The best Pumpkin Pie recipe made completely from scratch with a rich, smooth, perfectly spiced filling and the most flakey all-butter crust!
Here it is, my recipe for entirely HOMEMADE pumpkin pie! I honestly didn't think homemade pumpkin pie could be this good. There's nothing worse than a pumpkin pie that has squash-like texture and taste.
I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. There are plenty of bad pumpkin pies out there and I'm sure that is why some people hate pumpkin pie. A squashy pie is kind of stringy, definitely not smooth, maybe a little too watery, not enough spices added for flavour. And bad pie crust. Oh, don't even get me started on pie crust... Overall, some pies are just very blah.
Why I developed this recipe
My goal with this recipe was to make pumpkin pie great again! And I'm pretty sure I've done just that. Even my brother who used to abhor pumpkin pie said that that it was great!! I think that's saying something!
Something else happened while developing this recipe. I fell in love with making pie crust. If you've been around here for a while, you have probably either noticed that I don't have any recipes using homemade pie crust or actually read about how much I used to hate working with real pie dough.
Not anymore! I guess practice makes perfect!! Or maybe just progress, I'm definitely no expert. I absolutely love how this pie crust recipe turned out. My (not-so-secret) secret is adding a little cornstarch to the flour for extra flakey perfection!
And these adorable pie crust leaves... be still my heart. I just used a paring knife to cut out some leaf shapes from the scraps that I cut from the edge of the pie, scored some lines for veins, and baked them on a lined baking sheet at 375℉ until golden. The sweetest garnish!!
This pumpkin pie recipe uses a few techniques that sets it apart from others:
- The pumpkin filling is cooked before it is added to the crust. My method is to boil the pumpkin with brown sugar, salt, and some whipping cream for 5 full minutes and then for another 1-2 after a few other ingredients are added. This cooks the pumpkin purée, gets extra moisture out of it, and achieves a much smoother and silken texture than regular pie filling.
- Instead of using milk and whole eggs, this recipe uses whipping cream and egg yolks for added richness. This helps make the texture creamy and custard-like rather than squashy!
- I like to make my own custom mixture of spices for my pumpkin recipes, rather than using premade pumpkin pie spice. It just has so much better flavour!
- This crust recipe is truly amazing!! I think a good pie needs to have a good crust! Please don't be intimidated by homemade pie crust. If I can do it, so can you!
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Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- measuring cups & spoons
- mixing bowls
- pastry cutter
- rolling pin
- 9-inch pie pan
For the Filling
- 2 cups pumpkin purée
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup whipping cream, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the Crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold salted butter*, cubed
- 2-3 tablespoons ice water
- extra flour for rolling and coating the crust
To make the Filling:
- Whisk together the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, ¼ cup of the whipping cream, and salt in a saucepan. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup of whipping cream, egg yolks, vanilla, and spices.
- Place the pumpkin mixture in the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil and continue cooking, while whisking constantly, for 5 minutes. (Because the mixture is so thick it won't come to a "rolling boil", but it will kind of bubble and sputter as it cooks. Be sure to whisk constantly while cooking or it will splatter out of the pot.)
- Once the pumpkin has cooked, remove from the heat and temper the whipping cream/egg yolk/spice mixture by gradually adding about 1 cup of the hot pumpkin mixture to the bowl while whisking constantly to prevent the egg from scrambling. Then, add the slightly warm tempered mixture to the pot with the remaining pumpkin, whisking as you do so.
- Turn the heat back onto medium and, whisking constantly, cook for a total of 1-2 minutes or until the mixture starts to bubble and has thickened slightly. (You know the filling has come to temperature and the egg is cooked when it has come to a boil.) Remove from the heat and immediately pour into a heat-safe bowl or container and let cool to room temperature before filling the pie crust. You will have adequate time to make the crust while the filling is cooling.
To make the Crust:
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Cut the cold, cubed butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter until the butter pieces are no bigger than peas. Add ice water, starting with 1-2 tablespoons and adding up to 3 in total or just until the dough starts to hold together when pinched. Turn onto a counter and form together into a disk with your hands. Generously flour the counter and the top of the disk of dough and begin to roll out into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. It does not to be a perfect circle, just the general shape!
- Transfer the 12-inch round of dough to an ungreased 9-inch pie pan. Gently work out any air pockets on the bottom and sides. Trim the scraps from the edges and style the edge of the crust as desired. Coat the bottom and sides of the pie crust with a generous coat of flour (This helps prevent the crust from going soggy). Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (or at least 30 minutes if you're tight on time) before assembling with the filling and baking. (See extra notes for what to do with scraps of crust.)
To Assemble the Pie and Bake:
- Once the pie filling has cooled to room temperature and the pie crust has chilled, it is time to assemble and bake the pie. Preheat the oven to 375℉.
- When the oven is ready, pour the filling into the crust and smooth out the top as best as you can. Bake in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the top of the filling will look quite dark, but not burnt. It is okay if there are a few cracks on top, you can always cover them with whipped cream!
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack to room temperature. You may serve the pie at room temperature or refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours if you prefer chilled pumpkin pie. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!
- You can make little pie crust leaves with the scraps cut off from the edges, as pictured in the recipe images. Simply use a paring knife to cut out little leaf shapes and score to create leaf veins. Or just sprinkle the scraps with cinnamon sugar. Bake scraps on a lined baking sheet in a 375℉ oven for about 10-15 minutes or until golden.
- I prefer this pie after it has chilled for at least a few hours, overnight is even better. I find the filling gets thicker, smoother, and creamier the longer it chills. That being said, the pie crust is most flakey and crispy when it has not been refrigerated.
- You can make both the filling and the crust the day before if you still want to bake it the day of. Simply refrigerate the filling until ready to bake the pie (after it has cooled to room temperature). Same with the crust, just leave it in the refrigerator until ready to bake. I do not recommend filling the pie crust, as it could end up really soggy if the filling sits too long.
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