The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It’s rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust and served with whipped cream.

The GREAT pumpkin pie recipe with my secret ingredient-- it's absolutely my favorite recipe for pumpkin pie._

Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin bread, but HELLO what about pumpkin pie??

My Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe. Is Here. Today. Say hi to this pie.

The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe. This recipe bursts with bright pumpkin flavor and the secret ingredient puts it over the TOP!

I spent the majority of my incredibly awesome week last week testing pumpkin pie recipes. And when I say awesome, I really mean frustrating because testing the perfect pumpkin pie recipe is a lot more challenging than one would assume. Fresh pumpkin, canned pumpkin, ginger, no ginger, brown sugar, white sugar, cornstarch, flour, no cornstarch, no flour, and O-M-G how do I decorate it and make it look pretty for my blog?

But I think I cracked the pumpkin pie code. I grew up in a house of pumpkin pie lovers and absolutely no Thanksgiving was complete without a nap, and then a massive slice and an even bigger serving of cool whip. What I’m trying to say is, my pumpkin pie standards are high. When it comes to this Thanksgiving classic, I’m a huge snob. And now that I’ve found the recipe, I can rest easy at night. And you can too! Because I’m sure finding a tasty pumpkin pie recipe haunts your dreams as well.

Just me? Ok.

The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe. This recipe bursts with bright pumpkin flavor and the secret ingredient puts it over the TOP!

Since this is such a classic recipe, I snapped a lot of pictures of the process as well as the finished products. Yes, productS. I made three of these pies, just to be sure this recipe was the best of the very best. I’m crazy, as you know. So, what makes it so great?

The pie crust. Every pumpkin pie has to start with a stellar pie crust. My homemade pie crust uses a mix of shortening and butter so you get the most buttery tasting, tender, flaky (so flaky) pie crust. It’s easy to make. And I have a ton of step-by-step photos here.

Pie Crust 101

The pumpkin. Fresh or canned? I tested this recipe with both and I truly liked the pie using canned pumpkin better. The canned pumpkin pumpkin pie (say that 3 times fast) was a little more sturdy when baked for the same amount of time. I found the pie to taste grainy and a little… herbaceous? And the sugar couldn’t even cover that up. I prefer using fresh pumpkin puree in savory recipes, not desserts. This is your call, you can use either.

The mighty ingredient in pumpkin pie, besides the pumpkin, are the eggs. They set up the filling. They give the filling its rich, luxurious texture. 3 eggs are needed here, no shortcuts around it. Another ingredient making this pumpkin pie so luxurious and silky smooth? Heavy cream. Thick and creamy and absolutely heavenly in this pumpkin pie recipe. I use 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 cup of milk. I found that 1 and 1/4 cups of heavy cream (or more) was simply too much. Too thick, too gloppy…

Gloppy is the best word I can think of right now.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

A starch thickener is one of the most important ingredients in a pie filling. I use a touch of cornstarch in my pumpkin pie filling because it helps set up the pie. Makes it a little sturdier and firm, while keeping everything smooth.

My Secret Ingredient

This sounds so incredibly weird. But I add freshly ground black pepper to my pumpkin pie filling. It’s bizarre, I know. But I’m being serious. I got this tip from the genius kitchen crew over at King Arthur Flour. And I am forever grateful. Because this little addition turns your pumpkin pie into the BEST pumpkin pie. No one will know it’s there! Except for you. And they will all be wondering how this spiced pie is so damn good. A pinch of pepper.

These pie crust leaves! I am so excited about them.

Leaf Cookie Cutters

And let’s not forget about the sugared cranber… I mean crannies.

Sugared Cranberries

And the whipped cream. Unlike everything else about this pumpkin pie recipe, I did not make the whipped cream from scratch. I felt like I was cheating. And it felt wonderful.

Silky yet thick, this pumpkin pie cuts beautifully as long as it is baked for the right amount of time. How to tell? The bake time is about 55-60 minutes. At this time, the center of the pumpkin pie will be slightly wobbly. That’s ok. It will set as it cools.

Careful not to overcook; overcooking it will cause the filling to crack

My Favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe - complete with my homemade crust, pie crust leaves, sugared cranberries, and whipped cream!

So from my kitchen to yours, enjoy The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe.

