Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie
Ah.  Ah ha.  The obligatory Pumpkin Pie.  But in this case, this pie, this pie is anything but obligatory.  

Aaaand I know.  Alllllll the other folks out there claiming to have the best recipe, so many….this is the one you should be making though.

I am, ahem, not a pumpkin fan.

“So wait,” you query, “how on earth can you judge and be snooty-tooty hoity-toity and say this is truly and definitively the best one out there?  I mean, c’mon.”

Ok, that’s fair.  

Especially since I’ve never tasted it.  I know because I researched and compared and toiled over many an option.  That and Mike and my folks near passed out scarfing up their slices a couple years back.  

And that Mike asked me to make him, just him, a pie solely for himself this year.  

And ho ho trust me, Mike is not shy about a fail or if oomph is required or tweaking is necessary.  So when he asks for something, either in a coy or in this case, firmly direct way, I know I’m onto something. 

Especially with the direct business.

I know, I know, you’re probably all prepared, have your recipes chosen, your lists made, you’re good to go, this is bad timing.  But if you’re like me, you’re not entirely listed out, not completely prepped to prep, there’s wiggle room, so this maybe is not bad timing.

It’s not too late.  Suddenly Devo is in my head.

And if all else fails at Thanksgiving, like the dog steals the turkey or your gravy lumps are the size of softballs or everyone’s reduced to glares around the table, you can count on this pie to salvage the evening.

Try this pie.

And don’t fret either if you’ve never made a pumpkin pie before, they’re remarkably straightforward.  I’m not sure why I was intimidated by them in the past.  Maybe dough anxiety.  Or more likely, heh, because I’m not a pumpkin eater.

This one comes to us from The Kitchn, a site I’ve pulled a slew of reliables from so be sure to peruse their offerings.

Why did I pick this particular recipe?  Well for one it said “classic,” and I was a sucker for the word “classic” considering this had been my first ever attempt at Pumpkin Pie.

Further, upon reading the ingredients, they made a heck of a lot of sense to me, brown sugar and cream being the hooks sealing the deal.

Also of note was cooking the purée before popping the goods into the oven, a tip I caught watching cooking shows a handful of years ago, reinforced here.  Rather peculiar that that would stick with me, a pumpkin non-fan.  Hey, what can I say.

Don’t panic about a purée pre-cook.  Yes it’s an extra step but it’s a minor extra step that results in a vastly improved pie, deepening and developing flavors.  Besides, you’re likely standing around anyway while the crust is pre-baking, why not make use of the time?

Additionally, I was not directed to purchase a thingie of pumpkin pie spice.

So the combination of these four strong pitches above struck me as a winning combo and winning indeed it was according to my tickled taste testers.  I aim to please.

To start, I hit up Jen’s Everyday Flaky Pie Crust recipe.  What a winner that one is, whooie.  If anything, at least use that pie crust somewhere, please.  Mike even said, between shoveling forkfuls into his mouth, “wow, the crust is reaaally good, babe.”  That may not seem like much of an endorsement but you should know that he’s in fact, less than effuse with baked good remarks on the normal.  High praise it is indeed then.

pie dough formed in pie dish
I think this is the first time I’ve ever had an almost nice crimped edge.
This time I went with the vinegar addition out of curiosity and instead of a smattering of white sugar as I had done with the Peach Pie, I added a tablespoon of brown (maybe try two).  Just to see.  ‘Cuz I can’t help it!  I’m too darn curious!!

Ugh, sigh, ok.

Aaaand then I ran out of daylight in which to take photographs, therefore the pie dough overnighted it in the fridge wrapped in plastic, pre-rolled flat.

Like many folks, my pie dish is glass though I’ve heard metal* is the best route.  Someday.  Oh, they have a USA one.  Huh.  Though wouldn’t it get all scratched up?  Hm.  Don’t fret if yours is glass, you will still achieve outstanding pie, promise.

Set the cold things out on the counter to warm while you pre-bake your crust.  Toss everything up to the liquids into the food processor* for a healthy whirl, the purpose to smooth any remaining stringy or lumpy bits of pumpkin.

pumpkin filling ingredients in food processor
What could be easier than dumping everything into a machine and whirling it around?  Not much.
Oh and click here to resolve the debate about what’s really in those cans of pumpkin purée.

