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.
Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bars, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin bread, but HELLO what about pumpkin pie?? My Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe is here today.
Did you know that 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…?
But I finally 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 a massive slice of pumpkin pie. What I’m trying to say is, my pumpkin pie standards are high for this classic Thanksgiving dessert.
Let’s start with 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 video tutorial and step-by-step photos in my pie crust recipe.
If you skip the leaf decorations on top , you’ll have a 2nd pie crust you can use to make leftover turkey pot pie!
Fresh or Canned Pumpkin in Pumpkin Pie?
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. The pie baked with fresh pumpkin puree tasted grainy and a little… herbaceous? I prefer using fresh pumpkin puree in savory recipes, not desserts. This is your call, you can use either fresh or canned pumpkin.
Other Ingredients in Pumpkin Pie
- Eggs. Eggs set up the pumpkin pie filling. They give the filling its rich, luxurious texture.
- Heavy cream. Heavy cream makes pumpkin pie 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.
- 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.
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 Baking. 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 what makes this spiced pie so good… it’s a pinch of pepper.
I actually add it to my homemade pumpkin pie spice blend, too! Feel free to replace the ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper below with my homemade spice. (Keep the cinnamon in the filling though!)
How to Avoid Cracks in Pumpkin Pie
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. It will set as it cools. Careful not to overcook; overcooking it will cause the filling to crack.
PS: For some fun twists on this classic, try this recipe as mini pumpkin pies, with a crunch topping on pecan praline pumpkin pie, or with extra spices in chai pumpkin meringue pie.
So from my kitchen to yours, enjoy The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe. And if you’re looking for more inspiration for your dessert table, here are all of our favorite Thanksgiving pies.Print
The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes (includes blind bake)
- Total Time: 5 hours (includes cooling)
- Yield: serves 8-10; 1 cup sugared cranberries
- Category: Pie
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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. 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.
- 1 cup (120g) fresh cranberries*
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup (240ml) water
- Homemade Pie Dough (full recipe makes 2 crusts: 1 for bottom, 1 for leaf decor)
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk
- one 15oz can (about 2 cups; 450g) pumpkin puree*
- 3 large eggs
- 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg*
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves*
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (I use 1% – any is fine)
- If garnishing with sugared cranberries, make those first: 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 has 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 at room temperature or in the refrigerator. You’ll have extra, but they’re great for eating or as garnish on other dishes. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Make the pie crust through step 5 according to my directions and video tutorial in my pie crust recipe. Or use your favorite pie dough or store-bought.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- 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 deep dish pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it’s tightly pressed into the pie dish. Fold any dough overhang back into the dish to form a thick rim around the edges. Crimp the edges with a fork or flute the edges with your fingers. Brush edges lightly with egg wash mixture.
- Par-bake the crust: Line the pie crust with parchment paper. Crunching up the parchment paper is helpful so that you can easily shape it into the crust. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. (Note that you will need at least 2 standard sets of pie weights to fit.) Make sure the weights/beans are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Par-bake the crust for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper/pie weights. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork to create steam vents and return crust (without weights) to the oven for 7-8 more minutes or until the bottom is *just* starting to brown. (Review this how to par-bake pie crust page if you need extra help with this par-baking step.)
- Make the pumpkin pie filling: Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, heavy cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined.
- Pour pumpkin pie filling into the warm crust. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. (If using a deep dish pie dish as instructed, you should only have a little filling leftover. 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.
- Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 3 hours before garnishing and serving.
- 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 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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. No need to bring to room temperature before baking.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Mixing Bowl Set, Pastry Blender, Rolling Pin, Pie Weights (you’ll need 2 packs), Pastry Brush, Pie Crust Baking Shield, Fall Cookie Cutters, and Silpat Baking Mat
- Cranberries: Use 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.
- Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin is best in this pumpkin pie recipe. I use and recommend Libby’s brand. If using fresh pumpkin puree, lightly blot it before adding to remove some moisture. The bake time may be longer.