Read this recipe in full before beginning. You start different parts at different times.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Yield: 8-10 servings; 1 cup sugared cranberries

Total Time: Overnight (14 hours - includes time for pie dough and cranberries)

Print Recipe

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust and served with whipped cream. The pie crust leaves are purely for decor, you can leave those off of the pie and only make 1 pie crust (so, halve the pie crust recipe). You can also leave off the sugared cranberries.

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Pie

  • Homemade Pie Crust (full recipe makes 2 crusts: 1 for bottom, 1 for leaf decor)
  • one 15oz can (about 2 cups; 450g) pumpkin puree1
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed dark brown sugar2
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger3
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg3
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves3
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (I use 1% - any is fine)
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for brushing

Sugared Cranberries

  • 1 cup (120g) fresh cranberries4
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water

Directions:

  1. If decorating your pie with sugared cranberries, start them the night before. You'll also begin the pie crust the night before as well (the dough needs at least 2 hours to chill; overnight is best). The filling can be made the night before as well. In fact, I prefer it that way. It gives the spices, pumpkin, and brown sugar flavors a chance to infuse and blend. It's awesome. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. For the cranberries: Place cranberries in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of sugar and the water to a boil and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour sugar syrup over the cranberries and stir. Let the cranberries sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight (ideal). You'll notice the sugar syrup is quite thick after this amount of time. Drain the cranberries from the syrup and pour 1 cup of sugar on top. Toss the cranberries, coating them all the way around. Pour the sugared cranberries on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and let them dry for at least 2 hours.
  3. Make the pie crust through step 5 according to my directions and visuals.
  4. For the filling: Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined. Filling will be a little thick.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  6. Make the pie crust leaves: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the balls of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Roll out into any shape you really want (doesn't matter) and 1/8 inch thickness. Using leaf cookie cutters, cut into shapes. Brush each lightly with the beaten egg + milk mixture. Cut leaf veins into leaves using a sharp knife, if desired. Place onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool.
  7. Turn oven up to 375F degrees. The pie will bake at 375F.
  8. Roll out the chilled pie crust: Remove second pie dough from the refrigerator. On the same floured work surface, turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch deep dish pie (one that is 1.5 - 2 inches deep). Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. With a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang of crust and discard. Crimp the edges with your fingers, if desired. Brush edges lightly with beaten egg/milk mixture. Using pie weights, pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  9. Pour pumpkin pie filling into the warm pre-baked crust. If you did not use a deep dish pie pan, you will have too much filling. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. Use extra to make mini pies with leftover pie dough scraps if you'd like. Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes give or take. A small part of the center will be wobbly - that's ok. After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a piecrust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 50, and then 55, and then 60, etc.
  10. Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 3 hours. Decorate with sugared cranberries and pie crust leaves. You'll definitely have leftover cranberries - they're tasty for snacking. Serve pie with whipped cream if desired. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  11. Make ahead tip: Pumpkin pie freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. As mentioned in step 1, the filling can be made the night before. Pie crust dough freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Additional Notes:

  1. Light brown sugar is OK but my taste testers and I prefer dark brown sugar.
  2. I prefer canned pumpkin in this pumpkin pie recipe.
  3. 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice can be used instead of these spices.
  4. Fresh cranberries, not frozen. The sugar syrup doesn't coat evenly on the frozen berries, leaving you with rather ugly and some very plain shriveled cranberries.

I'm unsure how long this pie takes baked as mini pies or any other size; I have only ever baked it in a 9-inch pie dish.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Hi, it’s me again. Making this post even longer. Two more things:

Pie crust leaves are easy.

My pie crust recipe makes enough for two crusts. So with the extra dough, you can make adorable leaves for decoration on your pumpkin pie. Or any pie, really. I’ve seen the pie crust leaves baked directly on top of the rim of the pie – and I tried that – but was not thrilled with the results. Too much uneven baking. The underside of the leaves weren’t really cooked through and the tops got a little burnt (even through my pie shield).

So, to make things easier, just bake the pie crust leaves separately and place them on top of your pie before serving. You can also sprinkle them with a little cinnamon-sugar right before baking. I was going to do that, but I forgot.

My leaf cookie cutters don’t have “veins” so I made leaf veins myself using a sharp paring knife. It’s tedious, but if you want authentic looking leaves you can go ahead. Don’t worry if your veins aren’t perfect. That’s a weird sentence.

Please find my directions for the leaves in the print-out recipe above.