While the crust is doing its last five minutes thing, cook the purée until it does those huge ploppy floppy bubbles and it’s super steamy.  Yes, it will smell very nice.

precooking the pumpkin puree
Wow.  Look at how rich that is, huh?  See?  Totally worth the time.
Add the milk.  Add the cream.  Whisk whisk.*

adding cream and milk to pumpkin mixture
Here’s post cream and milk whisking, gettin’ close.
Temper your pre-well-whisked eggs with spoonfuls of the hot purée to prevent egg cooking, then whip it all together, whip it good, add your vanilla and it’s time to bake.  Wow.  Yeah, just like that.

pie filling in parbaked pie crust ready to bake
Ready to bake, let’s go!  Woo!
Bake time is lengthy but that’ll give you time to tackle other projects, like sanding joint compound or painting a wall or a ceiling.  Or, um, something else.  Keep an eye on the crust edges after about twenty minutes, keep checking, and cover them if they get too dark.

Is it just me or is that always a struggle?  No matter what I try, I can’t get them covered properly.

Let the pie cool completely before slicing into it as the cooling is a crucial setting aspect of the process.

baked pumpkin pie on baking sheet
And here it is in its orange sunny glow, the baked pie.  Upon cooling, a huge crack in the center formed.  No biggie, I like non-perfection.
And there you have it.  The pumpkin pie recipe you have been seeking all your life.  Glad I could be here for you.

close up of pumpkin pie edge

slice of pumpkin pie on plate with whipped cream
Happy Thanksgiving!  Or holidays!  Or hey, just whenever, why not!
Not into pumpkin like me?  No worries!  Try this Brown Sugar Apple Crumble Tart.  Crisis averted!

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

10 slices
Prep time
45 Min
Cook time
1 Hour
Inactive time
2 H & 30 M
Total time
4 H & 15 M
The quintessentially classic perfect Pumpkin Pie, creamy smooth and divinely spiced, that warms your heart and soul.


  • 1 unbaked pie crust recipe of choice for one crust, chilled
  • 1 15- ounce can (454 g) pumpkin purée not pie mix, about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup (99 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (107 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.65 g) ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.32 g) ground cloves or allspice or a pinch of both
  • 3/4 cup (177 ml) whole milk, room temperature or slightly warmed
  • 3/4 cup (177 ml) heavy cream room temperature or slightly warmed
  • 3 large eggs room temperature, whisked well
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla extract


Puree Prep
  1. In the food processor bowl, add the canned pumpkin, the sugars, salt, and spices then blend until the sugars are thoroughly mixed and the combination looks glossy.
The Crust
  1. Prepare your pie crust as outlined in the recipe and chill for 2 hours. To pre-bake the crust, move a rack to the second from the bottom position and preheat the oven to 425° F (218° C). Place the rolled dough in a 9” pie plate, crimping the edges, and chill for an additional 30 minutes.
  2. Either line the dough with parchment paper or foil then add pie weights, beans, or rice to fill and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Remove the paper/foil and the weight then continue to bake the crust for 5 more minutes. Leave the oven on.
The Puree
  1. Scoop the puree mixture into a sauce pan over medium to medium-high heat while stirring frequently. Once steam begins to rise, continuously stir until large bubbles pop forth if stirring stops and the puree is generating plenty of steam. It will begin to smell cooked and spicy. Be sure to cook the puree for no more than 5 minutes.
The Pie Filling
  1. Take the pan off the stove and whisk in the milk and cream. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and to prevent the eggs from cooking, scoop a few tablespoons of the puree into the eggs; whisk to temper. Add the eggs to the puree, whisk vigorously, then add the vanilla and whisk to finish combining everything thoroughly.
To Bake
  1. Place the pre-baked crust onto a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet then add the cooked puree to it. Ideally, the crust should still be warm. Be sure not to overfill the crust.
  2. Place the cookie sheet with the pie into the oven and reduce the temperature to 375° F (191° C) right away. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the pie is puffy in the center but still wiggly when the cookie sheet is shaken slightly. Small cracks may form in the outer edges and slight bubbling may occur. Keep an eye on the edges every so often. If the crust edges begin to brown too much, cover them with foil.
  3. Cool the pie completely before serving.


Adapted from The Kitchn.

Nutrition Facts



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details.

pie, pumpkin, Thanksgiving

*The metal pie dishes, food processors, and whisks are an Amazon affiliate link.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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