3 years ago & made it, staining through a fine mesh strainer same as you-thinking “boy is this labor intensive!”. But it was the best pumpkin pie I have ever had. I have not put made this pie since. I was searching for an easy pumpkin pie recipe a couple of days ago and went to your website and found this. Oh boy, I had forgotten! But since then I remembered “I have a food mill!” So I made that pie this morning starting about 7:30 with a graham cracker crust. (I hope that part turns out). It’s now 10:55 and the pie is in the oven, dishes done with dishwasher running, kitchen all cleaned up, timer just going off and I’m sitting here typing this! The food mill is the way to go here! It’s still a bit labor intensive, but if you’re a cook and love the fabulous results, you don’t mind! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
I don’t have a strainer, but While I had the yam mixture in the pan I used a potatoe masher to smash them up.
I love this recipe except I am way too impatient to push this much filling (I usually make two pies) through a strainer. So before I heat the pumpkin mixture, I immersion blend the crap out of the yams/pumpkin mixture. The pies end up pretty smooth and I have filling to spare.
Went to make this pumpkin filling to put into a sweet tart crust…was part way through mixing everything when I opened my can of yams to find some nasty black growth on them :( as it was too late to go to the store and everything else was already mixed…I had a spare butternut squash lying around – peeled, cubed, boiled, and used one cup in place of the yams. I’ve never done pumpkin pie before and have maybe only eaten it once before, but the filling tastes really good! I was anxious about my emergency substitution but it seems to have worked out just fine, if that helps anyone unable to find yams!
Word to the wise: if you aren’t blind baking the crust, then it needs to cook longer than the 175 degree temp test. My pie set (cooked about 35 minutes) but the crust was still raw. The filling was really tasty though! Labor intensive for sure (15 minutes of continuous stirring on the stove), but, hey, it’s only once a year. I used a cup of pureed roasted sweet potatoes instead of the canned yams and it was great.
Thank you! I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday and it was a big hit. One guest said he usually only eats a slice of pumpkin pie for tradition’s sake, but this one was “actually good” so he came back for seconds. I love pumpkin pie in general, but even I appreciated that there was no after taste of the can the filling came from.
This was a lot of work, but it was really tasty! The slice I had with my cup of tea the next morning was even more delicious… maybe because my taste buds weren’t overloaded, but also maybe because the pie got to sit overnight. I’d recommend baking it the day before!
Wanted to add my 2 cents because reading all these comments really helped me make this! I had to make 2 pies, but since a lot of people said they had extra filling I just made one batch of the recipe and put in a whole can of (drained) yams instead of just a cup. The crusts were a little under-filled but not so anyone would notice. I don’t have a strainer, so I just blended for a few seconds and it worked out great! Everyone said it was amazing. (I also used pumpkin pie spice, because I had it, so can’t comment on spices.)
So, I tried this last week. I didn’t have any trouble putting it through a sieve and liked the silky texture. I ramped up the spices a bit but wish I’d made it as listed just to see what it tasted like. I pulled it out when the middle was 175 but the middle never did set to my satisfaction so I will cook it longer next time (this time it reached that temp in only 25 minutes so next time I’ll do probably 40 to 45 minutes). I also tried the butter crust and sorry to say, I didn’t like it. I found it tough, which is weird since I’ve been making wonderfully tender and flaky pastry for 20 years. I prefer my own recipe and will be using that next time, without pre-baking either (will watch closely and compensate with extra time in the oven if needed). I didn’t understand why so many people had too much filling – 23 ounces by volume of pumpkin or pumpkin/yam is 23 ounces, no more, no less. I didn’t fill my pie all the way because I wasn’t sure if it would puff up, so I had a small side pudding, but next time I know this filling doesn’t puff so I can just fill one glass deep dish pie plate. With a regular pie plate you could get two pies, for sure. I used only pumpkin in mine. Thank you for the new technique, I liked it! My husband commented that it looked so silky he thought it was a chocolate pie at first. Which reminds me, your chocolate cream pie is next on the list!
I want to try this. It sounds like it would cure my “soggy” bottom crust forever!
I tried to do a practice round on this before thanksgiving and it turned out soupy. I even kept it on 5 minutes longer than it said. This sides cooked, but the middle never set, not sure what went wrong…
I have this baking in the oven right now and am excited to see how it turns out! I had to cut down on the recipe a bit because I knew it wouldn’t fit in my pie dish. Still ended up with a little extra filling, but stuck it in a ramekin for a pie crust-less treat. Smells great!
Hi Deb, I live overseas and I can’t find any canned candied yams. There is fresh orange sweet potatoes, can i use those instead and how much? Do I need to add more spices? PS I just love this blog an can’t wait for your cookbook to be out!