Pie Crust Leaves How-To

If you don’t want to decorate your pie with pie crust leaves, maybe a little sugared cranberry action is more your style. And guess what?

Sugared cranberries are easier.

I like to use them on pumpkin pie because they give a vibrant, fresh pop of color to the very brown and very orange pie. Plus, they’re tasty. And so festive. Simply prepare a sugar syrup, let the cranberries soak in the syrup overnight, drench in sugar (so dentist-approved) and let dry for a couple hours.

Please find my full recipe for sugared cranberries in the print-out recipe above.

Sugared Cranberries Recipe

Let me know if you try my pumpkin pie!

Sugared Cranberries for your holiday baking and pumpkin pie-- these are so simple!
I call this the GREAT pumpkin pie recipe because it's my absolute favorite recipe for this Fall dessert!
Here's how to make adorable and festive pie crust leaves for your homemade pies! #pumpkinpie #applepie
   

366 Responses to “The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe.”

  1. #
    241
    Tandraposted November 24, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Sally, it’s me again (go ahead, sigh with me).  Do you just use the 15 oz can of pumpkin and call it a day?  Or do you open up another can to make it the 2 cups as listed?  I don’t want to mess up on your heavenly creation!  Wait, I will be this time because I bought pre-made frozen deep dish pie crusts just because of everything that is going on!  At Christmas, I will work up enough courage to do the crust too!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 24th, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      The 15 ounce cans are basically 2 cups. (16 oz would be 2 cups.) As suggested, you can just use the one 15 oz can.

      Reply

  2. #
    242
    Lizzy M.posted November 24, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Hi Sally,
    I am very new at baking and especially making a pie. I attempted twice last week to make pumpkin pie (pre-made crust) and the bottom of the crust was completely black! 🙁
    I am going to intend on following your instructions. However, besides an aluminum container, is it necessary to invest in a pie bowl? also a roller for the dough? I have the very very basics (measuring cups and spoons). What can you recommend for me being a beginner and getting this right the first time? I would love to make this for my family on Thanksgiving. Thank you. I love your blog, it’s beautiful and inspiring.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 24th, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Lizzy, I highly suggest baking pies in a ceramic, metal, or glass pyrex pan. I usually use ceramic or glass. Yes, you will also need a rolling pin. You can’t go wrong with the type. They pretty much all get the job done!

      Reply

      • Lizzy M.replied on November 24th, 2015 at 1:25 pm

        Thank you very much Sally. I will let you know how it turns out. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. #
    243
    Deeposted November 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    I followed this recipe to the letter. It seemed like everything went smoothly at first when I took it out, but after some time, it still had not set. I put it in for another 5 mins, let it cool, and I still had a wet toothpick. I did this again, same! Will this thing ever harden???

    Reply

  4. #
    244
    Cheryl Burschposted November 25, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Sally or anyone out there – I only have the canned Pumpkin pie filling. Too late to swap it out at the store. What adjustments would need to be made to compensate for using this? 

    Reply

  5. #
    245
    Brittanyposted November 26, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Hey there! I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for this recipe and the detailed how-to post. I couldn’t have found a more thorough, educational breakdown of the process. At 21 years old, I made a homemade pie for the first time this Thanksgiving. (The first one from scratch that my family has ever eaten…counting back three generations.) It was a hit! Even more important than that: I was so satisfied with how it turned out. I owe it all to you! The things I learned in your post will be forever in my heart, and I will be sure to give you and this blog plenty of credit when I teach others what I now know! I enjoyed that you explained alternatives and other techniques that you have tried, and I appreciated the pictures. I look forward to further exploring your blog and recipes.

    Best, Brittany

    Reply

  6. #
    246
    AJ HENDERSONposted November 27, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Perfect recipe!! I even made the sugared cranberries and free-hand cut leaves. Rave reviews from all on Thanksgiving!!

    Reply

  7. #
    247
    Jenposted November 27, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Just wanted to note that if you use the pumpkin puree from Whole Foods it is more watery than the more common canned packed pumpkin varieties – my filling batter came out very thin and only using about 3/4 of the batter it still took about an hour to setup. So maybe add less milk. Also, this made for a more custard-y filling – very silky. Don’t forget to cover the pie crust with aluminum foil halfway thru- since it takes a while in the oven, your crust edges will be very brown, even with the foil/shield.

    Reply

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