The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

How to make pumpkin pie from scratch on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. 🙂

Decorate your pies with pie crust leaves! On sallysbakingaddiction.com

Decorate your pies with pie crust leaves! On sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fresh or Canned Pumpkin?

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.

Other Ingredients in Pumpkin Pie

  1. Eggs. Eggs set up the pumpkin pie filling. They give the filling its rich, luxurious texture.
  2. Heavy cream. Heavy cream makes pumpkin pie luxurious and silky smooth. It’s thick, 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! You can also use the heavy cream to make homemade whipped cream for the topping.
  3. Cornstarch. A starch thickener is one of the most important ingredients in a pie filling. I use a touch of cornstarch in my pumpkin pie because it helps set up the pie. Makes it a little sturdier and firm, while keeping everything smooth.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Silky yet thick, this pumpkin pie cuts beautifully as long as it is baked for the right amount of time. 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

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The pie crust leaves are purely for decor, you can leave those off of the pie and only make 1 pie crust. You can also leave off the sugared cranberries.

Ingredients:

Sugared Cranberries

  • 1 cup (120g) fresh cranberries1
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water

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 puree2
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I prefer dark here)
  • 1 Tablespoon (8g) 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)
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Make the pie crust through step 5 according to my directions, tips, and pictures. Or use store-bought.
  3. For the pumpkin pie 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.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  5. Roll out the chilled pie crust: Remove 1 disc of pie dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Make sure to turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. 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 egg wash mixture. Using pie weights, pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  6. Pour pumpkin pie filling into the warm pre-baked crust. 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 pie crust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 50, and then 55, and then 60, etc.
  7. 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 (see note). 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.

Make ahead tip: Pumpkin pie freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Pie crust dough freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. 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.

Recipe Notes:

  1. 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!
  2. I prefer canned pumpkin in this pumpkin pie recipe.
  3. About 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice can be used instead of these spices.

For 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 at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool before decorating pie.

Did you make a recipe?

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© 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. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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.

My directions for the leaves are in the print-out recipe above.

Bursting with flavor, this pumpkin pie recipe is my very favorite. It's rich, smooth, thick, and tastes incredible on my homemade pie crust! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s talk about those sugared cranberries! 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. My recipe for sugared cranberries is in the print-out recipe above, too!

How to make sugared cranberries on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make sugared cranberries on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let me know if you try my pumpkin pie. Happy baking!

SHOP THE RECIPE


Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Melamine Mixing Bowl Set | Pastry Blender | Rolling Pin | Emile Henry Ceramic Pie DishPie Weights | Pastry BrushPie Crust Baking ShieldFall Cookie Cutters | Silpat

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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

519 Comments

All Comments

  1. Hi Sally,

    I cooked the pie for 50min, the top of the pie had a few little cracks in it, and the center of the pie was set, so I thought for sure the pie was done. I let it cool for a few hours. When we cut into it the center was mushy definitely not done. Do you know why??

    1. That’s strange the center of the pie was set and then it wasn’t set. Did you refrigerate it? That helps hold the baked pumpkin pie filling together a bit better.

      1. The top of the pie always looked set, but when we cut into the pie, the pie was not done. I was thinking maybe I over filled the pie?
        I will try again hopefully I will have better turn out

        Thanks

  2. Hi Sally,
    What are your suggestions for freezing pumpkin pies without them getting gross for Thanksgiving?
    Also, do you have any preferred disposable pie dishes? I have so many pies to make this year!

    1. See my “make ahead” tip at the end of the recipe for my best freezing instructions! I don’t have any specific brand of disposable pans that I have found are the best. Good luck with all the pies!!

  3. Greetings Sally
    I just printed out this recipe. I going to make it today. I will rate this tomorrow, what I have to say is I love this video you posted for the making of this pie, the music is awesome. I keep playing it over and over. Good Choice
    Bonnie in Markleeville, CA..

  4. This pie really is delicious! I made it last year and I’m currently making my first pumpkin pie of the season! Question: why is there no vanilla in this recipe? I figured it would only make it better.

    1. Hi Laura! There is so much flavor from the pumpkin and spices, I don’t find it necessary but feel free to add some. I agree that vanilla makes everything better. 🙂 I’m so glad you tried this pumpkin pie recipe and loved it too.

  5. FYI for anyone who wants to use this recipe for making mini pies: you will not need 3x the recipe for 3 dozen mini pies. I’m betting just a single recipe’s amount of filling would easily make 3 dozen mini pies.

    If you do make 3x the filling, though, you can also make more mini pies AND a slab pie AND put some in the freezer for later.

    Oh and this recipe is insanely delicious and everyone loved it. Thanks Sally!

Reviews

  1. FYI for anyone who wants to use this recipe for making mini pies: you will not need 3x the recipe for 3 dozen mini pies. I’m betting just a single recipe’s amount of filling would easily make 3 dozen mini pies.

    If you do make 3x the filling, though, you can also make more mini pies AND a slab pie AND put some in the freezer for later.

    Oh and this recipe is insanely delicious and everyone loved it. Thanks Sally!

Questions

  1. Hi Sally,

    I cooked the pie for 50min, the top of the pie had a few little cracks in it, and the center of the pie was set, so I thought for sure the pie was done. I let it cool for a few hours. When we cut into it the center was mushy definitely not done. Do you know why??

    1. That’s strange the center of the pie was set and then it wasn’t set. Did you refrigerate it? That helps hold the baked pumpkin pie filling together a bit better.

      1. The top of the pie always looked set, but when we cut into the pie, the pie was not done. I was thinking maybe I over filled the pie?
        I will try again hopefully I will have better turn out

        Thanks

  2. Hi Sally,
    What are your suggestions for freezing pumpkin pies without them getting gross for Thanksgiving?
    Also, do you have any preferred disposable pie dishes? I have so many pies to make this year!

  3. This pie really is delicious! I made it last year and I’m currently making my first pumpkin pie of the season! Question: why is there no vanilla in this recipe? I figured it would only make it better.

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