Crumb Cake Creations is offering $2 off per order of two or more cakes with coupon code THANKS. Their pumpkin crumb cake is absolutely to die for and has been a part of my Thanksgiving Dessert assortment for a few years now. Check them out..you won’t be disappointed.
i made this last year and it was a huge hit! this year i have pumpkin puree that i made from our CSA pumpkins. any thoughts on using fresh (actually frozen now!) pumpkin puree instead of canned?
I made this for Thanksgiving dinner this year because we have some major pumpkin pie fans in our family. I am an experienced baker and had some challenges with this recipe. My pie crust shrunk, which normally does not happen. I should have used my normal pie crust. Pushing the pumpkin pie filling through the sieve was tedious and took a while but it did produce a smooth filling. Also, this pie took a lot longer to cook than the recipe suggests. I also, like some of the other reviewers, needed to bump up the temperature to 325 and even then it took over an hour.
I love Deb and this site but this morning, when I was in the throes of pumpkin pie hell. I vowed that I would never again try a new recipe when under the Thanksgiving pressure to produce.
I had half of the filling left over, so was going to bake a second pie with it today. I’m just not sure… since in the original recipe the pie is filled while all the ingredients are still warm, should I RE-WARM the custard before filling the pie shell? Or should I just bake the pie for longer?
natalie — I wouldn’t bother. It will be just fine baked from cold.
Just put it in the oven!! I have my fingers crossed!
I have to agree with Lisa (202). For the first time my crust shrank in the pie dish. Also, it took over an hour at 300 last night, so when the pie came out at 12:30 AM (therma pen read 177 degrees in the center), I let it sit on the counter to cool over night. It was not set in the middle at 6:30 AM. I put the pie back in the oven this AM at 325. I hope this sets…
I went to 3 different stores in search of candied yams and couldn’t find anything but pureed sweet potato! Oh well, we’ll see if it works just as well. I’m also having trouble with my crust edges burning – do you usually need to add those crust protector thingies (which I, of course, don’t own)? I had lots of extra filling so I poured it into 4 small ramekins and baked alongside the pie – I’m hoping it will make a yummy little custard for some of the kids at our T-day feast to enjoy!
Phebe — Browned edges are good, burnt ones are bad. Your oven might run a little hot or more robust (mine is dinky and old) and you might find that you want to bake it at 25 degree lower temperature to prevent overcooking at the edges.
I made this pie for Thanksgiving this year and agree with the other commenters about the longer baking time. I don’t own a thermometer so I took my pie out of the oven when Deb advised and the edges looked solid, but as it was cooling, I noticed the center was just completely liquid. I decided to put it back in the oven for at least another 30 minutes, and when the center looked more solid (slightly jiggly but not liquid), I took it out for good. Secondly, I used a 9-inch pie pan, and I had WAY too much filling — so I used some of my extra pie dough and pulled out five little tart pans and made mini-pies using those. The crusts shrunk so they ended up more like little puddings with pie crust bottoms, but they’re still delicious! I did not have any problems with the larger pie’s crust — some people complained that their pie crusts shrunk or domed up, but mine was fine. In the end, I agree that this pie recipe is more work than the norm, and I was wondering what the hell I was doing while running the filling through the mesh strainer (I was secretly thinking about just throwing it in the food processor), but wow, it really did make a difference. Several non-pumpkin pie lovers told me it was the only pumpkin pie they ever tried and liked b/c the filling is more like custard. Another guest, who is a pumpkin pie lover, told me it was the best pumpkin pie she ever had. It really melted in your mouth and was pure buttery creamy silky deliciousness. Yes, this pie is a bit labor intensive, but I will never make another pumpkin pie recipe again.
the recipe title is no hyperbole! deliciously smooth and subtle. it has reinvigorated my passion for all things pumpkin and pie. one note – i also used an immersion blender. no strands or lumps. for some reason i had enough filling for four pies, which made me really nervous that i’d done it all wrong; but they turned out fantastically! definitely a wondrous concoction, though i’d say skip the strain of straining and go for the blend. thanks deb!
I made this for TG and saw where other places posting the CI recipe noted it was to be placed on a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. I think this made a difference, because I didn’t do that for the blind baking part and the edges started to burn (even with foil) and the bottom wasn’t baked through, but did switch it to the lowest rack for the pie b/c I recalled seeing it at another site. I almost over cooked it because I’d expected it to take much longer due to comments here, but the timing was perfect using the bottom rack. I didn’t use my super deep pie plate, but I did use a pyrex that was bigger than a stock pan. FYI, my oven is calibrated correctly.
I made this and had a lot of filling leftover, but it tasted awesome by the spoonful. I am serving it tomorrow for Christmas and shared about it here: http://turningithome.blogspot.com/2012/12/pies-for-holidays.html
Ok so how do I do this in Australia…no canned pumpkin and I cannot even begin to imagine what yams are?
