This homemade pumpkin pie recipe is going to be a favorite in your family for years to come. Made with a from-scratch pumpkin pie filling and a homemade pie crust, you simply can’t go wrong with this classic American dessert.
Prior to this recipe, I honestly hadn’t made a true, homemade pumpkin pie recipe from scratch. Pumpkin pie has always been my sister’s contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, I usually bring something like an apple pecan cheesecake or my French pumpkin cheesecake.
When I have made homemade pumpkin pie in the past with my sister, we typically used the easy pumpkin pie recipe that you find on the back of the pumpkin purée can. It’s a tasty recipe, but the French pastry chef in me can’t help but want to make the recipe from scratch. The one on the can is usually a pumpkin pie recipe with evaporated milk or a pumpkin pie recipe with condensed milk.
Since I believe that the best things tend to be made with quality ingredients, I wanted to create the best pumpkin pie recipe that I could without using any of the canned stuff.
When I was looking for a recipe, I knew I wanted to use one that has stood the test of time. I ended up finding an American pumpkin pie recipe from a woman who had submitted it to Bon Appetit in 1998. More awesome than that was that someone from the woman’s family commented that the family is still making the recipe to this day and that it’s a family favorite.
I know homemade pumpkin pie can actually incite strong opinions from those who wait all year for it. Some like their pumpkin pie heavily spiced, others prefer it not very sweet. Some forego the battle and just create a pumpkin pie recipe with pumpkin pie spice to skip deciphering how much of the different spices they should add.
I didn’t know what to expect from the Bon Appetit recipe, but I decided to give it a go anyways. I made a few substitutions based off experience and what I had on hand.
For one, I used heavy cream instead of whole milk. The Bon Appetit version was a pumpkin pie recipe made with milk, and while milk is a perfectly natural ingredient to use, I knew that I would get a richer finish if I used heavy cream.
I also used maple syrup instead of molasses because I simply didn’t have molasses on hand. The maple syrup adds that slight bit of woodsiness that all fall treats bode well with a dose of.
To keep with the homemade pumpkin pie recipe approach, I also used my own homemade pie crust recipe rather than using a frozen, pre-made crust. The result was absolutely fantastic.
This homemade pumpkin pie is sweet and fragrant. You can taste the delicate flavor of pumpkin, but you can also tell there’s a touch of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and ginger in there.
This is not a spicy pie. Instead, I think there’s just enough in there to make it taste like a fall dessert, which is how I personally prefer it.
Since I wanted to avoid using canned ingredients, I used fresh pumpkin purée to create this homemade pumpkin pie. If you’re wondering how to cook a pumpkin for pie, let me suggest using an Instant Pot to do it. It’s the easiest way to cook a pumpkin, plus it’s fast! (For a tutorial on how to cook a pumpkin, check out my Facebook Live video).
Of course, you can definitely use canned pumpkin purée in this recipe if you don’t have fresh pumpkin purée. I’ve done it when I didn’t have fresh pumpkin on hand and the result is still very delicious. But if you’ve never made fresh pumpkin purée, I really hope you give it a try!
I also like this recipe for homemade pumpkin pie because I find the oven temperature that you bake it at doesn’t cause your crust to burn. Pumpkin pie is one of those recipes where the filling usually takes a fair amount of time to set, yet the pie crust typically doesn’t.
Baking this pie at a lower temperature (325°F) allows for the pie to bake at a slow and steady rate and keeps the crust from browning too much.
I decorated my homemade pumpkin pie with cut-out pie crust leaves (shop some here). I usually just use the scraps from my pie crust to create the leaves on top.
The leaves also get added to the pie later on, when there’s just 30 minutes left to bake the pie. This gives them enough time to bake through, but it also allows me to set them on a sturdy base, as the pie filling has mostly set by then.
Once this homemade pumpkin pie has finished baking, I let it rest on the counter until it comes to room temperature. Then I refrigerate the pie, since I like my pumpkin pie cool. I serve it up with some homemade, sweetened whipped cream, making each bite a total dream!
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Homemade Pumpkin Pie
A recipe for a sweet and delicately spiced pumpkin pie. Made with an all-butter crust.
Pie Crust (1 sheet)
- 1.25 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1.5 cups pumpkin purée
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- softened butter for greasing your pie dish
To make the pie crust
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well. Grease a 10-inch pie dish with softened butter (see note).
To create the pie crust, simply whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together. Add in the cubed butter and start the mixer on low speed, then raise to medium speed and mix until you get pea-size clumps. Stream in a couple tablespoons of cold water, then mix again. Stream more water in, as necessary, until you get a dough that clumps together (see note).
Turn your dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use your hands to mold the dough into one big ball. Then flatten the dough into a disc shape and wrap tightly with the plastic sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.
To make the pumpkin filling
In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, and spices together.
Add the maple syrup and eggs, whisk to combine. Add in the pumpkin purée and stir together with a rubber spatula to combine. Stream in the heavy cream, and gently stir everything together with your spatula.
Take your pie dough out of the fridge and roll it out into a circular shape, about 1/8" thick. Flour your work surface and the dough, as needed, to keep the dough from sticking.
Transfer the pie dough to your prepared pie dish, patching up any breaks/tears in the dough by simply using your fingers to mold the dough back together. Use a sharp knife to cut off the excess pie dough around the edges. You only want the dough to rise up the edges, but there should NOT be any extra dough on the rim to flute or do any designs. Set the excess dough you cut off aside for now.
Pour your pumpkin batter into the prepared pie crust. Place the pie onto your baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 325°F and bake for 50 minutes.
While the pie is baking, use your leaf cutters to cut out shapes from the excess dough. You can ball up the dough scraps, re-roll it flat and thin, then continue cutting out shapes.
Once the pie has been in the oven for a total of 1 hour, place the pie crust leaves onto the pie. The filling should be somewhat set around the edges, but definitely still wobble and be gooey in the center. So be gentle when placing the leaves on top.
Continue baking the pie for another 25 minutes, then adjust the oven to broil (rather than bake) and set the temperature to 350°F for another 5 to 8 minutes until the pie crust shapes are golden. When the pie is ready, it should look pretty set but still have a slight wobble overall when you give it a slight shake (rather than the center just being super wobbly). Cool to room temperature and serve, or refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
You can also use two 8-inch pie dishes. If you're using a 9" pie dish, you may have a little extra batter.
When adding water to your pie dough, allow the dough ingredients to mix together for at least 10 seconds before adding any extra water. Sometimes the dough will come together with just a few tablespoons of water if you give it some time to truly mix together.
You can also use fresh pumpkin purée in place of canned purée.
If you want a spicier pie, double the spice measurements.