Given that finishing off the month November without a single slice of pumpkin pie is, for me, practically a crime against the season, it’s rather sad that this 8-plus year old site has only a single iteration of it, that it’s from 6 years ago, and not even the one I make on an annual basis. The 2008 recipe hailed from Cook’s Illustrated, those clever chefs that always push the envelope, this time in the name of the silkiest pumpkin pie they could come up with. It involved canned yams. It required a fine-mesh strainer. Three whole eggs and two yolks. It was lovely, but if you’re someone who actually adores the classic taste of pumpkin pie above all else, it probably didn’t fill the pumpkin pie void in your life.
This, I hope, will. I’m not terribly revolutionary in my go-to pumpkin pie but I also don’t think the Thanksgiving demands it. I’ve said this before, but I don’t think we travel by buses, trains, cars and planes, often during inclement weather and even more brutal traffic because we’re secretly hoping our family ditched the known-and-loved standards — yes, even the green bean casserole with crispy onions — for an edgy new recipe someone found in a fancy food magazine this year.
And so this is a pumpkin pie for those who love the classics; there’s no cardamom, no crystallized ginger, five-spice powder or coconut milk, although you’re welcome to doctor it up as you please. I don’t stray terribly far from the back-of-the-can standard, but I nix the canned evaporated milk, add an extra egg to firm it up, make it a touch less sweet, and I’d like to think it’s spiced just right, with no heap of allspice or aggressive level of cloves clanking you in the kisser when you were hoping to mostly taste pumpkin. I keep the CI technique of precooking the pumpkin for a bit on the stove, which reduces moisture and improves texture. My recipe accommodates both home-roasted pumpkin or squash, or the canned stuff. Pumpkin pie doesn’t judge.
But I couldn’t resist one extra flourish, as can happen when you’re looking at Joy Wilson’s decadent recipes. The pumpkin pie in her new book includes a pecan praline topping, perhaps a nod to her new home base, New Orleans, and it’s wonderful. You can pour it over the whole pie, but I think it’s even nicer as a ladled finish on top of a slice. Purists can skip it; they’re just leaving more for the rest of us.
Lazy pumpkin pie: Pumpkin Puddings! No crust, but a lovely sweetened sour cream finish. Huzzah!
Choose your own SK adventure: So, I’ve got another pie and a vegetable dish to share before Thanksgiving. Which first? What’s more urgent for you?
A Fall/Winter Holiday Frenzy on Pinterest: The Smitten Kitchen Pinterest page is all decked out for November and December. Need more Pumpkin ideas? Savory or Sweet Thanksgiving ideas? Homemade Food Gifts? Or maybe just All The Cookies? So do we, and we’ve got you covered.
One year ago: Apple-Herb Stuffing For All Seasons
Two years ago: Spinach Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
Three years ago: Gingersnaps
Four years ago: Creamed Onions with Bacon and Chives
Five years ago: Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie
Six years ago: Chocolate Toffee Cookies, Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Meyer Lemon and Fresh Cranberry Scones, Winter Fruit Salad and Mushroom and Barley Pie
Seven years ago: Pumpkin Waffles, Creamy White Polenta with Mushrooms, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies (though these are still our house favorite), Brussels and Chestnuts in Brown Butter and Nutmeg Maple Cream Pie
Eight years ago: Sundried Tomato-Stuffed Mushrooms, Jacked-Up Banana Bread, Lattice-Top Pie Tutorial
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Five Egg Sandwiches
1.5 Years Ago: Japanese Vegetable Pancakes
2.5 Years Ago: Vidalia Onion Soup with Wild Rice
3.5 Years Ago: Rhubarb Streusel Muffins
Classic Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping
Topping adapted from Joy The Baker: Homemade Decadence
Yield: 1 standard pie or about 8 servings
1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup (60 ml) very cold water, plus an additional tablespoon if needed
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree, from a 15-ounce (425 gram) can or homemade
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
A few gratings of fresh nutmeg (or a pinch of ground nutmeg)
1 1/3 cups (315 ml) cold heavy cream
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (95 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons (45 ml) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, or a little less of a coarse salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (85 grams) pecans (I coarsely chopped 1/2 cup, left the last 1/4 cup in halves)
Make the pie dough:
- By hand, with my one-bowl method: In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. (Some people like to do this by freezing the stick of butter and coarsely grating it into the flour, but I haven’t found the results as flaky.) Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
- With a food processor: In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and pulse machine until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. Turn mixture out into mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
- Both methods: Wrap dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours, or you can quick-firm this in the freezer for 15 minutes. Longer than 2 days, it’s best to freeze it until needed.
Form the crust: On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12 to 13-inch circle-ish shape. Fold dough gently in quarters without creasing and transfer to a 9-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie plate. Unfold dough and trim overhang to about 1/2-inch. Fold overhang under edge of pie crust and crimp decoratively. Return to fridge until ready to fill. (See Notes below for par-baking directions, if desired. I rarely desire this.)
Heat oven: To 400°F (205°C).
Make the filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a sputtering simmer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Scoop cooked pumpkin filling into bowl, and whisk in cold cream until smooth. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
Bake pie: For 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F (175°C) and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until only the center barely jiggles and a toothpick inserted into it comes out pumpkin-free. (Damp is fine, but the toothpick shouldn’t have loose pumpkin batter on it.)
Let pie cool on a rack completely, if you, like me, prefer your pumpkin pie cool. You can hasten this along in the fridge. This pie is now ready to serve, but if you want to gild the lily a little, make the topping as well.
Make pecan praline topping: In a small/medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans.
Serve pie: In wedges, ladles with pecan praline sauce. Extra pie (an unfamiliar phenomenon) keeps in the fridge for up to a week.
- For the crust: I use a half recipe of my go-to pie crust here; you can read this post for more details. You can also use any crust of your choosing, even store-bought. It’s really all about the filling.
- Par-baking your crust: Once you’ve settled that, you get to choose whether you want to par-bake it or not, and decision comes down to how crispy you want the base of your pie. I do not par-bake pumpkin pie crusts, but I’m pretty lazy. If you’d like to par-bake your crust, once you roll it out, prick unbaked crust a few times with a fork, line it with lightly buttered foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dried beans or pennies. Bake at 400°F (205°C) on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove paper or foil and weights, and bake 5 to 10 more minutes until crust is golden brown and lightly crisp. Keep oven on (you’ll need the same temperature to begin baking), fill pie and finish baking as instructed above.
- Buying canned pumpkin: If you’re using canned pumpkin, make sure you buy pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling, which will come already aggressively sweetened and spiced.
- Making pumpkin puree: My directions are here, but keep in mind that both butternut and kabocha squash also make very smooth, lovely fillings for pumpkin pie. You can use the same directions to prepare them.
- Heavy cream: You can replace half of the heavy cream with milk, although there’s less fun in that; you can also replace the whole amount with a half-and-half, which always seems to be around when you’re entertaining, right?
- Praline sauce: The pecan praline sauce, not unlike the sticky date pudding toffee sauce from two weeks ago, is best when it’s first made, and tends to become grainy when it’s reheated. Nobody complains, but if it’s going to bug you a lot, I recommend making it right before you serve the pie. You’ll only need 10 minutes and a small saucepan.
370 comments on classic pumpkin pie with pecan praline sauce
Looks so delicious and that sauce is certainly revolutionary! Happy Thanksgiving and many more!
Hey, I’m there with you. Go classic. It’s usually the best.
The praline sauce is going to be on my mind all day. I want all of it.
can’t beat the classics!
I vote vegetable dish!
And, I am making this tomorrow. I can’t believe I haven’t had pumpkin pie yet this year!
Another pie recipe next, please! I’d venture a guess that most of the people who read this religiously have been tasked with dessert next week. *Some* of us may or may not be obsessively googling to determine their recipes of choice.
Would this recipe work with a frozen pie crust? Trying to simplify our thanksgiving kitchen schedule!
This recipe looks and sounds like as if it tees indeed a try worth! Thanks :)
Extra pie? I don’t even understand what that means…
I’m so delighted to see this, for two reasons. One: I’ve been trying to dream up a way to combine pecan and pumpkin pies, which are my two holiday favorites, but couldn’t quite conjure how best to do it (pecan crust with pumpkin filling? layer pecan filling with pumpkin base?). With this recipe, problem solved! Second: I made the CI pie last year and declared it the best pumpkin pie I had ever had but, like so many CI recipes, it is so involved and complicated – multiple steps, bowls, washing, etc. So thank you for liberating me to leave that can of yams on the shelf for another day.
Off-topic but: If you’re still up for tackling holiday recipes, maybe you can help with my pecan pie conundrum. I love the candied, praline-y pecan bits but hatehatehate the “treacle” filling – that overly sweet, congealed mass of sucrose that lies beneath the nuts. Maybe I should just decrease the filling and increase the pecans? Or any ideas for a silky, custardy filling? NB: If you’re one of those dear souls who loves traditional pecan pie filling, you’re probably wondering what went wrong in my childhood that I would even entertain the idea of altering it, in which case, please disregard my query :)
I’ve never had pumpkin pie before (it’s not a common thing in the UK at all) but i’ve been tempted to make it for a while now, this recipe looks great!! Love praline
Choose your own adventure: I choose vegetables! I also choose to add a huge dollop of whipped cream to this pie – it was the thing that converted me to pumpkin pie after my childhood apple pie-purist days.
Veg serving and a Dairy serving! Protein too? Its a full meal!
Oh, I vote vegetable! My family won’t eat pie … crazy people…
Mmm I love pumpkin pie but it can always use a little something… extra. This looks decadent. Thank you for sharing!
Looks lovely, and a nice upgrade to the back-of-the-can recipe, but I have to wonder what type of gloves to use for the 1/8 teaspoon ground gloves. Latex? Wool? Leather? :)
Looks like a great recipe. I’d like to make this for a potluck at work, which means I’ll need to make the sauce ahead of time and serve it on the entire pie. Am I better off putting it on the pie while the sauce is warm (so it doesn’t solidify) and then serving the whole thing room temperature? Or should I bring the sauce in a container and heat in the microwave, and then serve? Any suggestions appreciated!
Jen — I don’t recommend putting it directly on the pie (although Joy does in her book) because it’s going to firm up and be hard to cut if you then refrigerate it, or if you put it on cold pie. And if you put it on pie hot from the oven, it’s going to be a little too soft, it’s best to let the pie cool a little to set. What you can do, which is what I did on Saturday, is bring the already-made sauce on the side and warm it in the microwave. You’re going to want to get it pretty hot so it’s pourable, and stir it a lot (the butter likes to separate if not well-stirred). It’s going to be a little grainy but I cannot underscore this enough: nobody will care. It’s a delicious sauce, even with a faint bit of crystallized sugar in it.
Deb, you’re a life saver. I’m making two pies for Thanksgiving (pumpkin and berry), and I have never made pumpkin pie before. I trust you implicitly, so this could not have come at a better time.
As for your next recipe…can’t go wrong with pie!
Deb- I vote for the veggie! Maybe something hearty that my vegetarian guests can fill up on?
Leah- you have to check out Dorie Greenspan’s Thanksgiving Twofer pie! It solves the pecan pie problem you mention and it is a delicious on the two classics! http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Thanksgiving-Twofer-Pie
I love “clanking you in the kisser”!
i’ve been making your silky smooth pumpkin pie but i’ll have to test this one out before next week- thanks for sharing!
ps- gloves=cloves? ;)
This recipe looks delicious! The way the pumpkin is cooked on the stove top reminds me of my family’s recipe!