Lydia — Do you have any sweet orange-fleshed winter squash (butternut squash)? Roast it until it is soft, then puree it. It will be an excellent replacement. Sweet potatoes and yams are used interchangeably in the US.
I woke up thinking about this pie this morning, and how you’re supposed to squish it through a strainer… but I never do because I just use an immersion blender. It’s just that amazing: I look for this pie in my sleep/wake in-between :) Can’t wait to make it again this fall!
I made this recipe, and although the flavor was great, I must have made a mistake because the texture/bake was not. I ended up baking it for over an hour at 300 and the middle never set. Any ideas on what to do next time to avoid this?
This was the first pie I made from scratch. And somehow it turned out just as I dreamed! A deliciously silky smooth pie with layers of pumpkin flavor. Making this pie was a true labor of love for me. As a newbie, I didn’t quite get the part where I needed a baking sheet or to cook on the lower rack until half way through the cooking process. It should have been a DUH moment for the baking sheet though as the filling was a liquid consistency. As for the cook time, I had to cook it much longer than instructed in the recipe. The custard-ish-flan like filling took awhile even after the baking to set…which tested my patience lol But it was well worth the wait. Since I had a much smaller pie pan and filling left over, I was able to perfect the crust the second time around! Yay! Thanks for sharing.
has anyone ever mixed cream cheese and pumpkin mix for filling????
where is the comment guideline??? i see nothing wrong in my post.
Chuck — Maybe your comment took a minute to appear? I haven’t mixed this with cream cheese, however, I love love love this Pumpkin Cheesecake and imagine you could scale the recipe down quite a bit and bake it in pie shells, and be a very popular person at Thanksgiving!
Just wondering if you used REAL maple syrup or the stuff that gets put on pancakes. I have both, but I know there’s a big difference between the two. Thanks!
Sandy — I only use the real stuff! (Northeaster, here.)
Dear Deb, A) I have this pie in the oven right now, and I’ll be darned if it isn’t the best pumpkin pie EVER. I know, because I tried some if the filling while it was raw (I know, I know… Raw eggs!) B) Several of your recipes have made it into my Thanksgiving line-up this year, and I wanted to thank you very much for all that you do. You have inspired me to get back on the horse (two babies via c-section in the past 4 years) and get creative in the kitchen again. Toddlers and surgery can really take the starch outta a girl. :-)
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and thank you!
C — Thank you! Same to you.
Seriously amazing when made with a locally grown pie pumpkin. I didn’t use the yams but replaced with extra pumpkin. Wow!
I’m with C Rios up there – you are a near-constant source of foodie inspiration and I literally have not had a single bad result with your recipes. Fan-girl love aside…
I am making this recipe for the family thanksgiving shindig this week with a few modifications. I’ve made a GF gingersnap crust (in a tall-sided tart pan instead of a pie pan), used sweet potatoes I roasted at home (two small ones yielded a bit more than 1 cup) and while I’m not vegan, I don’t cook with milk since I have a lactose intolerant gaggle of children + husband, so I’m using full-fat coconut milk and a bit of coconut cream in place of the milk/cream/half and half.
I usually feel like pumpkin pie is so ho-hum with the soggy, apathetic crust and the weird, “should it be hot? cold?” thing, but I am excited about this pie. And so glad there are so many comments from people here who have made it, getting feedback from you, etc…SO helpful when approaching a new recipe.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
So, I live in Australia, and you can’t get things like fresh cranberries, corn syrup, or pumpkin puree here (and good luck finding berries for less than about $8 a punnet).
How can I make my own pumpkin puree if I want to make pie? Am I right to think it’s a roast-and-blend situation?
Oh sorry – just read back through and saw others’ comments on the problem. Never mind!
Thanks Deb, I knew that you’d come through. Today, I’ve got a pie to make. I’ll keep ogling the sweet potato marshmallow cake in the meantime.
I used this recipe to bake with my mom, who doesn’t know how to bake and it was a really special bonding moment for us. Thank you so much for posting this! We didn’t remember to get candied yams, so we grated up some apple, which ended up getting strained out, but still added a nice flavor to the batter. My only qualm with the recipe was it yielded a lot more than we thought it would, and so we ended up having to bake four pies instead of two.
Popping by to add to my comment from yesterday – I prepped the pumpkin yesterday and the crusts, and then this morning when i went to cook the pumpkin, combine the cream mixture…well, I too ended up with enough for TWO pies. I’ve got a fluted edge 9″ tart pan (that has deep sides, not the usual thin kind) and a normal depth 9″ pie pan. More the merrier, I say. These look and smell amazing. Mine set up perfectly at about 40 minutes on 350.