- Spices: Instead of ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper, you can use 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Be sure to still add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
- Pie Crust: No matter if you’re using homemade crust or store-bought crust, pre-bake the crust. (Step 5.) You can use graham cracker crust if you’d like, but the slices may get a little messy. Pre-bake for 10 minutes just as you do with regular pie crust in this recipe. No need to use pie weights if using a cookie crust.
- 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.
- Mini Pumpkin Pies: Many have asked about a mini version. Here are my mini pumpkin pies. They’re pretty easy—no blind baking the crust!
Keywords: pumpkin pie
Pie Crust Leaves
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 (affiliate link) 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.
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 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!
(PS: Be sure to use fresh cranberries here, not frozen. If you have a bag that needs using, frozen will work for cranberry sauce — another must-have on your Thanksgiving table!)
Reader Comments & Reviews
Can I use evap. milk or sweetened condensed milk instead of heavy cream?
Hi Jenave, heavy cream is a must for this recipe – we don’t recommend those swaps.
What good could possibly come out of making such a negative nasty comment / rant? It’s upsetting just to read it.
The only change I made was one cup of half and half since I had no heavy cream. It turned out amazing. Perfect pumpkin pie. Also i used store crust that you roll out and did not pre bake it. Also did not use egg wash just coated the crust with the filling then tented like suggested. Was very good, thanks for the recipe
the filling was very runny, like a cream soup. I had to add lots of cornstarch and still didn’t do it. where did I go wrong? So many people did not comment on this so is it me?
Hi Donna! The filling will be quite thin before it is baked – did you try to bake it? You can watch the video tutorial in the post above to see the thickness prior to baking. Otherwise, did you make any substitutions? Make sure to use full fat heavy cream and three whole eggs – the eggs will thicken the filling as it bakes.
This is the only pumpkin pie recipe we use now. Flavor is great. Love serving it with the cranberries. We’re going to try the caramel apple pie next.
Hello I love ur recipes and you are my go to for anything I don’t know how to make. The canned pumpkin in the recipe is that the same as pumpkin pie filling? That’s what I have. Can I use that?
Hi Terryann! They are not the same – pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and will not work in the place of pure canned pumpkin puree.
I would give this 0 stars if I could!
I made this following all exact measurements and it turned out absolutely terrible, texture and flavour wise. My filling was much much runnier than the photos shown in the recipe. I also found it so stupid that the recipe makes extra? Like just make the recipe smaller and I won’t have so much waste. I also followed your crust recipe and it was super dry and crumbly, despite using 20g extra butter. My whole family rated this pie between 1 and 4 stars out of 10! Don’t even get me started on the texture. It was disgusting, like it was undercooked, although it definitely wasn’t. The top was also covered in big black bubbles and the mixture separated. I’m very dissatisfied with this recipe and it caused me to waste so many ingredients. The flavour was also terrible, I could barely taste anything.
I have never liked a single baked pumpkin pie that I’ve ever tried (and I love pumpkin), but this pie was SO GOOD! I did use my own crust, but that filling is fantastic…you can taste the pumpkin and all those warming spices. Finally, a pumpkin pie to enjoy!
Hi ! I’ve tried some of your muffins, and have made a few additions to one of your cookie and cheesecake recipes and everything was so good that when I bought my first pie-pumpkin, I thought I’d come here to see what you had. It’s my very fist pumpkin pie and I was so afraid it wouldn’t come out good, but WOW !!! I can definitely say that your recipes are awesome (+ bonus points for cups AND grams measurements !!! ) Now I’m wondering what I’ll try next… Maybe something from one of your books ! Thank you for helping me make good cakes and pies 🙂
Thank you for your kind feedback, Clem! We’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this pumpkin pie recipe so much. Happy baking!
Yup, it works and my whole party was impressed that I made it from fresh pumpkin and made my own pie crust too (with this recipe)!
