This homemade pumpkin pie is a must-have for fall gatherings and Thanksgiving. It's the perfect holiday dessert after a festive dinner with lots of turkey meat and sausage stuffing. All you need are 12 ingredients, and it's quick and easy to make.
How to make pumpkin pie, you ask? It's an easy and straightforward process by processing flour, sugar, salt, butter, and water to a crust. Then chill, roll, and pre-bake the crust.
For the filling, you just need to whisk pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all-spice, and cloves until combined. Fill into the crust and bake. Then chill and serve.
- Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. Use it straight out of the fridge, it needs to be very cold and firm to get the flakiest pie crust possible.
- Pumpkin puree: I prefer canned puree for pies but you can either use homemade or canned puree. If you use homemade, I recommend baking the pumpkin in the oven rather than cooking in water. When cooked in water, it results in a too watery puree and would directly affect the texture of your filling. Here is a great puree recipe I highly recommend.
- Sweetened condensed milk: Both storebought or homemade sweetened condensed milk work with this recipe. Don't interchange it for evaporated milk as it is not sweet. If you don't know what the difference is between these two, I found a great post about this topic on The Kitchn.
- Spices: You can use 1 ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices used in this recipe
Start by preparing the crust. Use a food processor and pulse the flour, salt, sugar, and butter a few times until pea-sized butter flakes are visible. Add water one tablespoon at a time, and pulse 1-2 times.
When the dough starts to clump and looks like in the picture below, stop adding water.
Transfer the dough clumps to a plastic wrap and form them into a 1 -1.5-inch thick disc without kneading. Wrap tightly and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours all the way up to 2 days.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch (28cm) circle. You are using a just 9-inch (23cm) baking dish but need enough dough to cover the sides of the dish and flute the edges as well.
Then transfer the rolled dough to the baking dish. Evenly press the dough into the bottom and against the sides of the dish and flute the edges. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Take some parchment paper and line the crust after you remove it from the freezer. Then weight it down with the baking weights, distributing them evenly and also pressing them lightly against the sides to prevent the sides from shrinking too much.
Bake for 10 minutes and carefully remove it from the oven. Take out the parchment paper and baking beans. Take care not to burn yourself.
Continue with the filling by whisking the pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all-spice, and cloves. Whisk for 1-2 minutes until it's thoroughly combined.
Pour the filling mixture into the pre-baked crust and bake for 40-45 minutes.
Once it's been baking for 20 minutes, add a piece of parchment paper on top, that it doesn't brown too much.
When you slightly move the pan, and the center jiggles slightly, you know it's done. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Expert tips for success
- Stop processing the dough when pea-sized butter flakes are still visible. This is the key to ultra-flaky pie crust.
- Don't add too much water to the crust. Stop when it starts to clump.
- Always pre-bake the crust so that it doesn't get soggy underneath the pumpkin filling.
- Remove the pie from the oven when the center slightly jiggles.
Make ahead and freezing instructions
You can prepare the crust for up to 2 days in advance. Wrap it tightly and store it in the fridge until you use it. You could also freeze it for up to 3 months. For thawing, place it in the refrigerator overnight.
The filling can be prepared the night before. Store it covered in the fridge that no odors can come inside the filling.
It's also possible to freeze the baked pumpkin pie as it freezes well for 3 months. Wrap it 2-3 times with plastic wrap or tin foil, or put it in freezer bags. Let thaw in the fridge overnight.
More fall baking recipes to try
On the hunt for more great recipes for your next autumn gathering or Thanksgiving? I'm sure you and your family would love sweet potato cheesecake, pecan bars, apple pie, pumpkin cake, or apple bread as well.
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon granulated white sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold
- 4-6 tablespoon cold water
- In a food processor*, combine the flour, granulated sugar, salt, and butter, and pulse 4 or 5 times, or until pea-sized butter pieces are still visible. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the cold water at a time, pulsing one or two times after each addition. Stop adding water and pulsing when you notice that the dough comes together and starts to clump.
- Without kneading the dough, transfer it to a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a 1- to 1 ½-inch (2.5- to 4cm)-thick disk. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- After chilling, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into an 11-inch (28cm) even circle and transfer to a 9-inch (23cm) pie dish. Evenly press the dough into the bottom and against the sides of the pie dish and flute the edges. Freeze it for 30 minutes.
- While the crust is in the freezer, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Line the chilled crust with parchment paper and weight it down with pie weights, distributing the weights evenly and also pressing them lightly against the sides to prevent the sides from shrinking too much.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Then, remove it from the oven and, taking care not to burn yourself, remove the weights along with the parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all-spice, and cloves until combined about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake it for about 40-45 minutes. Cover with parchment paper after 20 minutes to prevent it from heavy browning if necessary. Remove from the oven when the filling is just set with a slight wobble in the center.
- Let it cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. Leftovers will stay fresh up to 4 days. Freeze up to 3 months.
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