This homemade pumpkin pie is going to be a favorite in your family for years to come. Made with fall spices, pumpkin purée, and an all-butter, homemade pie crust, you simply can’t go wrong with this classic American dessert.
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
I honestly haven’t made pumpkin pie many times before. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the dessert, but 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.
My sister typically uses the pumpkin recipe that you find on the pumpkin purée can and it’s delicious. But the French pastry chef in me can’t help but want to make the recipe from scratch. The best things tend to be from scratch, and I wanted to create the best homemade pumpkin pie that I could.
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 a 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 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.
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.
I used heavy cream instead of whole milk, knowing I would get a richer finish. I used maple syrup instead of molasses because I simply didn’t have molasses on hand. And 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.
You can use canned pumpkin purée in this recipe or fresh pumpkin purée. I used fresh purée because I wanted to test cooking a pumpkin in my Instant Pot (which was amazing! I’ll be doing a Facebook Live video on how to do that this week).
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 them 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!
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 at this point. So be gentle when placing the leaves on top. Continue baking the pie for another 25-30 minutes, until the filling has set and it's no longer jiggly. 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 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.
If your pie crust leaves aren't as golden as you want them, you can turn on the broil setting for just a minute or two at the end.