Suzanne’s Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

Easy and delicious traditional pumpkin pie recipe with fresh or canned pumpkin puree, cream, brown and white sugar, eggs, and pumpkin spice.

  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 8.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin purée (can also use puréed cooked butternut squash)
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1 good crust (see pâte brisée recipe)

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* To make pumpkin purée from scratch, cut a medium-small sugar pumpkin in half. Scrape out the insides (reserving the pumpkins seeds to toast) and discard. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or foil. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F until a fork can easily pierce them, about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove from oven, let cool, scoop out the pulp. Alternatively you can cut the pumpkin into sections and steam in a saucepan with a couple inches of water at the bottom, until soft (strain before using). If you want the purée to be extra smooth, press the pulp through a food mill or chinois.

Method

1 Preheat your oven to 425°F.

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2 Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the sugars, salt, spices, and lemon zest. Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the cream. Beat together until everything is well mixed.

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3 Pour the filling into an uncooked pie shell. Bake at a high temperature of 425°F for 15 minutes. Then after 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (About half-way through the baking, you may want to put foil around the edges or use a pie protector to keep the crust from getting too browned.)

4 Cool the pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.

Serve with whipped cream.

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Comments

  1. Deb

    When we make pumpkin pie from scratch we usually just use the regular old pumpkin we have sitting outside with the corn stalks for decoration. Is a sugar pumpkin those smaller ones you see on sale that are advertised as “pie pumpkins?”

    Would a regular pumpkin do just as well–or–is there such a difference in taste it would be wiser to buy a pie pumpkin? Thanks.

  2. Andrea

    I enjoyed reading this post. I tried making a pumpkin pie from scratch once, but I used the regular old pumpkin that people typically carve. Perhaps it was too big, or not the “sugar” type. Anyway the pie flesh was quite stringy and the pulp had a yucky consistency. Probably I baked the pie as I would any other squash, and that was not the right technique either. Anyway it was good to see how it is supposed to be done! By the way Trader Joe’s also sells an organic canned pumpkin puree.
    cheerio–Andrea

  3. Stephanie

    Hi Elise, I made this pie out of our jack-o-lantern (a huge sugar pie pumpkin). It was the first time I’ve made pumpkin pie out of a whole pumpkin and it was actually pretty easy and turned out beautifully. My husband said it was the best pumpkin pie he’s ever had!

  4. Elise

    Hi Deb – I am told that one should make pumpkin pie with the sugar pumpkins – the ones advertised as “pie pumpkins.” That said, I’ve made pumpkin pies with the leftovers from pumpkin carvings and they turned out great.

    Hi Andrea – I would imagine that some of the bigger carving pumpkins have pretty tough flesh. But if you get rid of the strings and cook it long enough, maybe that would work. Good call on the TJ’s organic purée. Thanks!

    Hi Stephanie – Excellent. Congrats on making your own scratch pie, and three cheers for the husband who liked it.

  5. Tom

    I’ve used regular pumpkins any size for years. All you need to do is cut the pumpkin in half scoop out the seeds and extra strings. Place the halves flesh side down on a cookie sheet. Make sure you use one with sides to trap the moisture that will render. Bake in a 350 degree oven until fork tender. I use a serving fork for that job. Remove cookie sheet from oven let set to cool slightly. Next take a metal serving spoon and scrape out the cooked pumpkin. If you find some of the pumpkin seems too firm just put it in a microwave safe dish and cook longer till tender. When ready put the pumpkin in a food processor. Run processor to get an even consistency. We usually take ziplock bags and measure out the proportions needed for recipes and freeze. We also date and put the volume amount on the bags for future baking. When the pumpkin puree defrost you will find alot of fluid, we just drain it off and use as is. The work goes fairly fast because my wife and I worked out a routine for this kitchen ritual.

  6. C

    THis is great..I am not a fan of the sugary pumkin pie. I used this amount of sugar (almost a cup) for 4 cups of canned pumpkin that was unseasoned.

  7. Suzi

    In our area the Amish swear by “neck pumpkins”, which look like butternut squash with a longer neck, for making pies. They are delicious.
    And recently I read that the canned pumpkin sold by Libby’s is actually a form of butternut squash.
    So that just goes to show that whatever squash you like the taste of will work, but I think fresher is definitely better.

  8. Christine form San Jose

    I plan to make this recipe for Thanksgiving using butternut squash instead of pumpkin. I prefer butternut because it is never watery and it has more flavor than most pumpkins. Kabocha makes a nice pumpkin pie too.