Deb – some non-brussels sprouts veg side dishes would be great! While I love the sprouts . . . the rest of the family does NOT feel the same way
Ooh it’s always nice to see a slightly tweaked version of my favourite classic!
And in my opinion, there’s no such thing as too many pies!
that “ground gloves” typo in the recipe makes me laugh :)
I found that using organic cinnamon instead of the regular kind makes a huge difference.
More pie next! More pie next!
This looks delicious! Sort of like pecan pie and pumpkin pie mixed together. I love a good twist on a classic!
To Leah from comment #9: I’ve found several corn syrup-free pecan pie recipes out there, making a caramel-y creamy filling from just brown sugar, butter, and eggs (in other words, da bomb.) Just avoid any recipe that uses water in the filling (trust me, the filling will never set.)
Love it, Deb.
for clarification – Is that one stick of butter or two in the crust? It says “1 sticks (8oz or 115 grams)”
Vegetable dish first, please!
Oh that topping looks a-mazing! Probably would be great on ice cream too.
I love this, Deb! I’ve been making this–a riff on the Libby recipe, but following the best tips from the Cook’s Illustrated method–since I first read about the cook’s illustrated method!
Also: I use a little bit (between 2Tb and 1/4 cup) of creme fraiche in place of some of the cream. Not at all necessary, but it’s subtle and takes it nowhere near pumpkin-cheesecake territory. (Not that I’m complaining about pumpkin cheesecake; I just like my pie and cheesecake to be different things).
vegetable dish, please!
also, any thoughts on dairy-free subs for the heavy cream? i have a dairy-allergic son!
Thanks, Katie (#28)! That’s super helpful – can’t wait to try some fillings without corn syrup! I did also wonder if maybe substituting golden syrup (which I’ve used in Anzac biscuits and which imparts such a lovely caramel flavor) could work, but it might still results in the texture that I dislike about corn syrup-based fillings.
I vote for a vegetable first! Trying to finish my Thanksgiving menu.
By the way – just made your apple-herb stuffing last night – we loved it!
Oh my, your sauce looks so creamy and delicious. I wonder hoe ti would be on ice cream.
Could there be any MORE information crammed into a post? Deb- you are a genius, and you set us all up for such success every single time. I am going to “recycle” my Hallowe’en pumpkin today, and make it into all kinds of good things. So I would love vegetables next- somebody mentioned Brussels sprouts… that sounded good, but any veg would work for me.
Love Joy’s new book. I just made an iteration of her apple cheddar bacon pie. It was incredible! For those previous comments on the use of corn syrup in pecan pie and the cloyingly sweet after taste- I hate it too! I recently read an article (maybe in Bon Appetit?) and it suggested using sucanat syrup. Has anybody used that before?
“gild the lily” …. love it. I’ll be using that phrase this week for sure.
Yeah! I actually made this pie with Joy at a baking class last month at King Arthur Flour. It was amazing. And so is she…I was totally star struck!
I could really use a veggie side in my planning.
Veggies! I already have my desserts picked out.
Leah (#34) I haven’t tried it with syrups but it would probably work, I have read people say it works fine, I just know I hate the sickly sweet stuff too :) can’t beat good ol’ brown sugar, eggs & butter! I think it also contained a small amount of flour in the filling (a Tbl or two) for stability, and it definitely had the perfect texture.
This month’s Cook’s Illustrated (p. 17) had a tip for saving an underdone pumpkin pie: it can be rebaked in a preheated 275 deg Fahrenheit oven for 30 – 45 minutes until the filling is set but not firm. Hope sharing it here helps someone avoid pumpkin pie tragedy (like I had earlier this month, during my traditional “test pie baking weekend.”)!
That same issue has a bunch of other tips for saving holiday baking emergencies, when time is short and you can’t start from scratch. And just in case it needs to be said, i don’t work for that magazine. I just spend too much money impulse buying cooking magazines at the market and like to overshare.
First, this pie looks like a winner and I will definitely give it a try.
Second, I vote for another vegetable recipe! And, agreeing with Leslie, something other than brussel sprouts…
Unless the pie is chocolate, another vegetable dish, please!
I made the mistake of trying a revolutionary pumpkin pie several years ago — gingersnap crust, candied ginger, some sort of crunchy nut topping — and it was a total bust at Thanksgiving dinner. My own children and my nieces and nephews count on me for REGULAR pumpkin pie! But I’ll definitely use this recipe instead of the one on the back of the can this year — thanks Deb.
I vote for vegetables! You do them so well, can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve.
Thank you! Pumpkin pie is the best. Have you ever tried Alice Waters’ recipe, from The Art of Simple Food? I find it as easy as, well, pie, and wholly satisfying. I’d be curious to know what you think.
Vegetables please. But do share the pie recipe at some point soon too – the suspense is killing me!
Your filling looks so insanely creamy and rich. Sometimes a classic beats out any new and edgy recipe out there and I have to say I choose this pie!
The perfect dessert for thanksgiving!
love all the flavors on this pie. Thanks for share!
Thanks for the “other side of the world” listings at the bottom, you know I’ve not noticed them before! At 44C here (Australia) the other day, we will not be eating pumpkin pie in the next few months, but we will in about 6 ;-) Meanwhile, I’m baking the Rhubarb Streusel muffins on the weekend…provided the temps have dropped, that is! Thanks again for an awesome site. Love it!
I am with Elana (#33) in needing/wanting a non-dairy version for an allergy.
Do you toast the pecan first? I like this recipe because it combines my two favorites at this time of the year; pumpkin pie and pecan pie.
Pcretired — I don’t, but I think you could. I’m usually an avid pre-toaster of nuts (I like them almost a milky coffee color inside, always) but followed the recipe to the letter, which didn’t suggest it. I think it would amp up the pecan flavor if you did.
Non-dairy — Almond milk? Soy milk? Coconut milk? It’s more about what flavors you’d like to impart. The topping, being basically butter and cream, would be trickier but I am curious if a coconut version would work — coconut oil for the butter, coconut milk for the cream. It’s on my to-do list to find out. (Please don’t ask how long my to-do list is.)
Pecan pie — I agree, this site needs a recipe. Here’s my favorite corn syrup substitute: golden syrup. It’s just amazing in pecan pie, and also in sticky buns, and basically everything. It tastes like a very faintly caramelized sugar syrup. Next year: pecan pie or bust! (Also can someone remind me in, like, October?) P.S. I do have a recipe for beloved walnut tartlets in the archives. A little more crisp and less goopy than pecan pie, pecans would be a natural swap. And there’s no corn syrup in it.
Jessica — Whoops, that should be 4 ounces. Now fixed, thanks.
This has, was my favorite pie recipe yet! Keep up the great good, Deb!
This looks so perfect – I love your idea of using coconut cream in the filling! Perfect!
I want the vegetable dish first too please! That’s always my assignment and I’m fairly certain I know what I’m making but need more options to be sure. I also want to add I love you Deb but I HATE plain pumpkin pie! Even with delicious sauce it’s too dense and squashy. Now layer half that squash into a pie shell already half filled with cheesecake and now we can talk! Happy Early Turkey Day!
First part of beginning sentence doesn’t make sense…
Pie looks yummy!
JessB — Thanks, now fixed.
As a pecan pie skeptic – I was won over, forever and always, by Melissa Clark’s pecan pie with maple syrup and star anise. I’ve not had a better pecan pie before or since :) As for classic pumpkin – always and forever. There’s so much comfort going back to the favorites that we’ve all grown to love, though I am testing out a new’ish soup that’s a favorite of the entire family (but we’ve never made it let alone on Thanksgiving!)
Wow – that sauce makes it! Had pumpkin pie yesterday, but sadly probably not as good as this one!
I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but this looks freaking delicious with the pecan topping. May have to ‘test’ this out sometime this week (; Veggie dish please… unless its a pecan or butterscotch pie; then PIE!!
You are so wonderful! My roommate and I are on a first name basis with you in the kitchen. “Well, that’s what Deb said to do.” “Deb does it this way.”
We need a “What would Deb do?” apron!!
I vote veggie side! That’s always the experimental portion of my Thanksgiving. I suggested a grilled turkey this year and was almost drawn and quartered.
Honestly, I love you.
I wanted someone to post a foolproof recipe for Pumpkin Pie. I’ve done it once and I’ve failed, but I know your work well enough to know you don’t post disasters. Thanks for making my day!
PROBLEM WITH THE WATER AMOUNT. It was left as a 1/2 cup instead of being reduced to a 1/4 cup. I didn’t realize until too late. I mixed in the whole 1/2 cup. Immediately knew something was wrong and checked the link to your “go-to” crust and found my answer. Now I don’t know how to fix it. The 1/2 cup water is for 2-1/2 cups flour and 2 sticks butter. Is this fixable? I have it wrapped and in the freezer now. : (
Heather — YIKES. The worst part is, I kept looking at it and thought it was off and convinced myself it wasn’t. I’m so, so sorry for the trouble. Make a second mix of the butter-flour-sugar-salt? Crumble them back together, knead a few times, re-firm. I know that’s extra work, but then you have two perfect crusts. And more pie.
I signed up to bring pumpkin pie to our work potluck on Wednesday, and then realized I needed to find a good classic pumpkin pie recipe. Making this for sure!
1 vote for pie first! But only because I am trying to hurriedly (and lazily) figure out what to make for my multiple households this year. Because of course my sister loathes pumpkins (so no pumpkin pie for her), my mother’s favorite is pecan pie, and everyone has their own specific traditions and expectations to be fulfilled. PS I made your green bean casserole last year, and it was a huge hit (even to the canned soup-craving “purist”… *shivers*).
Absolutely incredible!! Can’t wait for all things pumpkin this week!
another vegetable dish would be lovely please!
Wish list, vegetable dish please!! I like taste testing dishes before a holiday (tho SK never disappoints, just my cooking skill), and I’d rather eat a bunch of veggies than a whole pie (well, after this one). Thanks!!!
Vegetable dish !!!!
This is just the thing to make for the Southern-themed Thanksgiving meal we’re doing this year!
Oh no. Deb, we loved your CI pumpkin pie. (the hint of maple etc) and now this.
What to do? Pumpkin pie bake-off at Thanksgiving may be the only answer!
Pecan praline sauce must go great on pumpkin pie!
Crust question! I made your pie crust 102 recipe over the weekend and it was delicious and flaky, but really hard to cut through while eating! It wasn’t tough or chewy while eating it, just difficult (almost to the point of needing a knife) to cut off individual pieces. Is this normal? If not, could this be from baking it too long? I probably could have taken it out 5 minutes sooner but was nervous about the pumpkin pie being set in the middle. Excited to try this pie recipe next, I’ve always used the back of the can recipe but this seems like a great upgrade!!
Is there any reason why I couldn’t use this filling/sauce with your apple slab pie crust/method? Looks delicious and I want to have plenty of it for Thanksgiving!
My boyfriend says that the only valid reason for pumpkin pie’s existence is as an excuse for whipped cream. We’ll have to see if I can make him eat his words!
But I do think I’ll throw in a little orange zest with the spices, just for giggles.
You might be able to combat the grainy effect on reheating the sauce by adding a couple of tablespons of light corn syrup when you first make it.
I vote pie next. I have to bring dessert to the family gathering.