Deb – Have been following your site for the longest time. Your one-pan farro and oatmeal raisin cookies are some of my regular recipes.
Considering, how much I love to cook, I have never tried my own pastry. This is the first time, I am trying pastry. The two blobs of pastry are currently chillin in my refrigerator.
My major concern is with the cooking time on the pie, typically I have used the age old when the knife comes out clean for so many baked goods. I do not have an instant read thermometer, any visual advice for ensuring the pie will set? There seems to be quite a bit of dissent in the comments.
I have to say, I make a lot of pumpkin pie and also can never quite figure out when it is done. I tend to overcook it (which isn’t that harmful; it’s still custardy and soft) because when it’s supposed to be done, it’s often still WET, as in, if you touched it with your finger in the center, your finger would have some batter on it. But it fully sets when cool and especially in the fridge.
The back-of-the-can pumpkin pie I still make a lot says that a knife inserted near the center should come out clean. I think this is a good-enough indicator.
Second time I have made this. It tastes great, but like some others say it definitely needs to cook longer than the 20-30mins. Mine is in there now going on 50mins, the same happened before. Used the buttery, flakey pastry recipe, and after I blind baked it it puffed up. Any ideas on why? It is still useable… Thanks for the recipe though! This pumpkin pie tastes great!
This is the 4th time I have made this recipe and we love, love LOVE it! Like others I always have to cook it an additional 35 minutes or so. I’m using a 9″ pie plate, could that be the issue?
Hi, I just made a few hours ago for tomorrow, the edges seem perfectly firm now. But the center is still a bit “wet”. Can I rebake or fix this in any way?
What size pie plate did you use?
Pie dish — I use a standard (not deep-dish) 9-inch pie pan.
If the center of the pie is still loose — It can be baked longer, or again.
(Apologies for the delayed responses. Just catching up now on Sunday night, I suspect after the point that it would have been helpful for most! We travel on Thanksgiving so I’m not at the computer. I do check comments one more time on Wednesday night, usually, before I call it a night, in case anyone is reading this on a Future Thanksgiving!)
Like a lot of other commenters here, after par-baking I ended up with kind of a buttery wet mess in the center. The edges are good, but the center is an oil slick. Am I doing something wrong?
After a bit of searching, it looks like this recipe was written for a 9 inch pie pan. But comments here and elsewhere indicate that it makes extra filling, which makes sense when compared to the old standard back-of-the-can recipe (extra volume in yams, eggs and liquids). Though pre cooking the custard would reduce the volume a bit.
So, has anyone tried this as an 11 inch pie?
Update: I used an 11 inch pie plate (not the deep dish kind) and it filled it up with enough extra to cook in a 6 oz custard cup for a crust-less (gluten-free?) serving.
Had to chip in…I made this (with minor alterations) to much success! I replaced the yams with equal amount of pumpkin puree, and used an immersion blender as some others suggested. I had enough filling for a 10 inch pie plate that had flared out sides. It was silky smooth as promised, and everyone loved it. I made a gluten-free crust (with Cup 4 Cup) which ripped if you looked at it sideways, but that’s another story (it was still tasty though). I used to think Libby’s recipe was the be-all, end-all of pumpkin pie, and I’m so happy I found this! Thanks, Deb!
I made this recipe for Thanksgiving this week and it was a huge hit! I was always scared of making pumpkin pies since my mom never would in her normal pie repertoire, but it was amazing and tasted fantastic! Thank you Deb!
Okay I couldn’t resist popping in again, I commented twice above…short version, I made it gluten free with gingersnap crust and with coconut milk instead of the dairy.
You guys…it was AMAZING. Even the non-GF, normal pie eating people in the family agreed this pie was so good.
I loved it. I am totally plotting to make it at least a few times while the pumpkin-acceptable season is around.
Smitten Kitchen rules, just in case anyone was wondering…
LUV’D IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would use sweet potatoes, not yams. Yams are huge things not commonly found in cans.
Your pictures are stunning as always. I come here for inspiration- for cooking, taking pictures and writing. Thank you!
Hello! This is my first time posting but I love your recipes and your cookbook.How long would this pie keep in the fridge? A.K.A before Thanksgiving. It’s my first time cooking Thanksgiving for my family this year. Again thank you for all your fabulous recipes!
I made this today and it was delicious. I used natural pumpkin and sweet potato purees, since in my country you can’t find the canned kind. I used the food processor to make them and didn’t need to strain the filling later, it was super smooth. I also substituted the maple syrup with honey. Thanks for the amazing recipe!
