Pumpkin pie is a classic fall dessert that’s perfect for Thanksgiving or any time you want a comforting, seasonal treat. This easy homemade pumpkin pie recipe will help you make the perfect pumpkin pie with a smooth, velvety filling and flaky, golden crust.
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3-4 tablespoons of ice water
For the filling:
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin purée or 2 cups fresh pumpkin purée
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 (12 oz) can evaporate milk
- Whipped cream
- Caramel sauce
- Vanilla ice cream
Make the crust:
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Use a wire whisk to distribute the salt evenly throughout the flour. This will enhance the flavor.
- Cut the cold butter into small 1/2 inch pieces. Using a pastry blender, two forks, or your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pea-sized chunks of butter remaining. Work quickly to keep the butter cold.
- Add 3 tablespoons of ice water a little at a time, mixing lightly with a fork until the dough just starts to come together into a shaggy ball. Add an additional tablespoon of water if needed. Do not overmix.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, gather and press the dough into a 4 inch disk about 1 inch thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Chilling allows the dough to relax, making it easier to roll out.
- Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough from the center into a 12-inch circle, rotating and flouring the dough as needed to prevent sticking. Move to a 9-inch pie dish.
- Gently fit the dough circle into the pie dish without stretching it. Trim edges with kitchen shears or a knife so there is a 1/2 inch overhang. Tuck the overhang under itself and crimp decoratively using your fingers, a fork, or decorating tool.
- Prick bottom and sides all over with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking. Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dry beans, or rice to weigh down the crust.
- Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes until lightly golden around the edges. Remove parchment and weights and bake for 10-12 more minutes until golden brown. If the crust bubbles, gently press it down with the back of a spoon. Allow the baked crust to cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
Make the filling:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, cloves, and salt until fully combined and smooth. Break up any large clumps of brown sugar.
- Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Then whisk in the evaporated milk until fully incorporated. The filling should have a smooth, pourable consistency.
- Pour the filling into the cooled pre-baked pie crust. Use a pie crust shield or strips of aluminum foil to protect the edges from overbrowning.
- Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350°F and bake 30-40 more minutes until the filling is puffed and set around the edges but still jiggles slightly in the center when gently shaken. The center should register 175°F on an instant read thermometer.
- Allow the pie to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours to prevent cracks from forming. Do not refrigerate until fully cooled. Once cooled, cover loosely and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.
Slice pumpkin pie into wedges and serve with whipped cream, caramel sauce, or vanilla ice cream for added decadence. For clean slices, wipe knife blade with a damp paper towel between cuts.
Tips for Making the Best Homemade Pumpkin Pie
- For the smoothest, creamiest texture, use 100% canned pumpkin puree instead of pumpkin pie filling. Do not use fresh pumpkin if avoiding a grainy texture.
- If baking your own pumpkin, sugar pie pumpkins have the best texture. Bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes until fork tender. Scoop out pulp and purée until smooth.
- When making the crust, keep all ingredients as cold as possible for optimal flakiness. Work quickly and don’t overmix. Chilling the dough makes rolling easier.
- Weigh down the unbaked crust with pie weights or dry beans to prevent puffing and shrinking. Bake until lightly golden for a fully crisp crust.
- Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing, about 3 hours, to allow the filling to set. Sudden temperature changes can cause cracks.
- Store pumpkin pie loosely covered in the fridge for 3-4 days. Wrap in plastic then foil and freeze whole for 2-3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my pumpkin pie is fully baked?
The edges of the filling will be set and the center still jiggly. Insert a knife to check – it should come out clean with no wet batter clinging. Use an instant read thermometer to check the center – it should register 175°F when done.
What’s the difference between canned and fresh pumpkin purée?
Canned pumpkin puree gives a perfectly smooth, velvety texture perfect for pie. Fresh pumpkin can be grainier with more variation in texture. Don’t use pumpkin pie filling which has added sugar and spices.
What if my pumpkin pie cracks on top?
Some crackling on top is normal as the filling settles. Prevent deep cracks by not overbaking, allowing it to cool gradually at room temperature, and covering once completely cool.
How do I prevent a soggy bottom crust?
Par-baking the crust at a high temp until crisp prevents sogginess. The weights keep the crust from puffing up while baking. Bake until lightly browned for the best texture.
How long is homemade pumpkin pie good for?
Properly stored, homemade pumpkin pie will last 3-4 days refrigerated. For longer storage, wrap tightly in plastic then foil and freeze whole pies for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight before serving.
What’s the best way to reheat leftover pumpkin pie?
Microwave slices for 15-20 seconds until warmed through but not hot. Watch carefully to avoid boiling. Warming in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes also works well. Don’t overheat or the filling can separate.
How can I make pumpkin pie extra special?
- Use a homemade crust with vanilla and cinnamon for extra flavor
- Add 1/4 cup bourbon or rum to the filling
- Top with candied pecans before baking for crunch
- Swirl caramel sauce on top after baking
- Serve with whipped cinnamon cream
- Garnish with edible flowers or leaves
What kind of pie dish should I use?
A 9-10 inch glass or ceramic deep dish pie plate works best. Metal pans conduct heat too quickly which can lead to burning. Dark metal pans can also overbrown the edges. Disposable aluminum pie pans are fine in a pinch.
I hope this expanded homemade pumpkin pie recipe gives you lots of tips for baking the perfect classic pumpkin pie. Let me know if you have any other questions!