Re: this pie. I’m glad you didn’t fuss. I loved the CI pie because it was so silky smooth and unfettered with spice, but I was the only one who loved it. I do like that you cooked the pumpkin down in this one too but am willing to mash and add the sweet potato to smooth out that filling some more. I find plain pumpkin too loose since making that other version. Oh, what to do, what to do?? Your pic of this pie looks silky, too.
You absolutely MUST do pecan pie. I’ve worked and reworked that darn filling trying to get a smooth, non curdled custard to bed the pecans and cannot get it right. I’m counting on you to figure it out. …and I don’t want to wait for it to appear in a cookbook. Okay? ok ;)
It’s like the best of both worlds! Love pumpkin pie and pecan pie, and this is just the perfect combo
About the water amount for the pie crust – I just noticed that in the instruction paragraphs for both the one-bowl and food-processor methods, it still says, “Add 1/2 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form.”
Oh this looks so good!
As for the next adventure – the veggies please! I have to feed a crowd so something something simple but spectacular (heh heh). No pressure of course :)
Leah – this may be too far from the traditional for your taste, but my family always insists I make a chocolate bourbon pecan pie for the holidays. The bourbon (and perhaps substituting dark chocolate?) may go a long way in avoiding that “treacle” taste!
I’m voting for pie in SK “choose your own adventure.” Life is short. Eat more pie.
Deb, couldn’t you, umm, pretend that some of your readers want to make pecan pie for, oh, I don’t know, Christmas or something, and work up a recipe in the coming weeks? I would absolutely love that.
Your pumpkin pie ingredients are the same as my moms recipe except she added 2 T of molasses and didn’t pre-cook. Will have to try the topping. Looks yummy.
Please tell us the veggie recipe. I’ve signed up to bring a veggie side to my in-laws and could really use some guidance. Thanks!
Joy’s book is so wonderful, isn’t it? This pie looks amazing. And that sauce? To die for!
This looks delicious! Also, those spice jars are adorable. Thanks for sharing :)
Oh, my! My favorite pie AND my two favorite food bloggers in one post? I didn’t know Mondays could feel this good.
Please do the pie next! Veggies are easy enough to pull together, but a pie takes practice… and some sampling…
Choose your own adventure? The kingdom of the Ant people choose..??? PIE
My vote is for pie first, because I’m still on the fence about what kind to make. I can’t wait to see both!
@ Elana #33 –
My niece is gluten and dairy free and I make a pumpkin pie for her.
Riffing off the Libby pumpkin puree directions, instead of evaporated milk I use the same amount of Coconut Milk Creamer – So Delicious is the brand I found easily. It did take longer to cook, and the custard is much blonder, but I don’t know if that’s my oven or the change to the coconut creamer. I tried some the first year (did a ramekin test before wasting a pie crust) and didn’t notice an overt coconut flavor.
Still basking in the success of your fab recipe of apple honey cake I would love to try this out. But pecans are a bit of a hard find in Delhi. Is there a substitute that I can try out? Thanks
Being English, I use golden syrup a lot even though I can also buy Karo now from local stores. (Before it used to be sent at great cost via airmail.) So YY to pecan pie and a macadamia version maybe? (Being greedy here.)
I haven’t tried pumpkin pie. I ought to but that filling looks a little spooky to us Brits. Is it grainy?
Deb, I recently read a tip from Melissa Clark in the NY Times, “For the best-looking crimped crust, freeze the unbaked pie dough before filling and baking (or blind baking). The colder your dough when you get it into the oven, the better it holds its shape.” I now put my crusts in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking and the crimping stays beautifully defined. I always want to serve the best tasting pie I can make (like this one), but the artist in me values its presentation, too, and this simple action has banished one of my bug-a-boos. Thank you for all your sharing, Judy
I love pumpkin pie but while I bake a lot, it is something I prefer eating when it’s made by somebody else. So far no luck this year though :-)
Has anyone ever tried substituting the cream with sour cream?
PS: I’d vote vegetable dish
I, too, tend to not stray too far from the back of the can recipe, but (also like you!), I skipped canned milk and substitute buttermilk. Gives the pie a very nice tang. It does tend to be a theme in our Thanksgivings, though, as I also always make a buttermilk pie (chess pie with buttermilk instead of sweet milk). All in the service not only of Thanksgiving, but of National Pie for Breakfast Day (which some mistakenly identify as Black Friday). Pumpkin pie is always first choice.
I guess I’m a little late to the picnic, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for adding the half-years history links. I’m super addicted to your blog and recipes, and it’s so nice to have an instant link to seasonal stuff for me down undah with absolutely no effort on my part. Just one more reason why I always look at your recipes first, when I want something delicious and amazing. So thank you again, Deb!
Thank you sooooo much for all the measurments being in metric! Having lived in Europe for so long i have learned how innaccurate the American cup system is especially with flour and butter.
Maybe I missed this in the comments, but can I make this the day before? Will it keep? Thanks!
veggie recipe next would be awesome!
I like the idea of cooking the pumpkin for a while first. Now if I could figure out how to stop the lemon meringue I always make from separating from the crust like it ALWAYS does. Oh well, it still tastes great.
I’m going to make a jar of praline sauce and sit there and eat it all. Then I’ll make the pie. And more sauce.
Vegetable please! That sauce looks amazing, can hardly wait to try it. Thanks so much for the tip on cooking the pumpkin stove top, I always turn my Halloween pumpkins into roasted pureed frozen filling but found it runny, problem solved. I know the pumpkin isn’t the same as the pumpkin pie pumpkin but hey, it’s better than chucking.
You have solved my Thanksgiving problem! My father-in-law is a pumpkin pie purist, I want a pecan pie (but no one else will eat it!) and my husband wants “vanilla ice cream with something special on it.” Done, done, done! I am already imagining that pecan sauce used like gravy on leftovers (I know that is wrong, sorry, but I can’t be alone in this?!?).
That sauce is MAKING this pie, love!!
jen — You can definitely make the pie the day before. I mention in the notes, however, that the sauce is best made right before serving. It can be reheated, but it gets a little grainy. Nobody will care, of course. It’s still 100% as delicious.
Nicola — It’s smooth, actually, more of a baked custard if that helps conceptualize it. A little heavier, though.
asmit — Can you get walnuts? They’re the closest match. Maybe cashews are easier to get? Different flavor, same idea, though.
Sophia — I haven’t tried a pumpkin slab pie, but I think it could be good. You might want to 1.5 (most likely) or double (maybe) the filling. You could drizzle the praline on the squares as you serve them. You should invite me over.
Lauren — Did you blind-bake it first? That, for me, can lead to a tougher (but also more moisture-resistant) bottom crust. If not, it might have just been overbaking, or even overblending the butter.
Deb, someone else mentioned this in the comments above, but I will mention it again: You have “1 sticks butter” listed in the crust ingredients. I think you mean 1 stick.
Connie — Whoops, now fixed. Thanks.
Joy is the smartest! I think I could probably eat that topping straight (here we go)
Looks wonderful! and please post another vegetable dish please!
I’m really struggling on choosing the “best” pumpkin pie recipe to make for this year! This one looks fabulous but I also had my eye on the Cook’s Illustrated one that you have made previously, and that I see raved about everywhere! In all honesty, which one do you prefer? I can’t stand a pumpkin pie that doesn’t have a lot of flavor to it! Any other recipes for pumpkin pie that you’ve made and could recommend? Thank you!
Vegetables! I’d love a new side dish to add for Turkey Day!!
I’ve been hunting for the perfect pumpkin pie and now I can’t decide between this one and a brandied one from NY Times… Decisions, decisions…
I’d vote for the vegetable. Possibly something a fancy-food-loving diabetic can enjoy? (But no sprouts please!)
That pecan praline sauce looks so yummy! :)
Where did you get those gorgeous spice jars from?
Everyone hearts a real, serious pumpkin pie. Our family heritage recipe is actually pumpkin chiffon. Maybe I should just make both!
So, I lovelovelove this recipe. Easy and (relatively) quick and delicious, what could be finer! Upon examination of your pie crust techniques, I see a terrific idea that probably everyone else already knows – you drew the correct sized circle out of flour on the countertop!! This is so brilliant it stopped me in my tracks. I have been whipping out the old measuring tape for years to check as I rolled. No more! This has rocked my pie world! Thankyou.
This looks amazing. I still haven’t gotten over my fear of trying to make a pie yet tho!
I may have to give up on my plans for pumpkin cheesecake this year.
One more vote for a veggie adventure, please!
Love it! I’ve always tweaked the can recipe, also, most importantly using heavy cream! I was contemplating using regular whipping cream this time because I feel like the heavy cream masks the pumpkin flavor more than regular ol’ evaporated milk. Do you think pre-cooking the pumpkin mixture brings out the flavor more, as well as fixing the texture? That would be swell if so :). Thanks, Deb!
I vote for more pies. Veggies are so overrated! I may skip the pumpkin pie and just make the pecan praline sauce. Don’t judge, I love pecans!! I think they need to be toasted.
I vote for the vegetable side first.
I think Cooks Illustrated inspire some great ideas. I love the way they test recipes and then give you their results. Also I recommend toasting nuts whenever possible. It makes such a difference. I get a better flavor — richer, more pronounced. I love your recipes and your narrative — makes me smile every time.
Thanks for taking me back to 3rd grade with the choose your own adventure. Wish we could have it all but I’ll go with veggie. Be sure to check out Bubby’s pecan pie recipe before you start working on yours. Brown sugar, maple syrup & blackstrap molasses. It’s by far the best pecan pie I’ve ever had. Thanks for working so hard to perfect the basics for us!
This looks fantastic. I think this will have to be on the dessert table on Thanksgivings Day. It will of course be right next to the bowl of whipped cream. My pumpkin pie will be getting both toppings. Excessive? Yes! Decadent? Yes! I think it will be heavenly.
Wow! You are my go to source for whatever I want to make… but I didn’t even imagine the perfect pumpkin pie recipe would be newly featured when i just went to your site tonight. Thanks & I can’t wait to make it! Now to solve my other assignment.. apple. You make even my boring assignments fun, thank you!
Definitely vegetable first, pie second. Always need more vegetables.
Veg please! (From the other side of the world, where it’s too hot for pie).
I love the ‘other side of the world’ links addition. Thank you!
In a probably misguided attempt to save carbs anywhere I can I’d like to make this crustless, either in 1 pan or individual ramekins. Suggestions for time and temperature?
thank you. you are 100% correct, nobody wants novelty pies for thanksgiving. nice to have a recipe from someone i trust :)
Must have this pie for Thanksgiving, wow! I vote for the vegetable recipe, please!
hi! can i make the pie 2 days in advance and leave it in the fridge?
Sylvia — Absolutely. Pumpkin pie keeps well. That said, to ensure that the crust doesn’t sog, if you’re going to bake it more than a day in advance, I recommend using the blind-baking step for the crust (if you weren’t going to already). Directions are in the Notes below the recipes.
jwg — Well, the filling is the best part, after all. You might skip right to these pumpkin “puddings” baked right in ramekins. It’s basically just the filling, plus a little sweetened sour cream topping for contrast and prettiness.
Lissa — I think it can, it reduces the moisture of the pumpkin so that there should theoretically be a more concentrated pumpkin flavor. You can definitely swap half of the cream with milk, or all of it with half-and-half. But oh, it’s so luxurious here, I don’t find the pumpkin flavor lost at all.
Kim — I ramble about the spice jars over here. I’m slowly switching from printed labels (perhaps I was bored back then?) to masking tape and pen labels — much easier!