I read through the comments but didn’t see an answer – if we have regular canned yams (not candied) should I candie them myself (following the recipe on the back), add more sweetener (maple?) or just leave everything as is? I will let you know how things go whenever I get to this pie hopefully this week! :-)
Deb, Have you tried this with a ginger snap crust? I made the Pear Cranberry and Gingersnap Crumble last night (for the umpteenth time) and it got me thinking. Too strong against the delicate pumpkin? I made this Pumpkin Pie last year and it was universally loved. Thinking about whether to “gild the lily” this year.
AnnH — I haven’t. As a kid, I ONLY liked pumpkin pie with a crumb crust. I wonder what happened to me? Anyway, the problem with all crumb crusts is that they eventually get soft. But they also have a lot more flavor. Enjoy.
I’ve been making this exact recipe for years now and it gets amazing reviews!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot express how better it is to make pumpkin pie in this fashion. Also, for some reason this makes 2 pies for me! it is so good!
I was wondering what I would do to this recipe if I wanted to use real pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin? I am wanting to try a real pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, and still want to use this awesome recipe!
I had the same idea as AnnH—I think I’m going to try it with a gingersnap crust. Deb, do you think it would work with the crust from your dark chocolate tart? Any idea about how much to increase the volume for use with this pie recipe instead of in a tart pan? This recipe looks so incredible!
Sarah — I think you’d actually want to decrease the volume. I have a recipe for a marbled pumpkin gingersnap tart in my cookbook; it’s marbled with cream cheese so you’re going to end up with a little less than you need if you skip the cream cheese, however, the pumpkin proportions are closer to what you’d want for a pumpkin pie-ish tart — 1 1/4 cups pumpkin, 2 eggs, etc.
Thanks so much, Deb! I actually would like to make this pumpkin pie in a pie dish, just with a gingersnap crust instead of pie dough, so I’m wondering how much I need to increase the gingersnap crust from your tart recipe for it to fill a pie plate. Do you have an idea?
So….While I was straining the filling I noticed mine was WAY thinner/more watery than yours. I anticipate have issues baking this. Did I not used enough puree? I made my own pumpkin puree used 2 sweet pumpkins and I used half of a 29 ounce can of candied yams. Thoughts?
For years I’ve wondered how to deal with the extra filling (totals about 6 cups, ways more than my 9″ pie pan can hold. This year I used the double pie crust recipe to make a single crust for my 12″ cast iron skillet. This used almost all the crust and almost all the filling.
My husband and I are currently studying abroad in Cusco, Peru. Earlier this week we were talking to our host family about fall, and, obviously, pumpkin pie was ranted and raved about. Guess what? They’ve never even heard of pumpkin pie, and they don’t have the kind of pumpkins we have in the states! Needless to say, I am going to find a way to acquire some pumpkin, and make a frickin pumpkin pie in November.
The catch? Cusco is settled in at a cozy almost 12,000 feet above sea level. How do I cope with THAT much altitude? I really got their hopes up. Pumpkin pie is great and I don’t want to let them down.
I made this today and it doesn’t seem to have worked. The edges were set after 20 minutes at 400 (because I fail) and 35 minutes at 300, but three hours later the center has not solidified. How should I fix this? Can I just put them back in the oven at 300 for 20 minutes and pray? Should I accept it as pumpkin soup in a bread bowl?
I just found this recipe and it sounds good but I have a question. Is the pie filling gluten free? I’m new to gluten free and want to be sure before I make the pie.
Christine — Yes. You might also like these baked pumpkin puddings, which are intended for cups, i.e. no crust.
I was laughing about your description of making this pie because I, too started late in the evening and took this pie out of the oven around 10:00 last night. I even told my boyfriend that I hope he doesn’t like the pie because I’m never making it again. The STRAINING! What a nightmare! But then I, like you, tasted this pie. It’s fabulous and so silky and pumpkiny. It’s much better than the one I usually make. I’m making it again tomorrow night! :-) Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing this recipe!
I am known as the “who with the pie” amongst my boyfriend’s family because of this recipe. they request it every time I see them (and I definitely don’t blame them). I make my own candied yams for the recipe and it actually creates enough extra volume that the batter will fill two pie plates instead of one…so one for his family one for all my own fine by me. thank you so much for all your wonderful/never fail recipes!
My friend, Karen, brought this to our Thanksgiving celebration yesterday. She always makes great pies, but this pie blew me away! It was amazing! The best pie I’ve ever had.
