Perfect Pumpkin Pie

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For such a seemingly simple dessert, pumpkin pie can be tricky to make. This recipe promises a tender, flaky crust and gently spiced pumpkin filling that won’t crack as it cools.

For such a seemingly simple dessert, pumpkin pie can be tricky to get right. Over the years, I’ve tested at least a dozen recipes, and each one was plagued with either a filling that wouldn’t set properly, a massive crack down the center, or a lousy crust (i.e., soggy, doughy or shrunken). Whoever coined the term “easy as pie” had obviously never baked a pumpkin pie!

Part of the challenge with pumpkin pie is that there are a lot of variables. First, there’s the type of pan you use: ceramic, glass, and metal all behave differently. Second, no homemade pie crust is ever the same — and crust by nature is finicky. Finally, pumpkin pie filling is a custard, which means you have to remove it from the oven while it’s still a little jiggly, which makes it difficult to gauge doneness. Take it out too early and it never sets up; cook it too long and it cracks down the center (or, take it out at just the right time and still have it crack down the center!).

For this foolproof recipe, I use my favorite homemade pie crust, which tastes buttery, holds its shape, and is easy to work with. And to prevent the crust from becoming soggy, I blind bake it until it’s completely dry before adding the filling. To prevent those unsightly fissures in the filling, I modify the traditional recipe by adding a little flour, replacing some of the whole eggs with egg yolks, and baking the pie at a low temperature. The result is a pristine pumpkin pie, even if you accidentally leave it in the oven a few minutes too long, and it’s delicious to boot!

What you’ll need to make Pumpkin pie

pumpkin pie ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Blind Bake The Pie Crust

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and place it on a baking sheet (this makes it easy to move in and out of the oven).

pie crust on baking sheetCover the crust with a piece of parchment paper and fill it about three-quarters full with dried beans or pie weights.

crust filled with beansBake for 20 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven and remove the parchment paper and beans/pie weights.

removing the beansBake for another 20 minutes, until the dough is dry and golden. Don’t worry if the bottom puffs up; just press it down gently with a flat spatula, such as a pancake turner, taking care not to puncture it. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

blind baked pie crust

Step 3: Make The Filling

While the crust finishes cooking, combine the pumpkin pie filling ingredients in a large bowl.

pumpkin pie filling ingredients in bowlWhisk until smooth.

smooth pumpkin pie fillingStep 4: Bake the Pumpkin Pie

Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust.

pumpkin pie ready to bake

Bake the pie for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is just set. It should look dry around the edges and the center should jiggle just slightly if you nudge the pan. The pie will look a little puffed when it comes out of the oven, but it will settle as it cools.

baked pumpkin pieCool the pie on a rack (leave it on the baking sheet) to room temperature, a few hours. Slice or refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Video Tutorial

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Perfect Pumpkin Pie

For such a seemingly simple dessert, pumpkin pie can be tricky to make. This recipe promises a tender, flaky crust and gently spiced pumpkin filling that won’t crack as it cools.

Servings: 8 to 10 (Makes one 9-inch deep-dish pie)
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes, plus time to chill the dough and cool the pie

Ingredients

  • 1 (9-inch) Homemade Pie Crust or deep-dish frozen pie crust shell (thawed)
  • 1 (15-oz) can pure pumpkin (about 1¾ cups)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large eggs yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1¼ cups evaporated milk (you'll need one 12-oz can but you won't use all of it)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. If using a homemade crust: Cover the chilled crust with a piece of parchment paper. Fill the crust about three-quarters full with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven; remove the parchment paper and beans/pie weights and tent the edges with a few strips of foil folded in half lengthwise (this will protect the edges from getting too dark). Bake for another 20 minutes, until the dough is dry and golden. Don't worry if the bottom puffs up; just press it down gently with a flat spatula, such as a pancake turner, taking care not to puncture it. Remove the foil but don't throw it away; you may need it again.
  3. If using a frozen crust: Follow the instructions for blind-baking on the package.
  4. After blind-baking the crust, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
  5. Make the Pumpkin Pie Filling: In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, egg, egg yolks, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and evaporated milk. Whisk until smooth, then pour the filling into the pre-baked crust.
  6. Bake the pie for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is just set. It should look dry around the edges, but the center should jiggle just slightly if you nudge the pan. Keep a close eye on the pie as it bakes; if ever the crust looks like it's browning too quickly, tent the edges again with the foil strips. Let the pie cool on a rack (leave it on the baking sheet) to room temperature, a few hours. Slice or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Make Ahead: Pumpkin pie can be made one day ahead of time and refrigerated.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The dough can be made ahead, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. If you freeze it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. The pie can be frozen after baking for up to 1 month. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 335
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Sugar: 27g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Sodium: 287mg
  • Cholesterol: 103mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Can you replace the sugar with powdered sugar?

    • — Claudia on June 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2022
      • Reply

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