I vote vegetable dish next ! :)
I vote for vege idea next!
Pie please! I’m hoping it’s your take on classic but improved pecan pie, which I loooove, but I hate knowing that I’m basically chugging a bottle of corn syrup.
Ah, should have searched the comments — I see you’ve already addressed the pecan/corn syrup situation. I’ll just hang here quietly til next year. (I may try the version from the NYT Thanksgiving across America roundup–Georgia’s contribution is a pecan pie with honey and golden syrup).
a bit off the topic but do you know a good recipe for butternut squash pasta sauce?
i tried it once at a health food store and it was amazing but i cant seem to find a good recipe yet.
Pie, please! I’ve been trying to decide if I want to go with a classic pumpkin pie this year or if I should try another pie. I’m sure your next pie will help me decide.
It’s me again (Heather #69). I didn’t try to fix the crust yet, but I wanted to update that I did make the pie (using an alternative homemade crust) and the filling is amazing! For those asking about making ahead – I say go for it, it gets BETTER after a couple days in the fridge!! Oh, and I second Jennifer #146 on a butternut squash pasta sauce.
@Leah; re: pecan pie!
Forgive me if there is a way to reply directly to a previous comment!
I admit I don’t enjoy the overly gooey portion of pecan pie but my fiance and his family love it! My solution? Make it in a large, thin tart shell – bonus points for making chocolate pie crust. I use the same filling recipe I would for a 9-inch pie and it works out perfectly. I also increase the nuts – I like to have a good coating of them (chopped well to make slicing prettier and easier) so the filling is really nutty. I finish the cooled pie with some chocolate drizzle and BOOM! amazing pie everyone loves.
Pie! Always, and forever, pie! I am my own worst enemy.
It’s cardamom, not cardamon – and it’s absolutely essential to pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom. Pinch of ground ginger. Skip the cloves. Oh, and half a tsp. of vanilla.
My family loves plain pumpkin pie, but I like to dress it up a bit, so this should be just perfect…
Wow, this recipe looks sweet. And thank you for taking all of the wonderful photos to record the process!
I always love seeing people’s different takes on Thanksgiving classics. The pecan praline sauce is brilliant, I could see myself putting that on almost anything and loving it!
This pie will be fantastic. I have a practically identical recipe, but I use maple syrup instead of sugar and the spices are exactly the same measurements, including the absence of cardamom. For dairy-free people, full-fat coconut milk works just as well as heavy cream. So good!
I vote the pie next! I’m planning to make 3 pies and I have decided on a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie, but I can’t decide on the third one.
I would love to take a Smitten Kitchen stuffing adventure!!! I have had lackluster stuffing results (what could be more disappointing?) for the last three holidays and am looking for something to satisfy a very traditional husband and yet provide me with the taste-thrill your recipes always do.
Mandy — Have you tried this stuffing recipe?
I vote for a veg dish.
Gorgeous and delicious as always!
Will be making this with friends over the weekend – and love it so much have added it to our weekend links blogpost scheduled tomorrow so our community can try it too!
U mean the par baking step?
Its really a nice recipe of pumpkin pie. I also try in the events or party. Thanks for the sharing…
Pecan pie note–I use maple syrup instead of the corn syrup, and always use twice the pecans as the Karo-bottle recipe calls for, or even a bit more, so all the filling is nutty, there’s no layer of goop underneath. Makes for a much less-sweet seeming pie with all the extra nuts, and we can pretend it’s heart-healthy too!
For Mandy E’s stuffing question–I don’t care for stuffing/dressing myself much, but it’s a favorite with others. I usually use day-old homemade cornbread, no other bread, so it could be gluten free if you wanted, but not neccessary. I’ve been making sourdough bread lately though so this year there will be some of that in it also. I like to add toasted pecans, sauteed mushrooms and onion, a good bit of thyme and some sage. I and mine don’t care much for celery, but if you do, add some. Salt and pepper too, lighter on the salt if the broth is commercial.
The folks I make it for like VERY wet dressing, so it gets a lot of turkey or chicken broth on it before baking, and gets baked covered. Soggy bread is not a fave of mine, but they seem to like it! If your folks prefer drier dressing you can bake individual blobs in a muffin tin to get it crustier on each portion or just bake it uncovered in a big pan.
This isn’t a very thrilling recipe, really, but pretty flavorful anyway. I have tried dried cranberries but the traditionals didn’t love them. I keep meaning to try oysters but haven’t gotten around to those. Quite traditional in some circles but seems exotic to us. Chestnuts are another possibility and since I’m in the Czech Republic for Thanksgiving this year we may add some.
Hi Deb! Thanks for including instructions on pumpkin puree! We are preparing for the most american thanksgiving as possible here in Uganda, and there is no canned pumpkin puree. Maybe thats a good thing since fresh pumpkin is delicious!
Great!!! Looks delicious. I’m gona try this we. :)
Somebody in the comments was wondering about a non-dairy version of the sauce. The blogger of Pastry Affair has found the solution to vegan caramel sauce on October 15 (I’m not posting the link to avoid Comment Purgatory), where you boil off a can of coconut milk with brown sugar. I’ve made it three times already and it was a revelation for our dairy-intolerant household.
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Deb, I truly love and appreciate your responsiveness (even after comment 150+). That stuffing recipe is more or less exactly what I was seeking. It is going to be a very smitten Thanksgiving around these parts, and, in the season of things, thank you for increasing the flavor in my home over the past two years that I have been a follower of your blog!
(Also, thank you Patryce for your kind suggestions!)
Classic pumpkin pie is all you need! PS, I can’t stand cardommon (don’t know why) and love when it’s excluded from recipes! Lovely pie!
I make something like this. Basically a deep dish pumpkin pie made in a springform pan with about half a pecan pie on top of it.
I just took my pie out of the oven, after it baked an extra 20-30 minutes! It’s gorgeous but it puffed up like crazy, the whole thing juggles slightly, though a toothpick does come out clean. We decided to stop cooking it and see how it turns out. The only thing I did differently was I used heavy whipping cream (with carragenan) instead of heavy cream, as I had grabbed the wrong container at the store. Is this why it is so puffy and jiggly?
Hi Kelly — Pumpkin pies almost always puff up, then deflate. I’m sorry I hadn’t mentioned that. It’s just the style of pie it is, more of a custard. Whipping cream should work just as well as heavy cream here; I use them interchangeably.
Love this recipe. Flavor is great and the crust was really flaky. I learned the hard way though that the baking time needs to be shortened if the crust is parbaked. The pie top cracked all over while still in the oven. I should have been watching more closely!
it turned out AMAZING! probably could have taken it out sooner but it was still really delicious. I’ll be making it again at Christmas :)
This is hands down the very best pumpkin pie that I’ve ever made. My kids can’t stop raving about how it’s not too heavy/solid/sweet. The texture is fabulous – light and creamy. And, I’m finished with partially baked crusts forever! I’d love to see you bake a chocolate pecan pie. I use valrhona dark – makes it very rich and chocolately (after all, that’s the goal…) Some recipes come out like a brownie – too dry. Some come out like a loose custard – too loose. I double my nuts, but I don’t want to use tons of extra nuts to firm it up – I want a real custard. After years of experimenting, I’m still trying to find that elusive recipe. Thanks! Your recipes have made me famous over and over (and I always give you the credit).
My understanding is that a “regular” pie plate has a 4 cup volume. I have a pie plate with a 6 cup volume. Do you think if I made a recipe and a half, the pie would still set properly when baking?
Sarah — Probably. Just bake it a little longer. Make sure you have a little more dough, too, just to be safe.
I’m making this today and hoping it will keep to thanksgiving in 4 days, thoughts? Should I freeze and thaw it? Need to prep for an out of town thanksgiving :)
Deb, I’m also curious about freezing. Should I make it totally and freeze it “done”? Or, should I assemble everything and freeze unbaked?
I would freeze the pie done. Topping separately. Warm the topping before serving.
Perfect…I was planning to make one for TG. Question: you say you use a standard 9 inch pie plate, not a deep dish. I only have deep dish..should I buy a standard? adjust the recipe? or does it matter?
Using 2:1 sugar to corn syrup will prevent crystallization (1/2 cup sugar to 1/4 cup syrup). I use white sugar and syrup because I’m a pecan purist. Continuing to heat this will give you hard toffee too.
I was hoping to find a filling recipe that omits the condensed milk. Thanks. The can of milk always makes to much filling and though 3/4 can provides a more intense flavor, reducing it to 1/2 can resulted in an uncreamy filling.
P.Deen uses cream cheese in her pumpkin pie- It’s the best I’ve ever tasted and of course I’m guessing yours is probably even better, have you ever tried cream cheese though?
I mean. What isn’t made better with a little cream cheese?
Lindsey — I might do what I did in my cookbook, which was to marble a pumpkin tart with a cream cheese swirl, as you might with brownies. You really get little bites of cheesecake that way. Of course, I’ve never tried Paula Deen’s version, so I don’t know what I’m missing!
I’ve made a lot of pumpkin pies and this is absolutely the most luscious. And you’re totally on point that this crust does not need to be blind baked. I was amazed – the bottom crust is still crisp. Perfect!
I was looking for a classic pumpkin pie to make for Thanksgiving this year and found this recipe. I made a test pie on Sunday and the filling is absolutely delicious! There is just something great about roasting a pumpkin and making your own puree. Unfortunately, it was my first time making pie crust and that turned out pretty horrible. It was really really crunchy. I’m hoping and praying that my second attempt for the big day will yield better results!
do you toast the pecans before adding to the sauce or this not necessary?
Deb, I’ve scanned the comments but haven’t seen this question – I’m making 4 pumpkin pies (two different Thanksgiving dinners, not on the same day). What would you recommend with regard to doubling the recipe – double it and make them in two batches, or go for it all at once and quadruple the recipe?
I’m also making your green bean casserole – looking forward to the extra fried onions!
Thanks for your great (as always) work and advice!
Deb! Can I make this in a tart pan, instead? Would you recommend par baking if I yes?
Amy — I see no reason not to quadruple the recipe. Hope everyone enjoys it!
Jody — I did not but if you’d like to deepen the flavor, you can definitely do so. I probably will next time but I also cannot bear nuts unless they’re deep and toasty.
Perfect…I was planning to make one for TG. Question: you say you use a standard 9 inch pie plate, not a deep dish. I only have deep dish..should I buy a standard? adjust the recipe? or does it matter?
Marilyn — It’s more than it doesn’t have enough batter to fill one. You could leave a little space in the pan or I suppose increase both the filling and the crust to about 1 2/3 — I believe that deep-dish pie plates hold about 2/3 more than standard one. (P.S. I also had only a a deep-dish for a bunch of years. I did eventually cave and buy a couple standard pie tins; not expensive, and require few recipe adjustments as most pie recipes are for standard pie plates.)
This pie is rich, silky and divine! Thank you so much for sharing.
The recipe calls for 1 1/3 cup or 315ML
of heavy cream but 1 cup equal 473ML —
Did you mean 1/3 cup only or are the ML
Christie — I understand 315 ml to be correct for 1 1/3 cups of liquid. See here. 1 cup liquid is 235 (rounded) ml. But maybe I missed something?
I swear I used just 1/4 cup of water if not less but I’m looking at a sticky mess. Just adding a bit more flour. I’ll let you know how that works out. (Probably still better than the just-unroll type (even Immaculate).