  9. Liz

    Penzey’s Spices has a *wonderful* Pumpkin Pie Spice
    http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/shophome.html

    They have awesome everything actually – I’ve basically made over my spice drawer after discovering them! I’ll never be able to buy “grocery store spices” again! :)

    I’ll have to keep my eye out for sugar pumpkins next year, it is probably too late this year, but I’d love to try making a pie from scratch.
    p.s. if you want to add a little “spice” to a regular canned pumpkin pie recipe, try using egg nog instead of condensed milk – adds a nice hint of nutmeg flavor to the pie.

  10. Dianna

    Another good spice is sold by the Pampered Chef. It is called Cinnamon Plus. Yum! Not sure what is in it, though, but when we run out I definitely hear about it.

  11. Naomi Daugherty

    I’m looking for a old fashion pumpkin recipe that has dark brown sugar and molasses in it. I thought it was on the libby cans back in the 60’s but I lost my recipe. It was a heavy pie not a custard pie like todays pies.

    • Lisa

      I am looking for this recipe also, I have wonderful memories of Thanksgiving with the brown sugar/molasses combo.

  12. Kasia

    I’ve always used sugar pumpkins and wouldn’t do it any other way. They make the best pumpkin pie with an original taste and impress my guests always. I get many compliments on the flavor, you can actually taste the natural pumpkin flavor and are not overwhelmed by all the spices. The recipe creates a very creamy and delicious pie. Don’t be discouraged and try it again. Make sure to get a small sweet pumpkin, I get mine from the local farm but you can get them at certain grocery stores, I know Haggen’s and Alberstons carry them at certain times throughout the year.

  13. Karin

    I will never bake another pumpkin pie from the can again. We used the recommended sugar pumpkins, and I put them through a food mill, which made it very smooth. Also, since we did not have ground cardamom, we used the seeds and ground them ourselves. I think that added to the flavor. Worth the effort. And that crust, I have never made a good pie crust but today I definitely did.

  14. Lisa

    Thanks Elise for a wonderful pumpkin pie recipe! I love pumpkin pie, and tried NUMEROUS recipes, but this one may be my favorite. It was a big hit this Thanksgiving, and I think the lemon zest was a great touch.

  15. happy cooker

    I made this recipe and doubled it–I filled two crusts and two piepans without a crust. so this is for two pies! It was DELISH! A little sugarier than I like but very very GOOD and I am a pumpkin pie fanatic–one of the best I ever ate!!! I made it from a pumpkin my neighbor grew which was about 11 inches tall with a fine texture and a very bright orange color. PS I didn’t have cloves so added some chinese five star spice. JUST RIGHT!!!! great bright color and glossy top, nice texture. YUMMM!!!!!

  16. Claudia

    Wow! I made this pumpkin pie recipe with a Cinderella pumpkin. I cut it in half and put it in the oven. Scraped it and pureed it. I have never made a pumpkin pie from scratch, and let me tell you my family loved it. Great recipe!

  17. Agota

    I`m from Europe and ever since I first tried pumpkin pie, I have been a fan. This year I finally got to bake my own from scratch! Thank you so much, dear Elise! It came out just the way I like it! My family loved it too.

  18. Jeanette

    I like to make 2 desserts for Thxgiving, one has to use pumpkin, the other apple. Thxgiving tends to be very busy the actual day you make the turkey, so to free up time, I try to make one of the desserts the day before. This is a decadent alternative to pumpkin pie and is as smooth as silk, melts in your mouth.

    PUMPKIN POT DE CRÈME

    Ingredients:

    500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
    1/3 cup sugar, divided
    5 egg yolks
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp each of ginger, nutmeg and cloves
    1 tsp dark rum
    1/2 vanilla bean
    1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpie pie filling)
    ½ cup toasted pecans
    ¼ cup maple syrup

    1. Put the whipping cream, two thirds of the sugar, the spices and the pumpkin puree in a medium sized saucepan. Slit the vanilla bean vertically and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the vanilla pod to the cream mixture. On medium low heat, slowly bring the custard mixture to a simmer. Add the rum. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

    2. Beat the egg yolks with the remaining third of sugar. Add one or two ladles of the custard to the beaten yolks and mix well. Add the egg yolk mixture back to the remaining custard. Stir well. Turn on heat and cook custard mixture a further 3 to 5 minutes, just to the simmer. Strain the custard mixture.

    3. Oven should be pre-heated to 325F. Put your ramekins in a shallow rectangular pan. Divide the pumpkin custard evenly among 6 ramekins. Pour boiling water half way up the sides of the ramekins, cover loosely with a sheet of foil and bake.

    4. Start checking the custards after 25 minutes. They should take anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes to bake. They should still have a “jiggle” in the center about the size of a dime. Do not fully bake the custards.

