This fall favorite Pumpkin Pie is so easy to make and has the best flavor and texture. It’s made with homemade pumpkin puree, which gives the pie silky smooth texture and wonderful pumpkin flavor.
The Classic Fall Pie
This pie is my husband’s all time favorite pie. Well, this one and my Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie. Needless to say, I make a lot of pumpkin pies every fall and every Thanksgiving. I actually have to make an extra pie at Thanksgiving because he wants to make sure that we have leftovers.
I really don’t mind making so many pies because this is one of my favorites too and of course, it’s so easy to make. It doesn’t get easier than whisking ingredients together for the pie filling and baking it in a pie shell. When it comes to the pie crust, it’s baker’s choice. You can use homemade pie crust or store-bought pie crust.
To be honest, I rarely make homemade pie crust just out of pure laziness. Most of the time, I use the Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust because I can easily fit it into my pie dish.
Now, the big question that my family and friends often ask, “do I have to pre-bake the pie crust?” I’m sure that many professional bakers will say that you do have to pre-bake but I am a rebel. I have never pre-baked crust for my pumpkin pies and personally, I have not had any issues with it. If you’re a strong believer in pre-baking the crust, then you should do it, of course.
I may not take the extra step of pre-baking the crust, but I do prefer to use homemade pumpkin puree in this pie. The texture and flavor is so much better with homemade puree. Texture of homemade pumpkin puree is softer, smoother, and silkier than canned one and that shows in the pie. The taste is also much nicer because of the natural pumpkin taste of the puree.
Few Simple Ingredients
- Pumpkin puree – Homemade pumpkin puree is our best choice but you can use canned, just make sure to use pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling.
- Eggs – large eggs will work well.
- Evaporated milk or heavy whipping cream – this is an ingredients we’re most used to in a pumpkin pie but you can use heavy whipping cream as well. Heavy whipping cream will give you a creamy rich consistency. Evaporated milk was widely used during and after World War II due to heavy cream shortages. You will get better results with heavy whipping cream but if you want to stick to the evaporated milk, you can.
- Spices – here is where you add the fall flavor to the pie. Use the classic pumpkin pie spices like ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground allspice, and ground nutmeg.
- Cornstarch – this ingredient is a thickener. It is quite an important ingredient to make the pie thicker and sturdier.
- Pie crust – This is another ingredient that you can choose homemade or store-bought. I do choose store-bought pie crust quite often to save time but for a big holiday dinner, we do homemade. You can also use refrigerated gluten free pie crust when needed. Pie crust filling is already gluten free!
How To Make The Pie:
Making pumpkin pie is as much fun as eating it because it’s so easy! And, about 15 minutes into baking, the kitchen will start filling up with the most amazing aroma.
To make the pie filling, simply whisk all ingredients together until smooth.
Spray the pie dish with cooking spray and sprinkle some flour over it. Gently shake the dish around to spread the flour, flip it over the sink or trash can, and tap on the bottom of it to shake off excess flour. Roll out pie dough and fit it into the pie dish, gently pressing to fit the form of the dish. The edges can be scalloped or left rustic.
Pour the filling into the pie pan.
NOTE: to prevent the crust edges from browning to quickly, cut 4 strips of aluminum foil that are about 2-3 inches wide and gently wrap them around the edge of the pie dish, covering the crust.
Bake the pie at 350° for about 60 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When the pie is done, it will still giggle a little in the middle but it will not be runny. Don’t worry about it giggling, it will settle as it cools and set while it’s chilled.
So the reason pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, and similar pies crack is due to overbaking. Try to stick to the recommended bake time but also keep an eye on your pie. (Turn on the oven light rather than opening the oven door when possible.) The top of the pie should be slightly giggly while the outside edges are set. Don’t worry about the slight giggle in the center, it will set.
Absolutely! Pumpkin pie is a great dessert to make ahead of time. Prepare it the day before completely and store in the refrigerator. It tastes great with some whipped cream on top, a scoop of ice cream next to it, or some caramel drizzle.
If you prefer it warm, you can pop it into the microwave for a few seconds.
Personally, I don’t worry about blind baking the crust in the pumpkin pie. The crust here cooks the same amount of time and the filling so they will be good. Some people though do not like the pie crust to be soft and if you do prefer a crispier, flaky crust, then you will want to blind bake it. (You can see my instructions to blind-bake the crust in our Sweet Potato Pie recipe.)
Best way to store homemade pumpkin pie is in the refrigerator. Make sure to cool the pie completely and cover it air-tight with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Properly stored, it will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
You can easily freeze the whole pie after baking.
If planning of freezing the pie, bake it in an aluminum pie dish. Once the pie is baked and cooled, wrap it in a few layers of plastic wrap tightly. Wrap it in aluminum foil, label, and freeze for up to 2 months.
Some More Pumpkin Desserts:
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 2 cup homemade pumpkin puree (or 1 can of canned pumpkin puree)
- 1 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground all spice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 refrigerated pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Whisk all ingredients for pumpkin pie filling together until smooth.
- Spray the pie dish with cooking spray and sprinkle some flour over it. Gently shake the dish around to spread the flour, flip it over the sink or trash can, and tap on the bottom of it to shake off excess flour.
- Roll out pie dough and fit it into the pie dish, gently pressing to fit the form of the dish. The edges can be scalloped or left rustic.
- Pour the filling into the pie pan.
- To prevent the crust edges from browning to quickly, cut 4 strips of aluminum foil that are about 2-3 inches wide and gently wrap them around the edge of the pie dish, covering the crust.
- Bake the pie for about 60 minutes. Take the pie out and let it cool to room temperature.
- Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on October 19, 2012. Updated October 17, 2020.