Our carton says half pint, 473ML
That’s 1 cup measured out
Should I just go by the 1 1/3 measurement then?
Christie — So strange! I have a half-pint in the fridge that says 237. Regardless, use 1 1/3 cups. And even if you’re a little short, I think this will come out just fine. Enjoy the pie!
Christie. ..are you sure that is not a pint you are looking at?
In the oven! Happy Thanksgiving, Deb– you always feel like a part of the family at the holidays :)
This was so good! My crust was a bit thick on the bottom, my fault as I’m not much of a baker. So will either roll out a bit more next time or par bake the crust to give it more crispiness. It was perfectly seasoned and oh so good! I just moved to New Zealand from the states and brought it in to all my New Zealand friends to try and they loved! This being the first pumpkin pie they’ve ever eaten! Glad I used your recipe! Thanks!
Can you provide the baking time if I want to make these into tartlets please? Thank you for sharing!
Mabel — I haven’t made this at tartlets so I cannot be sure. Definitely less than 30, and more than 10 to 15, so keep checking in that range until they’re done.
Just pulled mine out of the oven, and they look and smell awesome. Used my own crust, but followed the filling recipe to a T (except for doubling and using a bit of half-and-half), and ended up baking at 350 for 50 minutes. Thanks for the recipe and Happy Thanksgiving!!
Just pulled to pie out of the stove, it looks and smells heavenly. I am thankful for this site and all the wonderful, clearly written, easy to follow, time saving, without weird ingredients recipes you have given me through the years. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family.
I made this today for Thanksgiving and everyone raved that it was the best pumpkin pie ever. The sauce puts it over the top. I am now dreaming up other foods I can drizzle with praline sauce. So good!
Well, this pie has officially established me as a “great baker” to my family! Pretty much everyone agreed that it was “the best pumpkin pie they’ve ever had” and, although I was worried that the praline topping might be a bit much, it went fabulously. When I reheated, I didn’t find it to be grainy, but then I’m not that discerning. Only change I made was to replace the dry ground ginger with fresh grated ginger, which was great. I also made Ina’s pie crust, as I have trouble with crusts and find that a crust with both butter and Crisco is a little more forgiving that a pure butter crust. Amazing amazing recipe, Deb!!
It’s funny that you mention the old pumpkin pie on the site. I’m pretty sure that the 2008 pie recipe was one of the only recipes from your website that I made and literally failed at. I did the all butter pie crust and the first one rose up like a flying saucer in the pan, the custard wouldn’t set. Eventually I did get it to be edible-ish after basically crying in the kitchen for an hour. LOL. However, after probably 200 of your recipes I think one major catastrophe is a darn good record. I will have to try this one next, and I’m going to give the Butter crust another shot Saturday with your pudding pie.
thank god the pie and the pecan sauce came out amazing, thank u! and happy late thanksgiving :)
Thanks for this simple classic pumpkin pie recipe! The filling looked so moist in the photos so I used it as my base recipe, mashing up yours with NomnomPaleo’s Pumpkin, Coconut & Maple Cup recipe. I used coconut milk instead of heavy cream, replaced the sugar with 1/2 C maple syrup, but whisked the syrup with the eggs instead of cooking it with the pumpkin. I had enough filling leftover to fill 2 small ramekins. Topped the pie with toasted shredded coconut, and it was a hit at tonight’s thanksgiving dinner! It was moist and held together well, and the crunchy coconut gave the pie a nice texture. My baking experiments don’t have a track record of ending well, so I’m quite thankful that this one beat the odds.
Hooray! This is the pumpkin pie recipe I’ve been looking for! Sweet but not too sweet, firm but not rubbery, and perfectly spiced. My dad is super picky about his pie, and he says I had better remember which recipe I used today because this is the pie he wants at Christmas. I love that it uses exactly one can–no leftovers! And the sauce is thick, gooey, and amazing…I highly recommend putting a scoop of vanilla (or perhaps coffee) ice cream between the pie and the sauce. For those who want a silky smooth texture without yams, try Trader Joe’s canned pumpkin purée; it’s baby-food smooth. My go-to pecan pie, sans corn syrup, is pecan pie V on the allrecipes site. This will now be my go-to pumpkin.
Thanks for the perfect pumpkin pie recipe that I have been looking for! I had looked at the Cooks Illustrated, but was put off by all the steps. You kept everything that mattered and made it so simple. This has to be the silkiest custard of any pumpkin pie I have ever made. The only change I made was subbing brown sugar for half the sugar and using the CI step of processing the ingredients for one minute in the food processor before cooking.
This recipe and the explanations and reasoning behind each ingredient and processing step is outstanding. Deb, you rock.
This is the first pie and bake dessert I ever made. I made it to take to a Thanksgiving dinner I was invited to. I also bought a Marie Callendar pumpkin pie along in case my pie making effort failed. Everyone loved my (your) pie. I just need to inprove my crust making ability.
I am a relatively new follower of your blog and have just been enjoying reading about delicious food over the past several months. But yesterday I decided to take some action and make your pumpkin pie recipe. I can say without hesitation it was absolutely, positively the best pumpkin pie I have EVER had. I am a little embarrassed to say I had three pieces yesterday and was contemplating a slice this morning for breakfast (restrained myself). Thank you for such an amazing recipe. I skipped the praline topping and whipped up some cream with a little powdered sugar and vanilla. Delicious!! One question: i did get several cracks on the top of my pie – anything I should do differently next time? Thanks!
Mary — Re, cracks; essentially, I found that when I switched from making this pie with 2 eggs (it was too mushy for me) to 3 eggs (a much better texture), some cracks sometimes appeared. Not a ton one can do about it, but I’ll report back if I find any tricks. Perhaps a shallow water bath?
Sure you figured this out by now, but a half pint is indeed a cup (8 oz). I solved that little problem yesterday by replacing the additional cream with 1/3c of cream cheese – and I am not a recipe fiddler-with-er either. Although I did add a little extra spice (mainly TJ’s pumpkin pie spice, which does include a bit of cardamom).
That said, I lazied up in two ways: used a frozen crust (Marie Callender, which came out nice and crumbly, not gummy), and didn’t make the sauce, sublime as it sounded. Just whipped up some cream with a little maple sugar and vanilla.
This truly was the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. Don’t know how or if the cream cheese affected the outcome, but I do know that I wouldn’t hesitate to make that sub again if I needed to. Also, I would add a few gratings of nutmeg plus a few more next time.
Thanks for this incredible, easy recipe!
And I forgot to mention, Mary, I just had a piece for ‘dessert’ after breakfast this morning. Breakfast was a wee turkey sandwich! And it’s funny – I just read your entire post and there are eerie similarities – great minds think alike!
I made this yesterday (just the pie, not the sauce) and it came out great, I got a lot of compliments. I love that the desserts on your blog are very balanced and not overly sweet.
This pumpkin pie ROCKS. Easy to make, nice consistency, not overly sweet. The day after T-day all gone.
Delicious! I made it with full-fat coconut milk instead of heavy cream for a dairy-free filling and everyone loved it =)
Ok, so I made this and David Lebovitz’s choc pecan pie and I used your pie crust for both. I usually just buy the crust (because it scares me!), but followed your tutorials this time. The crust looked nice, but while it baked butter bubbled up and over and the crust edges (not covered by pie filling) are really chewy. Any chance you’re able to diagnose what I did wrong? Thanks for the great pumpkin pie recipe!
Helena — Some butter coming out is normal but bubbling up a lot means some butter bits were too big. Keep at it! You’re 95% there.
Made this last night (sans pecan praline sauce) and it was just perfect. Everything you want in a pumpkin pie. My dad said it was the best pumpkin pie he’d ever had! This will be our pumpkin pie recipe every year. Thanks!
Made this for Thanksgiving and was huge hit. I will be making your pie crust again it came out so good and that is making it hands only. Thank you for the wonderful pie.
The recipe on the Libby’s Pumpkin can calls for a “deep-dish” pie plate.
You recommend not using a “deep-dish”….is there any reason for this?
Your recipes ALL sound soo good. Thanks for bringing them to us here in
I, too, noticed the recipe on the Libby’s Pumpkin can calls for a “deep dish” pie plate. I followed the advice to increase by crust by 2/3, but I couldn’t do that to the filling, since I only had 1 can. Well, the filling amount was perfect and the crust was too thick. My conclusion is that the pan I thought was a deep dish isn’t really or that this magical recipe works for all sizes.
Everyone at the table said it was the best pumpkin pie they ever had.
I made this pie for Thanksgiving, and sadly it is gone. I am thinking how delicious the pie was and how good another slice would taste now that my family has gone home. I used whipping cream and loved the texture. And it sliced beautifully, each slice pretty as a picture. Thanks for posting. Next time I will add the pecans.
I made this pie for Thanksgiving and everyone fought over the leftovers. The texture and flavors were perfect…. and I loved it even more the next day! I think I will make the praline sauce with light brown sugar next time instead of dark. A friend told me that if you add a ‘dab’ of karo to the praline sauce that it should not crystallize when you reheat it but I have not tried it.
I made this recipe as tartlettes, and it came out beautifully! I used fresh pumpkin, but I chose a ready-made pie dough because we have some really delicious ready-to-bake pie dough here in France. I loved how the spices did not over-ride the taste of the pumpkin. My French husband declared it the best pumpkin pie that he had ever eaten! As for me, the praline pecan topping satisfied my craving for pecan pie. Thanks so much!
This was delicious! I like a little more spice, so I sprinkled in a bit more of everything.
The texture and flavor were great! I will definitely make this again….thank you for doing what I’ve tried for years to do (without success); marry the Libby’s and Cook’s Illustrated recipes :)
this now my standard pumpkin pie recipe– although I kicked up the spices just a tad. I’ll never go back to evaporated milk again! We all loved the pecan praline sauce, too. I hate pecan pie, but this added just the right touch with a little crunch!
This recipe was a big hit over the holiday weekend. I made only one addition to one of two of this pie recipe, that I made; I added one tablespoon of molasses to the batter. I did this because of a scone recipe (of all things!) that I had tried earlier this fall. It doesn’t scream “molasses is here,” it just pumps up the pumpkin flavor in the same way that coffee pumps up chocolate’s flavor. It’s a revelation!
I don’t dislike using evaporated milk in pumpkin pie; the pumpkin and spices overtake that canned milk funkiness, but the regular milk (I used half and half) did make enough of a difference that I liked it better. I think reducing the moisture from the pumpkin, along with more egg, made the custard set well.
Re, deep dish pie — I’d never noticed that about the Libby’s can but I’ve always, whether using that recipe (less often) or this (my go-to) use a standard pie dish and it fits just right. So I’m perplexed, too. I believe it would come out a little short in a real deep-dish pie plate. If you ever want to check what size you have, a standard pie dish is supposed to hold 4 cups and a deep dish, 6 cups.
I’ve always used the Libby’s–Libby’s–Libby’s recipe with bumped-up spices. This is way better. It’s silky and doesn’t have that leaden quality that condensed milk give it. I’ll never go back!
I’ve been baking pumpkin pies for many years. Granted most of them have been from the recipe on the can, which is ok, but a few years ago I decided to try some new recipes. This year I used your recipe and made the best pumpkin pie ever! I think blind baking the crust really made a huge difference despite the fact that I had to use pre-made crust due to time constraints. I look forward to trying your crust recipe sometime too. Thanks!