This was my third year making this amazing pie. It does NOT disappoint. My oldest is 9 years old and it’s become our Thanksgiving tradition to make this pie together. Having a second set of hands is nice when we get to the straining part. :)
I have modified it slightly to fit our dietary and taste preferences. I use full fat coconut milk in place of the milk and cream. I always use a whole roasted sweet potato in place of the candied yams, and I’ve made it with canned pumpkin and home roasted (honestly I don’t think there’s much of a difference except the added bonus of having roasted pumpkin seeds to snack on while you’re making dinner Thanksgiving day). I also despite normal pie crust (except with savory pies), so I made a double batch of the gingersnap crust from your Dark Chocolate Gingersnap Tart. I usually end up with enough filling for two pretty deep dish pies or one big one and three or four personal sized pumpkin pie tarts.
We like it with homemade coconut vanilla bean ice cream. :-)
My pie turned out a little bit too soft. Would adding more pumpkin purée make The base thicker?
I think this is just a quite silky pie, not sure if much can be adjusted post-baking. However, once fully cool in the fridge, I think you’ll find it firms up more.
Everything about the outcome of this recipe is just frustrating. As many other people in the comments mentioned, I had to cook the pie longer. After 45 minutes, the knife came out relatively clean, so I took it out, but after cooling for an hour, the pie was still extremely soft and I feared it was just going to ooze into a pool of custard on the plate after being sliced. I’m going to throw it back in the oven for another 15 and keep my fingers crossed. The flavors seem to be awesome, so I’m hoping I can figure out the magical cooking time to create an equally awesome structure.
I also wish that the recipe had stated at the top that the given measurements for the filling make enough for two pies. I would have halved the recipe and saved some money on ingredients. I’m a single gal that really doesn’t have the need to constantly have pie in the apt (want, yes. need, no!), so it looks like the remaining batter is probably going to end up down the drain. :(
OK, I’m looking at the first pie photo right now and I’m seeing a “technical” question…I’m admiring how the fluting of the crust has pulled away from the pie pan’s lip and is sort of hugging the custard; it would make that crust so much easier to cut and keep with the pie! Some nagging thought tells me that’s *quote* an “error,” but it looks so sensible I want to make it happen the next time I bake a pie. Do you know what makes it happen?
Actually, pie crusts just tend to shrink/slump a little, and ones with butter (which has water content) more so — I think that’s all that happened.
Deb, I’m endeavoring to make a pumpkin pie from fresh fresh pumpkins have you tried this? Is it worth it?
This is an absolutely stellar recipe. I don’t comment often on recipes, and only do so when they are really great. I only had pumpkin (no access to candied yams). Cooking the puree, putting it through the strainer, and the mix of high/low heat yielded an incredible silky pie with a beautiful glossy sheen once fully cooled. A friend (who has had a lot of pie in her lifetime) said it was quite possibly the best pumpkin pie she’d ever had!
I love this recipe a whole lot. I’ve since switched from using the pumpkin/yam mix to pureed Honey Nut squash (super sweet mini butternut variety). I have found that if food processed, this cooked squash is silky smooth, so you don’t have to bother with the straining at the end. Also, definitely not complaining (!), but I always have enough filling for 1.5-2 pies with this recipe. Thanks, Deb!
Warning for all newcomers to this recipe! IT MAKES A-LOT OF FILLING!!! I am baking my first pie right now as I type this comment. I was expecting that this filling would be enough for my pie but to my amazement, the pie crust shrunk and I was left with over half the filling left! I had to pull out my pre-made pie crust to fill the remainder. Hopefully everything goes well as I let it set.
When baking the pumpkin pie, is the filling suppose to puff up with air bubbles? I keep poking it but it comes back. Does this mean I am over baking it? or does it mean I didnt sieve it properly bc I made sure to sieve it really well. Also I followed your directions but I am not sure when it is done. My pie doesnt jiggle after 20 minutes at 300degrees. I am so lost. please send help
This is the best pumpkin pie recipe I have tried!! It is delicious and super smooth. I paired the pumpkin pie filling with a gingersnap crust and it was perfect!
A small note: It is difficult to tell when the pie is done. I cooked mine for closer to an hour before it was cooked enough
Yay! My 7 yr old daughter and I stayed uo until 11:45pm pst to enjoy this pie and it was delicious. Followed the directions, let it set room temp. I wad worried because Ive never made pumpkin pie. Ive always favored sweet potato and wanted to find a way to enjoy pumpkin. So much so that I dared myself to use all pumpkin (only change I made). It set beautifully. Looked gorgeous. Almost mousse like in texture. Love your site! Its a go-to any time I want a hit.
Can we talk about this pie? Holy God. My husband and I grew up in french canadian families (lots of butter, pork and baguette) and are not very well-versed in pumpkin pie. We currently live in the backcountry in the mountains where, every year, we attend the local community Christmas potluck with our kids and where, every year, there are a variety of different pumpkin pies for dessert. As we understand it, this is an anglo Christmas tradition because neither of us had experienced this as children. Last year we thought for sure there would be at least ONE sugar pie, and as a result we found ourselves staring at seven different slices of pie determined to find it, only to discover that they were all, in fact, pumpkin. Fast forward to today, when my daughter requested we make a pumpkin pie and some kind of magic happened in my oven that resulted in the AMAZING pie that this recipe creates….delicious custardy, pumpkiny goodness. I will be eating this for breakfast tomorrow. THANK YOU!