    5. Remove the pan from the oven. The custards should be kept in the hot water in the baking pan for a further half an hour. The sheet of foil should still be loosely on top as well. After half an hour, the custards should have finished baking and there will no longer be a jiggle area in the center. Remove the foil cover being careful not to drip water from the foil on the custards. Remove the ramekins from the hot water and cool at room temperature a further half an hour. Now cover each ramekin with saran and refrigerate over night or up to 2 days.

    6. Toast pecans at 350F for 10 minutes and coarsely chop. To serve, sprinkle each pot de crème with some chopped pecans, then put on a dollop of whipped cream, sift a bit of cocoa and cinnamon over the whipped cream, top with a truffle covered coffee bean and if desired, drizzle with 1 tsp of maple syrup.

  19. lilitake

    I made this recipe according to the version that was listed here just last week (11/17/07), which recommended use of the Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice. I’m so glad you pulled that recommendation off of this recipe because 1.5 TABLESPOONS of that stuff turned the custard part of the pie brown and completely obscured the taste of the pumpkin in the pie. There was so much spice in the pie, in fact, that the consistency of the custard was almost grainy. It was a huge disappointment both visually and taste-wise to my guests. Again, I’m glad to see that the Trader Joe’s spice rec was taken down, but 3.75 tsp. of the various spices listed now still seems like quite a lot (1.5 TBSP = 4.5 tsp).

  20. Sylvis Thomas

    I have been making pies for 60 years. I find that if you use sweet potatoes just as you would pumpkin and go ahead and make a pie that it is much milder and doesn’t give you heartburn like regular pumpkin pie does. Also as an older person I like the pies without all that spice in them. Make up the filling and just put vanilla in them and a small amount of nutmeg on top. My mother in law made them and they were just a light yellow in color. They were delicious.

  21. Derrick

    Can the pumpkin be added the the filling hot? If not when should it be cooled?

  22. Kelly

    Made this the other day with canned puree – sort of a pre-Thanksgiving trial run!! The crust was the best I’ve ever made (and tasted). The spices seemed a little strong – the adults liked it but the kids not so much. Adding more homemade whipped cream to theirs helped;). Maybe next time I will adjust the spices a bit?

  23. cassie

    The pies are great. I love this site, thank you for sharing your recipes. I have made the pumpkin pies the last two thanksgivings.

    One question – when I take the pies out of the oven, they look beautiful, but several hours later after it is cooled, it looks like the pie separates from the crust. Why does it do that? Am I overcooking the pies?

    Hi Cassie, great question for which I do not know the answer. I suspect Cook’s Illustrated has addressed this in one of their issues, but I don’t know which one. If anyone reading this has some insight on this question, please feel free to weigh in. ~Elise

    • Jess

      I believe it is due to the eggs…they are a leavening agent, which is why the top is domed when it comes out of the oven. As it cools, it contracts and collapses, pulling the pumpkin from the crust and making cracks.

      Thanks for a great recipe. So creamy and nicely spiced.

    • keith

      the filling separates from the crust of most pies when cooled to quickly, its always best to cool them slowly so this does not happen.

  24. J Mitchener

    For those who might want to make this with other than pumpkin – try Hubbard squash. They are the large (sometimes huge!) grayish-skinned, warty squash at farmer’s markets and in some groceries. They have an orange flesh that tastes a bit richer than butternut. Roast like other winter squash. Great in all your squash recipes, and I’ve found it doesn’t get quite as watery when you freeze it.
    Recipe sounds delish, BTW! I will be making it this week for my son’s birthday. Wanted a recipe that didn’t use evap. milk.

  25. Jeanine

    Thanks for the recipe! I made it tonight with some pumpkin leftover from Thanksgiving’s pumpkin creme brulee, and it was really good with a nice consistency. I didn’t have a deep-dish pie pan so I used one of the large ones from the big Costco pies we get in a weak moment and the whole recipe fit nicely.

    I was a little disappointed with the crust, as it came out of the food processor way too powdery initially, and I think with my having to add more water while patting it into shape it became a little tough. Next time I might try a crust with shortening to see if that’s a little easier to work.

  26. Barrie Cook

    Thanks for posting this great recipe, as well as the Pâte Brisée recipe; I used them multiple times over the holidays and both turned out great! I do have to say that for the first time I made the pie, the only lemons I had were Meyers from my neighbor’s tree. This gave it an odd aftertaste and the next time I made the pie I used the same quantity of vanilla (1/2t) and it was delicious. I don’t know if I will ever want to take the chance on lemons again, even if I do have regular non-Meyer ones, as I made it again with vanilla and it was fantastic.