I’ve been looking for a recipe that uses heavy cream instead of evaporated milk FOREVER. Mostly because its never creamy enough…its always a bit too firm and not silky smooth. Is there really a difference between evaporated milk and heavy cream? Or is it all in the # of eggs you use? Thanks in advance!
Sommer — Evaporated milk is milk that’s basically been reduced a little to make it thicker. It’s not as fatty as cream, so it doesn’t taste as rich, but it has more body than regular milk. I think the cream tastes more luxurious and custardy here. The eggs can affect how firm the pie is. The standard back-of-the-can recipe uses two, but I find that the filling bakes up a little mushy. Three keeps it soft, but not as shapeless when sliced. Hope that helps.
Hı deb,in turkey Wè have a traditional dessert from pumpkin.no flour.just pumpkin and sugar.you can serve this dessert with Walnut or tahini or both of them.i suggest you to try.sugary pumpkin with tahini unbelievable.coarse chopped 1 kg.pumpkin
And 3 Cup sugar Boil un a pan or in oven (i prefer- 220 C about 2,5 hour.carefull it il be Boil than oven …) until pumpkin cook.than wait for cool than serve with tahini,Walnut.
I made this for Thanksgiving and decided to trick my family telling them the pie was a Sweet Potato Chiffon Pie. They always say they hate Pumpkin pie but all of the Pumpkin pies they’ve ever had were store bought or not well made. I sprang for very fresh ingredients such as the good Cinnamon and used Organic cream and butter. The pie was rich and decadent and the sauce was amazing. After everyone was literally fighting for the last slice I told them that it was actually Pumpkin. Everyone was shocked! They are converts now and have requested that I make this pie from now on. Thanks so much!!!
Best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. I skipped the topping and the cloves, and cut the sugar to a scant half cup. Perfect texture, and the spices really came through. This will be my recipe from now on.
For those wondering about pumpkin pie, have you tried David Rosengarten’s trick of blitzing half the pecans in a food processor? They make every bite of filling a nut/custard mix, with big whole chunks of pecans on top.
Making this pumpkin pie tonight for a pumpkin-loving partner who’s had a hard day, I thank you in advance on his behalf.
Oh jeez, that should say ‘for those wondering about pecan pie’ — sorry!
I just took it out of the oven and tried it. I don’t know what I did wrong but it did not turn out OK, the filling is not smooth and very eggy. Still, I love your blog and wanted to leave a comment, mainly so I could tell you that :)
This is now my go-to pumpkin pie! My brother even dreamed of it when he almost died (okay, he didn’t actually almost die. He just was stupid and could have died… fortunately, he just hiked through the rain for hours at Zions Ntl Pk). My family has a mixed relationship with pumpkin pies, but this one they approve of. I’ve never made the praline topping, but it sounds delicous. And I have to confess, I’ve been using seriouseats pie crust (which is always kind of powdery for me, but still always cooks up okay in the end – it’s weird). My husband prefers his mother’s shortening crust or the Costco pumpkin pie…I don’t understand…but I love him so that’s okay.
I know this is from last year, and may not get a response, but I’d like to make this for thanksgiving next weekend (Canadian) but I will be very short on time. Our dinner is Saturday afternoon. Friday is my birthday and I will be out all day not baking! Saturday morning I will be traveling. I know you said its ok to make two days ahead, but could I also make the crust and filling on Thursday then assemble Saturday and bake? I guess I’m wondering if the filling can be permafrost, then reheated?
Sarah — I would just bake it when you have time; it keeps well. It can always be gently rewarmed before serving if you prefer it that way.
Wow, thank you! I guess the filling can’t be permafrost then ;) what the heck did I mean there? Prepped? Lol.
Deb, I made this for Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and it was absolutely divine! Thank you so much for this gorgeous recipe. This will be my go-to pumpkin pie from now on!
Pretty much want to echo Maryse42’s comment word for word! Absolutely the standout dish of Thanksgiving this year. I’m making another one today! Thank you for this terrific recipe!
People who just won an office autumn bake-off making this in minis (muffin cups – which I don’t recommend as getting the crust to behave is difficult) – ME!!!!!!!! Best pumpkin pie :)
I was just about to write to ask if you have attempted this pie in mini form using muffin cups and look at Jeanie go! I’m wondering since you won it must be great, but is the mini crust issue that problematic? I’m wondering how you adjusted baking time and how many you got out of it. Thanks so much!!
Another thought – maybe a streusel topping would be good on here?
I love pumpkin pie, but have never attempted (or even really thought about) making my own until this year. This recipe looked perfect – just what I wanted in terms of simple pumpkin-y goodness.. So I decided to go for it and give homemade pie a try. The recipe was straightforward and easy to follow. I had one problem, though. The filling came out very liquidy (even after cooking on the stove, though perhaps I did not give it enough time?). So when I filled the pie crust and then went to put the baking tray in the oven, the filling sloshed all over. I lost a bunch of the filling (and made a big mess). Any advice? I want to try it again, possibly for Thanksgiving. Did I likely make a mistake in preparing the filling? Or is there a perhaps a good method for getting the filled pie crust to the oven without spilling? Should the pie filling only fill 2/3 or 3/4 of the crust? (The filling I made came almost to the top of the crust.)
I’m excited to try this recipe for the first time this Thanksgiving! Question, though – do you think the dough for the crust would come out fine in a regular blender (not a Vitamix or Blendtec or a pastry blender)? Or, am I probably better off going at it by hand, since I don’t have any other kind of blender but a simple one by Oster?
Thanks so much!
Alina — I’d make it by hand.
Hi there! I’m a huge fan of your website and I’ve made a lot of your recipes. I’m Italian and I’ve never eaten a pumpkin pie before… until today when I’ve made this one. I’m so glad I did it because it’s so good!! I’ve made it in a muffin tray so I ended up with like 10 mini pies… Fantastic. Finally I’ve found another way to eat the tons of pumpkins I have left (all my neighbors here have a vegetable garden and basically they gave them away for free!)
Thank you so much!
What if instead of pecans, I used pepitas? Too crazy? Or just crazy enough!
I just made this pie and followed the recipe exactly, but it puffed up horribly and cracked on top after only 30 minutes. Not sure how it tastes yet but it seemed like way too much heavy cream, perhaps a misprint in the recipe? Mine was very pale orange, not like yours.
Words don’t describe how wonderful this pie is. I’ve made it (along with the cranberry crumble pie) for the past 2 years Thanksgiving. It’s just fabulous and the praline sauce is amazing. I always wonder if it’s too much, but the saltiness in it really goes nicely with the pumpkin pie, as does the texture of the pecans with the smoothness of the pumpkin pie!
Absolutely the best I’ve ever had or made! Thank you :)
EEEK! I’m making this now, and am so tired I added the eggs before I let the mixture simmer. Will this be ok?
Awesome recipe! I made it exactly as is. I love how you include the weights for measuring flour and sugar. It gets things do correct! I skipped the sauce and whipped up cream because I was lazy. Next time I won’t forget it. A hit!
It being thanksgiving, we had all the ingredients on hand for the sauce and made it on a last minute impulse to go with our pumpkin pie (a different recipe, the Cook’s Illustrated one). I was skeptical but it was a fantastic combination with the pumpkin and a bit of whipped cream.
I made this for my colleagues (we’re all a European bunch so most of them had never even had pumpkin pie before), and they went absolutely nuts for it :) Just wanted to give you a heads up in case you check your site traffic tonight and you have a huge surge in readers from Belgium :)
I made this back when it was featured for the first time. The only thing I added was a tablespoon of molasses. The pumpkin was particularly light in color and looked so insipid, I just had to add something to perk it up! Now, I will always add that Tbsp of molassas, deep color pumpkin or not. It added just a little depth of flavor missing in typical pumpkin pie.
I’m so sad… I rushed making this tonight to audition it for Thanksgiving but then accidentally overbaked it, and it came out with that grainy, wet texture D:
The flavor is good, if a little sweet, but now I’m thinking I should just go back to your silky, smooth recipe (which has served me really well for 6 years!). Gah, I just really wanted it to come out like the picture – the texture on yours looks so perfectly good!!!
Okay, sorry for my histrionics. After a day in the fridge the texture improved dramatically. Still not as delicious-looking as yours, but I would definitely be happy to serve the day-old pie to company!
I’m making my first pie ever this year and am planning on making this one for T Day. I baked a sample pie for work with the following additions: 1) A tablespoon of molasses and 2) a gingersnap crust instead of a regular pastry crust (I blind baked it for 20 minutes too). It was super tasty and a huge hit at the office. However, the spice levels in my pie seemed a little muted so I’m planning on slightly upping the levels. I also think I may add a couple of tablespoons of butternut squash puree to give it a different flavor as well.
My question is more about baking pies-my pie came out with what looked like air bubbles all over the top. Is this normal? Aesthetically I wasn’t too happy about it but I’m hoping its just a byproduct of the filling.
The best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had! My British husband (who has always disliked pumpkin pie, guess it’s an American thing?) already snuck a piece with his breakfast this morning. 3rd year in a row making this pie, and we won’t be looking for another recipe!
Made this yesterday for Thanksgiving. It was delicious and the praline sauce put it over the top. My new favorite pumpkin pie recipe.
Incredible pie! We made the pecan praline and found this to be the best pumpkin pie we’ve had. Though cooking the pumpkin adds an extra step, this was still a very-low maintenance pie for the level of reward. Thanks!
This has become our go-to pumpkin pie recipe. It comes out well every time. We usually use kabocha squash instead of pumpkin (baked on low heat for a longish time and just scooped out of the shell rather than puréed since we like a bit of texture) and decrease the sugar slightly because of kabocha squash’s sweetness. We have done the spices as written and they are good, but also sometimes sub Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice, which is by far my favorite.
I forgot to say, we are purists and no one in our household has ever wanted to try making the pecan topping. We eat it with freshly made maple-brandy whipped cream.
I made your pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. The filling and topping were delicious. However the crust was a disaster. I followed instructions diligently, being sure to keep crust cool. The butter in the crust along the rim dripped and caused enough smoke to set off the fire alarm. Even after cleaning the oven my house smells of burned butter, not entirely a bad thing. To top it off, the crust was tough. I have the second crust in the freezer. Any advice before I make my second pie?
Sounds like the butter pieces were too big. They should be tiny, the biggest piece should be the size of a small pea (i.e. petit pois) before you add the liquid and roll it, thus smaller when it goes into the oven. Too big, butter runs out (as you noted) and the crust left behind is missing those airy buttery pockets that make it soft and flaky.
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! The texture of the pie was amazing, so smooth and creamy. The only change I made was to add 1 1/2 tbl. corn syrup to the praline sauce. The corn syrup worked perfectly to keep the sauce from getting grainy when it was reheated. This recipe will definitely be my go-to pumpkin pie in the future!
When did you add the corn syrup was it after The sauce cooked ? Or during cooking and did you cut down brown sugar? So it’s not too sweet
This is a fantastic pie. I so appreciated that this recipe yields a product as good as that of the CI recipe but without the ridiculous tediousness of mixing in canned sweet potatoes, straining for a day and a half, etc. Huge public service to Thanksgiving bakers. Thank you!
One thing: In my opinion, pre-baking the crust is in no way optional. Gummy undercooked bottom crust is a deal-breaker for me, and the crust of a custard pie remains almost completely raw if it isn’t baked blind first. You can see in the otherwise beautiful picture with the recipe that the bottom crust is raw. I would flat-out not eat that.
