This easy recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Pie is the absolute best! Featuring a flaky pie crust and a perfectly spiced pumpkin filling, this pumpkin pie is light, creamy, and simply divine.
A good pumpkin pie should feature a filling that is light and creamy with warming spices that enhance the natural flavor of pumpkin and a crust that is flaky, tender, and buttery.
This recipe for pumpkin pie delivers!
Inspired NOT by Libby's Pumpkin Pie Recipe, but by my Aunt's recipe for homemade pumpkin pie, this is the recipe to beat all other recipes for Pumpkin Pie!
Why This is the Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- The Best Texture. This pumpkin pie is silky, creamy, and melts in your mouth. The combination of cream, milk, and brown sugar is the secret to creating the smoothest filling.
- No Need to Blind Bake the Pie Crust. I love that you don't have to mess with pie weights or pre-baking the crust in this pumpkin pie recipe.
- Make-Ahead Recipe. When it comes to entertaining at the holidays, you can never get too much done in advance! Not only does pumpkin pie taste better when prepared 24 hours in advance, but you can freeze the baked pie up to 1 month in advance.
- Options for Ingredients/Time Required. You can take a few shortcuts and use store-bought pie crust and canned pumpkin puree and enjoy a delicious homemade pumpkin pie with minimal effort. Or you can opt to make an all-butter pie crust, homemade pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice for the best from-scratch pumpkin pie ever.
Notes on Ingredients
- Pie Crust: You will need one deep-dish 9-inch pie crust. I use half my recipe for homemade pie crust, as it is not only easy to make but truly makes the flakiest, tender crust, minus the hydrogenated oils.
- Pumpkin Puree: Be sure to use 100% pure pumpkin puree, not canned pumpkin pie filling. The cans can look very similar, so be sure to pay close attention. You can also opt to use homemade pumpkin puree, just be sure to follow the modification listed below.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of using a jar of prepackaged pumpkin pie spice, I use my homemade pumpkin pie spice, which is a custom blend of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and grated nutmeg and makes the best-flavored pumpkin pie.
- Heavy Cream & Milk: Many recipes for pumpkin pie use sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk, but I feel that they can leave the pie with a bit of an aftertaste. Instead, I recommend using a combination of heavy cream and milk, which will create the creamiest filling for pumpkin pie.
- Cornstarch: This may sound like an odd ingredient, but the cornstarch will help to thicken up the pie. Evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk work as a thickener, so that is why you don't see the addition of cornstarch in all recipes for pumpkin pie.
- Brown Sugar: Instead of being sweetened with granulated sugar, which can leave the pumpkin pie filling gritty, I use brown sugar which not only blends into the filling for a smooth base but also enhances the warming spices and adds a rich undertone to the pie.
- Eggs: This recipe uses both whole eggs and 1 egg yolk, which will help the pie to set and form the custard filling.
∗ Using Homemade Pumpkin Puree ∗
If you use fresh homemade pumpkin puree, it is crucial to drain off some of the liquid, to match the consistency of canned pumpkin puree. Place the pumpkin puree in a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Measure out 1 & ⅞ cups of the strained pumpkin puree to use in place of the 15 ounces of canned pumpkin puree.
Tips for the Perfect Pumpkin Pie
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Tip #1: Prepare Pumpkin Pie in Advance. It is best to bake pumpkin pie the day before you intend to serve it, as this allows the flavors to develop and deepen.
Tip #2: Chill the Crust. Whether using a pre-made pie crust or homemade pie crust, you want to ensure that your pie crust is thoroughly chilled prior to filling with the pumpkin pie filling. This will result in a super flaky pie crust, which is essential for the ultimate pumpkin pie.
Tip #3: Don't Overmix the Filling. You don't want to vigorously whisk or mix the filling in a stand mixer, as this will incorporate air into our filling, and that can cause your pie to crack and bubble when baked. Simply use a whisk or spatula and gently mix together the ingredients. If you want to use a handheld mixer, do so on low speed.
Tip #4: Remove Air Bubbles. After pouring your gently mixed filling into the chilled pie crust, lightly tap the pie on the counter to remove any air bubbles that may have formed. Again, this will help ensure your pie is smooth and creamy and doesn't crack much, if at all when baked.
Tip #5: Bake at Two Temperatures. For the best results, you want to start baking the pie at a high temperature and then lower the temperature in the oven after 15 minutes. Starting the baking at a high temperature produces steam quickly, which will help your crust be super flaky. Finishing it at a lower temperature ensures the pie crust does not burn while the filling bakes.
Tip #6: Don't Overbake. You want to bake the pumpkin pie until the pumpkin pie filling is just barely jiggly and a knife inserted into the center of the pie filling comes out clean. The pie will continue to set up as it cools.
Tip #7: Fully Chill Before Serving. Pumpkin pie tastes better once it has been thoroughly chilled, as this allows the flavors to truly meld together. After baking, you want to allow the pie to cool on a cooling rack to room temperature. Once the pie has cooled, chill the pie for a few hours or overnight before serving for best results.
Tip #8: Serve with Whipped Cream. This final tip is debatable, but I don't think pumpkin pie is complete without a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
How to Freeze Homemade Pumpkin Pie
To freeze pumpkin pie, prepare and bake as directed. Once the pie has been cooled thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap and then 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Place the wrapped pie into a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
FAQs on Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Halfway through baking, check on the pie and loosely tent the pie with foil or use pie protectors as needed to prevent over-browning of the crust.
A few tiny cracks are okay! But you can avoid major cracking by not overbaking the pie crust and not over-whisking the filling. This will also keep your pie creamy and light, not dense or dried out.
Even though pumpkin puree is bright orange, when baked it is completely normal for it to turn brownish in color. This is called a Maillard reaction.
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Pumpkin Cake
- Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Roll
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread
If you enjoyed this recipe for Pumpkin Pie, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- 1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie crust unbaked and chilled
- 15 ounces canned pure pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Pie Crust
- Remove chilled pie dough from the refrigerator and let sit out at room temperature for 3-5 minutes to make it easier to roll. Roll out the disk of dough on a lightly floured surface from the center moving outward until the diameter crust is about 12 inches or slightly larger than your pie dish.
- Let the dough rest for a couple of minutes and then very carefully transfer the pie crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the dough onto the sides of the pie plate and then fold under the overhanging crust so that the edge is even. If desired, flute the edges of the pie crust.
- Place the prepared pie crust into the refrigerator while you prepare the pumpkin pie filling, allowing it to chill.
For Pumpkin Pie
- Preheat the oven to 425℉.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, heavy whipping cream, milk, and brown sugar with a whisk or handheld mixer on low speed. Whisk until just smooth. Add the cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk or mix again on low speed until well combined.
- Pour the filling into the unbaked, chilled pie crust and gently tap the pie plate on the counter to remove air bubbles.
- Bake at 425℉ for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the temperature to 350℉ Bake for 40-45 minutes. Halfway through baking, check on the pie and loosely tent the pie with foil or use pie protectors as needed to prevent over-browning of the crust. The pie is done when a knife inserted into the center of the pie filling comes out clean and the center is JUST barely jiggly. The pie will continue to set up as it cools.
- Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least 3 hours, or until the pie reaches room temperature. Once the pie has reached room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap, and transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for a few hours, overnight, or up to 3 days prior to serving.
- You can serve your pumpkin pie chilled, or allow the pie to come to room temperature for about an hour before serving. Serve with whipped cream as desired.