This didn’t come together for me- too much filling for a standard pie plate, didn’t solidify, also wayyyyy too many dishes. Sorry!
I made this pie as written and had just the right amount for a 9-inch pie dish. I can’t believe the smooth texture, it’s incredible! I got so many compliments at the dinner party I brought it to. It did have a soggy bottom, though. I’ve never managed to crack that nut.
I make this every year. Love it. This is the only kind of pumpkin pie I will bother making. Maybe I love it so much because I never tried to put all the filling into one pie pan. My pies are heavy on the crust (smitten kitchen all butter really flaky pie crust), light on the filling. Often I make one thinnish pie and several mini pumpkin pies.
I gave it a try last night and quite disappointed in the results. The custard mixture came out too liquid. Had significant trouble having it set. The flavors were quite pleasant otherwise. Any tips??
I ended up putting it back in the oven for another 40 minutes and letting it set in there since it did not set after three hours. Was perfect then!
I love this pie. I’ve made it for 5 or 6 years in a row. The only comment I would make is the amount of time in the oven. The directions mention 20-30 minutes. Every time I’ve made it the pie needs to stay in the oven for about an hour or a little more. Check the temperature in the middle. That’s the best way to know. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
Have made this several time. It is a lot of work, but well worth the effort. Love it. For some reason, my pumpkin pies always have to cook longer than the recipe says. Not just this one, but the other one I used to make, too. I just let it cook until it is set. I will have to try your method and check the temp.
As usual, your recipe’s are amazing. I love trying them out. Today (Thanksgiving) I thought I would try this one, and for the first time ever I got just a tad confused. Reading the first paragraph of making the filling, I thought that “Combine” at the beginning of the 2nd sentence meant to combine the cream mixture with the puree mixture before simmering… Of course, the 2nd paragraph revealed my mistake… Oops, I really should have read all the way through before starting! I’ve decided to forge ahead, and hopefully, all will be ok when the pie has finished cooking and cooling. I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, perhaps a small edit might be in order for future Silky Smooth Pumpkin Pie chefs so they don’t make the same mistake that I did. Might I suggest adding the phrase “set aside.” to the end of the first sentence? Or not. Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you so much for all of your great recipes.
The mistake really didn’t affect the outcome of the pie. It turned out amazing!
I stayed true to the recipe except that I didn’t have ground cloves and followed the suggestions to add molasses. I liked the result. I did not bake the crust first and it turned out fine. The filling was thicker than I expected – family member said it reminded them of cheesecake consistency. I liked it that way but if you have picky pumpkin pie eaters they might not. Then again, they could just make the pie themselves if they don’t like it and be thankful a pie showed up. ;) I also tested it by putting a butter knife in it like I would normally do for pumpkin pie… but instead of a skinny little mark it turned into a massive 5-6 inch crater across both pies. Oops. If the prettiness factor is important to you I would use a toothpick.
whoops wrong pie recipe- I will repost on the right one. Deb you should delete this one. This is for the one with the pecan sauce.
I’ve been looking each year for the perfect pumpkin pie for my husband’s best friend that I like as well. It has been a long slog but finally nirvana in this silky smooth recipe. From the first bite there was widespread happiness across the land, I jest, but there was a lot of yums and general agreement in the best ever. I will be making this again, soon probably. Thank you Deb.
Every time I’ve made this, the pie dough shrinks in the initial baking process and makes it hardly presentable. What am I doing wrong?
You’re par-baking? With the foil or another method?
Parbaking with pennies. Doing some research I have come to the conclusion I need a porcelain pie plate (I was using glass) and proper pie weights! I will make the perfect pie, dangit! Thanks for your reply.
Delicious! Brought this to work and got so many compliments.
This sounds so intriguing! It looks like a lot of filling, more than would fit in a 9-inch pie pan. What size pan did you — or should I — use?
I use a standard pie plate for all of my pies; usually 9″ and not deep-dish
Awesome recipe even for those who don’t enjoy pumpkin pie. I was never a big fan of pumpkin pie or “pumpkin” spice until this recipe. I’ve tried a few recipes since and nothing has come close yet. It’s perfectly sweet and perfectly spiced. It’s been my go to for Friendsgiving for the last couple of years and has not failed yet!