The filling at first looked kind of sus because it’s so runny. But after baking, turned out exactly how it should. Mine was never at risk of cracking, actually, it “puffed up”, and then caramelized. The egg wash is very cool and made it look a bit more professional!
Thank you very much!
Wow!! I made this pie today. It is simply fabulous!!! It’s a winner for all occassions!!! Thank you.
I’m curious as to why you par-bake the crust? Does it really, really make a big difference? I don’t recall my mother ever doing that, so I never did either. Tell me, and I will incorporate this step into my pumpkin pie!
Hi Anna! Par-baking helps the crust set because the crust requires a longer bake time than the filling. Plus, with such a wet filling like pumpkin pie, it prevents the bottom crust from getting too soggy. Hope this helps!
I have made this delicious pie for the past several years. It is my husband’s Thanksgiving favorite and will make an appearance at our table again this year.
About par-baking the crust,,, Is this to make sure that the crust doesn’t get soggy ? If so, have you ever experimented with using an egg wash on the bottom ? After it dries, even in the oven for a few minutes, the egg custard cannot penetrate the barrier, and no soggy crust !!
Your views ? Thank you for so many inspiring recipes.
That’s correct– it helps the crust set because the crust requires a longer bake time than the filling. Your advice for brushing the dough with egg wash is wonderful and I do that often when I make tarts!
This is hands down the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made.I make it every single year for the past several years. I decided to rate it finally. I constantly have people asking me for the recipe!
This is always my go -to recipe! Love it! I only have a 9.5 inch dish available to me right now. Will that be okay? Or is 9 inch ideal?
Hi Anne, You can use your 9.5 inch pie dish. Bake time will be slightly longer with more pumpkin filling. Hope you love it!
If I need to substitute plant milk for the dairy (can’t handle heavy cream. sigh…), would you recommend a lesser amount, since plant milk isn’t as thick as cream? Thanks!
Hi Rachel, we haven’t tested this recipe with any dairy free alternatives, so we’re unsure of the results. Please let us know if you decide to experiment with it and if you find something that works!
I used full fat coconut milk instead of heavy cream and regular unsweetened coconut drinking milk for the moo milk (a trade I’ve used before in other pumpkin pie recipes). I used the same portions that the recipe calls for and it turned out great! The can of full fat coconut milk at Trader Joe’s has the perfect consistency.
Thank you Amanda! Was thinking of using the full fat and regular coconut milk just as you suggested. So glad it turned out well, I appreciate you sharing!
Really delicious! The pepper really punches up the flavor. It’s a keeper, thanks Sally!
Just a note on pumpkin volume. The smaller can size is 396 mL which is not what the recipe asks for…It’s about 80%. So I reduced the other ingredients to 80% and low and behold it fit perfectly into my deep dish pie.
I just made a gluten free version with buckwheat flour. I have tried different pie crusts with mix of rice and corn flour. Or rice and almond. It is a bit different but still very good. I also baked pumkin myself, here, in Latvia we don’t have a canned one.
Pie turned our perfect. Still some cracs, formed after 30 min already, but I think it’s my oven’s fault.
I was looking to try a new pumpkin pie recipe and also a new crust recipe so I made this one exactly as written. I normally use a standard glass pie dish for all of my pies but I reached for a deep dish this time around and it filled it perfectly (only a couple spoonfuls extra, that I probably could have squeezed in). I found it took a little longer to cook but I did mix the filling the night before (as mentioned in the notes) so that may have been the reason. Definitely will be my “go-to” pumpkin pie recipe now. I like the other reviewer’s comments to double and make 3 pies, may try that too!
Best pumpkin pie ever. Even my brother in law who is not a fan of pumpkin pie asked for more. Sugared cranberries are an awesome touch. I use store bought deep dish pie shells. The recipe made two pies and then some…
OH. MY. GOODNESS. Tried your recipe today, for Canadian Thanksgiving, and truly agree this is The Best pumpkin pie filling EVER! My boyfriend couldn’t get over its deliciousness, and we’re looking forward to seconds… for breakfast tomorrow.