If you are VERY confident and you REALLY don’t want to pre-bake the shell, go for it– but if you are serving this to others and you are in any way less than 100% rock star in your personal confidence level, you may be really embarrassed by the raw bottom crust which many people will leave on the plate.
If you don’t want to pre-bake the crust, consider making the filling as a baked custard with no crust instead (baked in individual ramekins) and serving it with a crisp cookie on the side.
If you do want to pre-bake the crust, bake it until it’s almost all the way done (really) and then cover the edges with foil when you bake it with the filling, so the edges don’t burn.
THANK YOUUUU! I’m picky about my crust being fully baked and I was skeptical of Deb’s assertions. I will blind bake!
Just baked this and it is by far one of the best pumpkin pies that I have ever had. KEEPER KEEPER KEEPER PUMPKIN PIE KEEPER!!!
This is amazing! I did a taste test for friends by baking this one, the Libby’s recipe with evaporated milk, and another recipe using condensed milk. The vote was unanimous that your recipe tasted the best! It’s now my go-to pumpkin pie recipe, can’t wait to try the topping too next time!
I was thinking about making this pie ahead of time for some family I won’t be seeing on Thanksgiving itself (they want this pie, who can blame them). How long would the baked pie keep?
Alternatively, I was thinking about freezing it so my mom could pop it in the oven Thanksgiving morning. But I am not sure if the pie should be fully baked before freezing or only partially (say til the custard-y part starts to set). Any ideas?
Question: My sister and I have taken over pie baking duties for mom at Thanksgiving, but with other, kosher keeping, relatives at the meal, we have to keep everything parve. We’ve tried most every dairy replacer I can think of. Last year’s had the best texture, using coconut cream, but had a very definitive coconut flavor. Almond and soy milk seemed too runny. Any suggestions?
Thanks for this fantastic recipe. I usually don’t love pumpkin pie, but the praline sauce really makes it, especially as the pie itself isn’t super sweet. I think that the people who got too liquidy a filling probably didn’t cook the pumpkin mixture for long enough at the beginning stage. I cooked mine quite a bit until it was an almost cookie dough-like consistency, and found that that provided a perfect pie texture. I didn’t parbake the crust, and think that it was actually better that way. Mine was also much browner looking than the photos here. Hope you and your family had a great celebration!
The best pumpkin pie recipe hands down. From the no-bake crust to the simple ingredients. I skipped the sauce this year, too lazy. I also used Kerrygold butter which makes an amazing crust.
I’ve made this pie twice now–it’s a fantastic recipe! Two tips:
-Par-baking is worth it–I skipped the second time, and the bottom crust never cooked through.
-Adding 1 TB molasses really deepens the pumpkin flavor.
Otherwise perfect as is :)
OH.MY.GOODNESS! We started a new tradition this year and it’s this pie! Amazing, Deb!
This pie is perfect. Regarding the sauce, I ran out of vanilla so dumped in some bourbon instead. I will never use vanilla in this recipe and neither should you. Next time (oh, there will be many more next times), I will toast the pecans.
This is our go-to pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving and is such a crowd-pleaser. One thing that is bugging me though – the crust comes out so flaky and the filling is so smooth that the two don’t adhere to each other. The filling can actually cleanly lift right out of the baked pie crust. It’s obviously not a big problem but I’d love to be able to perfect this one – wondering if you know why that’s happening and how to make the two stick together more (like a fruit pie would)? Thanks for this and all of your lovely recipes!
Made this for Thanksgiving this year. I thought it was better than my apple pie, which usually steals the show. It was much darker than I thought it would be, but the texture and taste were amazing. Make the praline topping! I added a tablespoon of bourbon to it (because, why not?) and it was delicious on just about everything. Thanks!
I just made this with the cream cheese swirl from the slab pie recipe and it was amazing! I’ve never cooked the pumpkin before putting it in the crust and the texture was gorgeous. This will definitely be my new go to pumpkin pie recipe. Thanks Deb!
I subbed Maine sourced buckwheat honey for the sugar, and brought the pie to a Halloween work party. One co-worker said, “I never like pumpkin pie, but that was the BEST pie I have ever had!” ‘Twas a satisfying bake, I agree :)
Do you think one could make the pie filling the day before, keep it in the fridge? Then fill and bake the pies the next day?
Do you have a good non-dairy substitute for the evaporated milk/ cream/ milk/ half and half?
Extra pie is always considered breakfast… eggs, milk, pumpkin!
Hi Deb! Curious whether replacing all the cream with whole milk would be a disaster? I’m lazy and don’t feel like going to the store for cream since I have everything else here… Would it destroy the texture? Or would it just not be quite as rich? Thanks!
It’s just richeness and creaminess, but I think it will be fine. If you’re feeling ambitious: pumpkin pie is often made with evaporated milk, which is just that. You could ostensibly cook regular milk down a bit, so it’s a little thicker (stir, stir, stir) and have a similar effect.
Following-up: I went ahead last night with my “trial pie” (haha) using just whole milk and it was a smash breakfast hit this morning! I definitely think using cream will be better — richer and maybe even a bit more solid than this one turned out — and I’ll do it that way Thursday, but I’m here to tell you that absent a side-by-side comparison, the whole milk version was still amazing.
Help! Please! So I made this pie and loved it (used brown sugar instead of regular) for my single pie. Decided this was the recipe I’d use for the dozen pies I needed to make for a large function. Used the brown sugar instead of regular again (only notable sub). I used the Libby’s pumpkin and triple checked my math. Used a scale for all ingredients. The recipe made in this big batch turned out a pumpkin filling that had this notable glue-like quality. Gummy, almost. So glad I baked a test pie with the large batch because it was not servable. Has anyone had this experience? I had to add so many eggs I did whisk them well but let them rest 30 minutes before adding them to the filling so as not to create a soufflé. I am wondering if having stirred extra for the large volume did this? Or did the pumpkin mixture cook too much? It was just at sputtering point like recipe said. Really wanted something with bold depth like this recipe… sacred to try another go at the big batch now. Costco here I come? Ugh. Any pastry folk or pumpkin experts have any ideas why it turned to glue?
Of note for people making it this year, not sure if my butter got too soft bc I had to mix it into the flour with my hands (no pastry cutter or food processor) and therefore made my mixture more moist, but 1/4 of water was WAY too much water. My dough was completely soggy and I had to toss it and start a new batch putting in just a bit of water at a time. Even then, I only used about 1/8 of a cup. Just a heads up!
This happened to my crust, too! (I also used my hands and let the dough chill for just barely an hour— might have helped to let it chill longer?) The dough ending up coming off the pie pan onto the aluminum foil when I tried to par-bake it, so I just smushed it back in with a spatula and carried on. The crust ended up being super crumbly but tasted great. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ In the end it didnt matter— The pie filling and topping were both out of this world! Best pumpkin pie I’ve made or had!
My second crust ended up great, and the filling was amazing. Just wanted to give folks a head up that if they were mixing with their hands, they should not add all the water at once :)
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.
This was a big hit at Thanksgiving this year! I got lazy and bought a store made graham cracker crust instead of making one myself and it worked perfectly; in fact it had a really nice crunch. I also made it the night before and it tasted sooo good the next day. It was almost custardy (maybe because I undercooked it?) Anyway, thank you, Deb! My family now thinks I’m a star baker!
Thanks for this recipe…made it for thanksgiving and it was a success. The sweetness level (without the sauce) was perfect! I am making this again with butternut squash – should the amount of sugar (or any other ingredient) be adjusted to accomodate for the different flavor of butternut squash?
I made the recipe with half and half vs heavy cream, all else the same. I used puree from roast sugar pie pumpkin (organic and local from my CSA farm). Method adjustments: after cooking the pumpkin and spices per recipes I dumped them, cold half and half and cold eggs in Vitamix. Blended and poured in crust (SK all butter really flaky pie crust!!!).
All baked up wonderfully and result is excellent in taste and texture. Thanks SK!
I made this last night. I usually believe in par baking the shell but I wanted to try for the first time going without. I won’t do that again. The flavor of this pie is amazing, the filling was so good and I’m not even a huge pumpkin pie person. I actually subbed 1/3 cup of heavy cream with creme fraiche. But that’s the only change I made. I baked at 400 for 15 minutes and then turned heat down and baked for another 34 min. The bottom crust was completely soggy. Not enjoyable. But the flavor was so good that I will try to make this again, but I will par bake for 10 minutes or so first.
This has been my go to pumpkin pie recipe for about 5 yrs now as it is simply the best. We have now gone vegan tho and I am wondering if anyone has made it with coconut milk instead and if so , how did it taste? Did it alter the flavor very much? TIA!
Deb, where did you get those lovely spice jars pictured on the page of this recipe? I love them!!
i made sweet potato pie with another recipe for the filling, but it called for a store bought, frozen crust, so i used this crust instead. i have to say it was yummy and it held up well and didn’t get soggy on the bottom. (i baked it in a glass pan in the middle of the oven, no cookie sheet. the recipe called for cooking it at 425 for 15 minutes, then turning the oven down to 350 for 35-40 minutes.) in fact, a day later, i took it out of the fridge…it is still crispy on the bottom! very happy with the results. thanks deb! i knew i could count on you!
Any idea how well this freezes? I want to make it for this Thanksgiving but I have to do one I can make ahead of time.
Can I substitute half-and-half or milk for the heavy cream in the filling?
Yes! I have.
Today, I added some sweet potato syrup in place of a few tablespoons of the sugar. For various reasons, the texture came out oddly eggy, but overall, the flavor of this pie is fantastic.
Made this tonight for Thanksgiving (sans praline topping, I had too much going on). Couldn’t believe I made it myself, it was that good. Thanks, Deb!
I made this for our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, but with a graham cracker crumb crust, and it was FANTASTIC. Smooth, perfectly spiced and simply delicious. It was a big hit. Thank you as always, Deb!
The crust came out a little bit tough for me—difficult to cut cleanly. It was probably my own mistakes in making it.
I made the filling from scratch with a roasted pumpkin, pureed in the food processor. Instead of ground ginger, I chopped up and tossed some fresh ginger in the food processor as well when blending the pumpkin. I thought the fresh ginger flavor peeking through was awesome, but I tend to think ginger makes everything better!
This was pretty freakin’ fantastic! I made it with fresh butternut and acorn squashes and doubled all the spices just because I like intense flavors. I ran the pie mixture through a sieve as in the Silky Pumpkin Pie recipe on this site. This pie stands on it’s own- the sauce is completely extra, and to be honest, a bit distracting. I would eat the pie unadorned and spoon the sauce over some ice cream.
Thanks so much for this recipe! You saved Thanksgiving! My parents waited until late (Tuesday) to buy the typical frozen pumpkin pie and the grocery stores were sold out. I got a call asking me to make a pumpkin pie to bring and I said yes, I had all of the ingredients on hand except for cloves and heavy cream. I Improvised by using whole milk with 1/3 of a cup replaced with sour cream that I happened to have on hand. For the spices, since I didn’t have cloves, I replaced all of the spices with “pumpkin pie spice” which I have on hand because of the awesome pumpkin muffin recipe on this site. I also added some extra cinnamon because the pumpkin pie spice was clove heavy and we really like cinnamon. I did parbake the crust and I think it needed it. I probably should have parbaked it a little more as the bottom was slightly underbaked, maybe because of the looser texture since it was milk instead of cream? It came out super smooth and creamy. Everyone loved it and they want me to make it again next year. So long freezer section frozen pie!