Ahhhhhg. I don’t know why I didn’t remember but this dang crust. It NEVER works for me. Ever. And I’m left almost weepy on thanksgiving so embarrassed of my pies. Ack! I love these recipes and make so many and make them well and am known by all friends and fam that I’m a great baker (and please trust, they are not the type to say nice things if they don’t mean it…at all…) but this crust…for this recipe. Ack!!! It looks like a squashed Jabba the Hut in my pie pan just after the par-bake! Always.
This is absolutely delicious, but waaaay to sweet for my taste. I used 1/2 c of sugar, but will make again with no added sugar.
I have finally figured out how to make the amount of pie filling work – I use a double batch of pie crust and make this pie in a 12” cast iron pan. PERFECT.
As with a few other commenters, I found that 30 minutes wasn’t enough baking time and put it back in the oven for an extra 45 minutes before a toothpick came out clean. The texture was perfect but it didn’t have much flavor, and I’d bought all fresh spices for the year’s holiday baking so I’m not sure what went wrong. Normally everything I make from Smitten is a huge success so either the fault was with me/my ingredients or this recipe just isn’t to my taste.
Thanks for the notes, Eden; I’ll recheck the baking time next time. I wonder if you might like the more classic pumpkin pie on the site; it should be less mild.
Thanks for the suggestion, Deb, I made the classic pie the next day and it’s exactly what I’d hoped for. I also figured out where I went wrong with this one: I’d grabbed a bottle of “pie spice” instead of cinnamon and it was terrible, and I’d used an entire giant 29 oz. can of pumpkin instead of the 15 oz. can the recipe calls for. A humbling reminder not to rush when a big meal is coming together.
This pie was a huge hit at our small Thanksgiving. I used a fresh pie crust from a local bakery since I’m not a baker and ended up with extra filling that I baked on the side as a pre-Thanksgiving taste test. I am very glad that Deb included the temperature guide – after 20 minutes at 300 degrees – the pie looked pretty wiggly but it was 175 degrees on the Thermapen so I took it out. It looked glossy in the middle when we cut it later in the day but sure enough the pie set up perfectly.
I used the quantities listed but ended up with too much filling (didn’t fit in the pie crust/pie dish). Wondering if I can use the remainder to make something? Like add flour and baking powder and/or soda to make a waffle batter or muffins or something?
I used the canned yam and canned pumpkin…..had to stir more like 35 minutes until it became thick…and wansnt able to add all the milk mixture in or it would have been any too liquidy..in oven hope it still turns out!!
This is the second time I’ve made this pie and again got the response that this was the BEST PIE THEY EVER HAD! A couple things I did slightly different from the first time:
– Cooked the pumpkin flesh for the full time (approx 15 mins) with the sugar and spices (this was inadvertent but led to a deeper, caramelised flavour than before)
– Remembered there was extra pie filling (my pie pans tend to be on the smaller side anyway) and instead poured the extra into ramekins. These cooked beautifully right along with the pie and were perfect for our gluten-free guests
Award-winning pie. Just the best.
Could you use cooked sweet potato instead of candied yams?
I definitely think so.
I have used many of your recipes, and was about to try your pumpkin pie recipe. What stopped me is the amount of sugar in this recipe. Do you have any experience cutting back on the amount of sugar or replacing a part of it with organic black strap molasses? I am always looking for ways to reduce the amount of sugar when other ingredients are on the sweet side as pumpkin is!
I make this most years and have found that it fills a deep dish pie plate perfectly, though it also takes much longer to bake that way. This year I didn’t have whole milk and substituted oat milk with great trepidation – but it worked just fine!
Just made this for the first time in awhile – came out great, great reviews – you’re always my go-to, Deb!
Made a double batch, and had a lot of leftover filling, which I baked and served as pumpkin custard the next day. Also baked it a little longer on the stovetop than written (mostly cause I was slowly adding the ingredients one by one as it cooked), and also had to bake it considerably longer in the oven than listed (waiting for it to reach 175).
Used the 2019 ‘extra-flaky pie crust’ which was delicious, would use again.
Didn’t use enough pie weights, and ended up with a nearly flat pastry, but the filling seemed to weight it back into shape, because my pie was still a normal thickness in the end.
Did half the ginger, and didn’t miss it, and subbed 3/4 of a cup whiskey for milk (in the double batch), as adding “stick” to pumpkin pie is tradition in my family.
I used mashed fresh pumpkin for this recipe (determined to use the ONE pie pumpkin I got from my garden!) which meant that it took a little more effort to get everything through the sieve. I, too, was wondering what on Earth I had signed myself up for in the middle of this…but it turned out SO GOOD.
One thing I also learned what that the pie still looked fairly wiggly when I took it out of the oven but it did measure at 175 degrees as Deb says so I trusted the process and took it out. Sure enough, when I woke up in the morning, it was perfectly set on the counter.