We also had leftovers for Canadian Thanksgiving breakfast 🙂
This recipe calls for way too much milk. It came soup after I mixed the cream and milk. The only way to salvage the recipe was by adding a ton of cornstarch. And I followed the recipe to a T.
The first time I made this recipe it was perfect following the directions, the 2nd time I had a hard time with the cornstarch. I am not sure what I did wrong being I changed nothing
I accidentally doubled this recipe not realizing it was already for 2 pies. How long will it keep in the fridge so I can make more pies? Or should I just toss the rest?
Hi Kris, this recipe is not enough for two pies – it’s enough for one with just a little filling leftover (not enough for another pie if you’re using a deep dish pie dish). We wouldn’t keep in the fridge for more than a few days.
Hey there Sally. Your pumpkin pie recipe is my new go to. Still using my
Grandmother’s, mother’s crust but your filling is the absolute best! I’m
So digging that fresh ground pepper is in there tho I’m saving that bit of news for when we gather round the table. Many many thanks for sharing.
Hi there! I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been following your recipes, and I’m blown away every single time! I used to use all recipe, but you recipes create a winner every time. So thankful I found your page.. (and my pumpkin pie is to die for!!)
Why don’t you cook at 425 for 15 min and then reduce to 350? Convection temperature would be 25 degrees lower. Why 3 eggs? I don’t think that extra 1/4 C of brown sugar is needed.
Hi Carol, thank you for sharing your feedback. With 2 cups of pumpkin, you want to make sure the filling is sweet and sturdy enough. The brown sugar adds more flavor and, of course, sweetness. A change in oven temperature isn’t necessary, but feel free to experiment and make changes as you find necessary knowing that the results will differ.
It’s perfect as is.
If Sally thought those things were needed or not I am sure she would have adjusted the recipie before printing it. Did you try to make it yet? It’s really good.
BRAVO!! I am a very experienced baker and I have to say this is the best pumpkin pie I’ve either ever made or eaten!!! I made it exactly as is… The way every recipe should be reviewed. I can’t say enough how stinking amazing this pie is. Even absolutely raw, I could not stop licking up the filling. It really is mind glowingly good. After reading the reviews and knowing that there was going to be lots left over (but not enough for a whole other pie) I decided to double the recipe and make three pie (Pumpkin pie freezes so beautifully; not that there’s much of a chance of it making it to the freezer in my family, lol) But it made three )very generously filled) standard size 9” pies. Perfectly. I truly love this recipe so much… There aren’t enough stars for this one.
I’ve made this pie a dozen times now. It is THE most delicious pie I’ve ever eaten…. and I eat lots of pie!
Here in the UK, when leaves start bronzing, majestically falling from their mother tree, when chunky, multi-coloured jumpers reappear from their dormant state, when the sharpness of the cold morning air calls for a hot, relaxing drink and when the family start enjoy again evening gatherings huddled around the dinner table then you know it is time for pie, soup and anything else in between,. Made pumpkin & carrot pie this morning using fresh pumpkin & rested on a homemade shortcrust base. For dinner I have already made fresh spinach/ shredded green cabbage with lamb slowly cooked with garlic, chopped tomatoes, fresh dill and coriander, chilli, salt & pepper, I add the washed 500g of spinach leaves at the end. It’s divine when topped on a bed of garlic rice that’s cooked with peas & diced. Best when steaming hot. Thank you for your simple step by step recipes!
meant to say peas and small diced carrots
If I make these the day before serving should I store this on the counter or in the fridge?
Hi Jeff, we recommend storing in the fridge overnight. Hope it’s a hit!
I have a thanksgiving guest that can’t have black pepper but white pepper is ok. Could I substitute or would it be better to leave out?
Hi Nakoma, either route should be just fine. Hope the pie is a hit!