So I made this pie using the technique of running the filling through a sieve. When I did it last year, it was beyond incredible. This year, my filling curdled. Any thoughts why?
The cold cream *should* chill the mixture enough that the eggs don’t curdle. Did yours seem too hot? Or did it seem curdled after you sieved it?
Hi Deb, so I’m currently based in Germany and canned pumpkin is hard to come by. Do you think I could use sweet potatoes and some pumpkin spice? If so how much of each?
Absolutely. Or another winter squash, roasted and then pureed. Canned pumpkin here is on the wet side, I’d say wetter than mashed potatoes, if you’re looking for a match.
Thanksgiving is coming up again so I thought I would share the adjustments I have made to make the filling non-dairy/lactose free. I sub the heavy cream with full fat canned coconut milk: leave the can in the fridge so the fat hardens, then remove/measure the hard part. I find that I never have quite 1 1/3 c, so I make up the difference with non-dairy/lactose free milk of choice. It turns out beautifully, doesn’t taste coconut-y at all, and doesn’t give me a stomach ache. Hope this helps someone!
Yes thank you, just what I wanted to check before baking!
My pie came out very egg-y flavor-wise. The texture was good, it was tasty, but not what i was expecting…. i used milk instead of cream, but it doesn’t seem like that could have been the culprit?
Cream will muffle/smooth other flavors, so that could be part of it. Were you eggs large? If so, I wonder if they were just larger or more strongly flavored.
This pie was a hit at my family’s socially distanced fall get together. The only thing I would like to trouble shoot is that the crust, though delicious, was a little tough and hard to cut/chew. Could it be because I par-baked it, and that once filled, I cooked it for 20 minutes over what was suggested as the max cooking time? It took a while for the toothpick to come out w/out any pumpkin on it. Maybe the crust spent a little too much time overall in the oven? Thank you!
As a pumpkin pie novice, I just did a dry run for my anticipated COVID micro-Thanksgiving (working title, “Thanksgiving for Two: Festival of Sides and Pies”). This was so simple and delicious. It was truly a hit and is definitely a keeper in my recipe folder. I second the other commenters who recommended par-baking for an exceptionally crispy, golden crust. I baked it without the praline sauce and it was just perfect with a generous helping of homemade whipped cream. A++++. Thank you for the wonderful recipes.
Thanks for this recipe, Deb—the spices are perfect and I love the smoothness of the filling.
BUT just a note to others that I’ve made this twice now, in two different ovens, and it always ends up overbaked. At just 20 minutes after I’ve turned down the heat to 350 (I check it very early), it’s lost all semblance of a wobble and is puffed and really cracked in the way that overbaked pumpkin pies get. Checked with an oven thermometer at the 20 minute mark (after turning the heat down) and it was at 185—internet sources suggest 175 is ideal for a perfectly done pumpkin pie. SO, even though the recipe says 30-40 additional minutes after lowering the oven temp, know that it can’t hurt to check MUCH earlier than you think you need to, probably at 15 minutes. Such a simple thing could save you from a grainy, weepy, cracked pie.
I think the weight for flour for the crust is a little light. I have an extremely wet dough.
@christine, same here! Super wet dough. We’ll see how it will bake…..
Mine was really dry. Must depend on humidity in the area?
I ended up adding around 1/2 cup more flour to mine at the end and it came out good. I think it’s supposed to be 255 grams of flour instead of 155.
That’s a good thought. I doubled the crust recipe because I like to have extra but it was a disaster. Way too much butter and water.
Wow! Just made this and it’s probably the best (and easiest) pumpkin pie I’ve ever made and I’ve made a lot of them but have never cooked the filling before. Thank you!
Made this for Thanksgiving but instead of the praline sauce, added a (chocolate ginger) black bottom. It was insanely good. I am not great at crusts and this one came together in no time- I don’t have a standing mixer or a food processor, so used the one-bowl method by hand. I didn’t bother par-baking and used a glass 9-inch pie plate. So easy and it came out perfectly. This is now my go-to pie crust. Thanks for making me look like a pro! :)
Made this yesterday- it was excellent and was everyone’s favorite pumpkin pie out of all the recipes I’ve tried over the past 18 years of hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Only one swap, I made the praline sauce with roasted salted pumpkin seeds instead of pecans. So good!
I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday, but couldn’t be bothered with pastry so used the ginger crumb base from your dark chocolate tart and I don’t think I’ll ever make pumpkin pie any other way. Added good dollop of vanilla whipped cream on top and it was heaven. Thank you!!
I made this with homemade pumpkin purée and while it was a huge undertaking it was very much worth the trouble. Delicious and Impressive!
I may not be able to ever eat pumpkin pie without this sauce again. So good!!!
I made this for our Thanksgiving festivities and the flavour came out wonderfully! While it seemed runny when it went into the oven, it was perfect and quite airy by the time it was done. The only thing I will note is that I highly recommend parbaking unless you have a thin pie dish, as the dough in the bottom was raw.
This pie is cooling now. I have to say the pie crust rolled out beautifully. I used two sheets of parchment to roll out the dough and it worked brilliantly although I did flour the dough before folding it to put in the plate. My pie dish must not be deep enough as I had about a third left over which I baked separately without crust. This is bulletproof enough to prep with the help of a nearly-4 year old.
Oh, I used a small pumpkin and a small butternut squash which made exactly the amount required for the recipe. I roasted them in wedges, not having read the recipe properly, and it was a proper faff trying to take the skin off at the end, but the puree wasn’t soggy at all – no excess water even after 24 hours in the fridge – so I might do it that way next time too. Or maybe the squash is just a lot less watery than pumpkin.
Had to come back to say: this is so good. The spices are just right – I tend to avoid pumpkin spiced anything because it is always so bitter and far too clove-y but this is so sweet and creamy and subtle. We haven’t had the pie yet but my nearly 4 year old chose the crustless pudding made from leftover filling and was all over it which is quite unusual for spiced food. I definitely think it is at its best cold with a drizzle of unsweetened cream.
Both times I’ve made this (doubled, for a large deep tin and a standard-sized tin), I’ve had enough excess filling to bake in a 12 oz bowl.
So sad I have to say goodbye to this site. I can no longer print these recipes . What happened????
I see a little printer icon just above the comments and below the recipe tags.
There was an error on the site blocking the Print icon, however, it’s been fixed. Try restarting your browser and it should reappear. If that doesn’t work, can you clear your browser cache? That will do the trick and definitely let me know if it does not. Finally, even without the print button, every recipe is printable from CTRL or ⌘ + P [on desktop], File > Print on a Mac, or from the share button (the one that looks like an up-arrow coming out of a box) at the bottom of the Safari browser on an iPhone.
It’s always been my particular dilemma, what’s my favorite part of T-day, stuffing or pumpkin pie? Not only have you tilted me in favor of the pie, but my family expects pie and pecan sauce every year now. After a two-year vacation from this delight, they’re salivating. Thanks for making my contribution to the feast a winner every time.
Must blind bake, or you will have a soggy bottom, and nobody likes that. use heavy cream.
To make the filling dairy free I subbed coconut cream for the heavy cream and it worked well. Didn’t taste like coconut at all. I also replaced the sugar with maple syrup. The overall texture with both substitutions was a little more flimsy than the full dairy, refined sugar version, but it still held together enough and I would make it this way again. I made an oat/pecan crust for it. I’ve also made this multiple times full dairy/sugar and it is perfect. Thanks Deb for another winner!!
Made this pie for Thanksgiving 2021, and it was a huge hit! Thanks, Deb. My husband said it was the best pumpkin pie he’s ever had.
I noticed some commenters saying their pies tasted a little eggy, so I only used two large eggs instead of three. It was a good move; the flavor and texture were perfect.
I skipped the praline sauce and instead topped with homemade maple whipped cream. Perfect.
Because we’re staying in a vacation rental with a bare-bones kitchen, I skipped making the crust from scratch and instead used one of Diamond’s nut crusts (the pecan variety), which was fantastic. No parbaking, no dough-y bottom. Just delightfully crisp with a very light hint of pecan nuttiness that let the pumpkin filling take center stage. I feel like the nut crust also allowed for neat, clean slices because it’s sturdiness offered stability when lifting out each slice. I was hesitant using a nut crust, but I’ll be making this pie with it going forward.
Made this for Thanksgiving. My family really liked it. Thanks for this simple classic pumpkin pie recipe!
Should you need to save time,
this is delicious without pre-cooking the filling.
FANTASTIC! Best pumpkin pie iteration we’ve ever made. Have made 2 more since Thanksgiving because everyone can’t live without it. The praline sauce made a great add-on to our dessert bar and people put it on just about every dessert we served. Deb for the win…as always!
This recipe is perfect as is. It also converts to vegan really easily. I had to make it vegan recently and subbed the butter in the pie crust for Earth Balance vegan butter and the cream in the filling with Thai kitchen coconut milk and it turned out great!
*Sorry, I meant to say Non dairy, not vegan.
Pumpkin pie was never my favorite, but I adore this recipe and I’m now firmly on Team Pumpkin Pie. Cooking the filling before baking makes a huge difference to the texture and I love the spice level. I’ve made it several times throughout November last year and brought it to each of my three (vaccinated) Friendsgivings this year. It was a huge hit every time. Thanks for another amazing recipe!
I bastardized the pie filling from this recipe and put it in your date bar recipe on top of the date filling with the streusel on top and can I say, my Thanksgiving has been made.
This pumpkin pie recipe is fantastic! I’ve made it twice now – first time with regular heavy whipping cream and the second time with coconut milk creamer (Trader Joe’s was out of regular creamer and honestly I couldn’t tell a difference). Next time might cut back on the sugar a little bit, but honestly the recipe is solid. Cooking the mixture on the stovetop really helps bring out the flavors. Highly recommend!
As for the praline topping – haven’t made it yet (I’m usually scrambling for time and multitasking) but its on my list of things to try.
Would this work (not as good but work) with an equal amount of evaporated milk instead of heavy cream? I waited too long and as of yesterday (Monday before Thanksgiving) there is no heavy cream to be had in any of my local and a couple of not so local grocery stores!!!
It should be fine.
First time pie baker here and I can’t tell if I made enough filling or if my pie dish is a deep dish. In any case, would it work to pour the pecan praline sauce on top after the pie cooks and have it set on top to give more volume to the pie? Thanks!
I am a longtime Smitten Kitchen fan and made this as my first ever pumpkin pie (my boyfriend’s favorite dessert) and I’m not sure where I went wrong! I followed all directions to a T, and after the pie cooled a bit out of the oven, it cracked. Not the end of the world as a cosmetic-only issue, but it allowed me to see the center of the pie was underbaked.
I covered it in foil so the crust didn’t overbake and put it back in the oven at 350 for 5 min…then another 5 min…and another with no change to the center of the pie. After 20 min, I raised the temp to 400 and baked for another 10 min and it still looked exactly the same as when I put it in. At that point, I decided to take it out and let it cool overnight and see what happened.
When I checked this morning, it basically seemed unchanged from the first bake yesterday, and since the cracks made it a little ugly anyway, I cut a sliver for my boyfriend to test. He said the flavor is good but confirmed the filling is too liquid-y and closer to pudding in consistency. Not serving this tonight to my guests at Thanksgiving so will do some more trial and error next year!
The good news – my cat definitely took a bite when it was out overnight so at least he liked it!
This was the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made and tasted. Everyone loved it and even people who don’t like pumpkin pie had seconds.