    Also I should say that I am a fanatic about nutrition, so I wanted to use unrefined flour and sugar. My pie crust was made with sprouted/dried/milled whole wheat flour with 1/3 of it hard red wheat (bread wheat) and 2/3 of it a soft pastry wheat. It was out of this world; flaky, delicate and delicious. I think that the problems people have baking with whole wheat are threefold: they use bread flour, it’s not fresh (milled whole grains go rancid very quickly) and they don’t sprout or soak it before milling. You can get Summer’s Sprouted Flours if you don’t have your own mill, and keep them in the freezer so they don’t go rancid. I used Rapunzel Rapadura unrefined sugar for the sweetener and used a total of 3/4 cup (instead of split between brown sugar and white sugar as listed above).

    Finally, if you click on the “recommended reading” link above to Shuna Fish Lydon’s blog, there is a link there to a recipe for homemade pop-tarts, and these are what I made from the leftover dough. Yum!

  27. noe

    I have made this pumpkin pie for the past 4 years for many different occasions and it is without a doubt the best! There is never any left over and I keep getting asked to make it again and again! The only things I change is I add double the spices (I’m just nuts about spicy fall flavors) and I don’t like the pie crust recipe from this site that is linked (somewhat bland), but the consistency of this pumpkin pie is absolutely PERFECT, and that’s what I think usually makes or breaks the recipe. I think it might be that extra egg yolk but I love the recipe too much to mess with it and find out!
    If you are a first time pumpkin pie baker…just use this recipe exactly with a store-bought deep-dish pie shell and canned pumpkin and you will have nothing to worry about. Comes out perfect every time with no stress involved! I even made it in a toaster oven once in a dorm room! DON’T use the condensed milk recipes like on the back of the pumpkin can…there really is no comparison!

  28. Roxanne

    Pumpkin pies made with fresh sugar pumpkin puree are simply the best. To get the smoothest texture, puree the flesh in a food processor while it’s still warm until it’s smooth. If you want it really silky strain it after processing. If you don’t have a processor, but the pulp through a food mill.

    The most common reason why the filling separates from the crust is that the crust is too warm when the filling is poured in. The crust should be cool, not warm. Another reason is over baking. It’s important to fully pre-bake the crust before filling it, so the filling doesn’t over bake while your waiting for the crust to brown.

    To pre-bake: Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes in the pie plate; line the crust with foil or a large 1.5 or 3 gallon coffee filter and fill it with dried beans; bake at 450 for 15 minutes to set the crust; then turn down the oven to 400 and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven, remove the liner with the beans and bake unlined for another 6-10 minutes until the crust is fully baked and lightly browned all over.

    Don’t over bake the custard! The custard should just set with just a smidgen of a wobble in the very center. It will finish baking as it cools. If the pie cracks on the surface or pulls away from the crust, it’s over baked.

    For the best pumpkin flavor I only use either granulated or demerara sugar, if I want a very light brown sugar note. I also lightly spice the custard base with just really good cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg (about 20 strokes on a microplane). I also liberally season w/ salt (about 2 tsp of kosher salt for 2 cups of pumpkin). If you don’t use enough salt, not only will it be bland, but the pumpkin will end up taking on a bitter note during baking (which is usually covered by spices, but when spices are not used or lightly used, the bitterness is noticeable, so salt is necessary!)

    I think it’s a crime against pumpkin pie to use anything below half and half. If you don’t want to use heavy cream, AT LEAST use half and half. Evaporated milk does not do this pie justice.

  29. Carmen

    I tried this recipe for the first time yesterday, doubling the ingredients for 2 pies. Even though I did not follow it exactly (I cheated on the spices, using McCormick’s Pumpkin Pie Spice, & used store-bought graham pie crusts – I’m a novice baker, so the idea of baking pie crusts was daunting), the pies were a tremendous success. My boyfriend’s mom who is a talented cook even marveled at how delicious the pie turned out. I can’t wait to try this next year w/ homemade crusts!

    P.S. The part I didn’t skimp on was using fresh pumpkin from a local farm. Although it was laborious, it was well worth the effort.

  30. Sarah Whitney

    I want to try this, but do I need to pre bake my pie crust(it is handmade)?

    No, not with this recipe. No pre-baking. ~Elise

  31. Katie

    I used this recipe to use up my left over pumpkins from Halloween. This recipe was excellent and worked pefect with my homemade curst! The best thing about this recipe was the large amount of spices. It made all the difference compared to a regular pumpkin pie recipe!

  32. patti

    If I make the crust from scratch (from your recommended recipe), do I need to bake the crust at all before placing the pie mixture inside?

    Typically no, but I suppose you could if you wanted to. ~Elise

  33. Sal

    I have learned about cans being lined with hormone mimicking BPA plastic and so am now making my pies from fresh pumpkin. Thanks so much for the recipe! :)

  34. susan

    Elise, this is the new – and permanent – favorite pumpkin pie recipe for our family – thank you! I had cooked, mashed, and frozen a pie pumpkin about a month ago and was looking for a recipe to use it in that was just a bit different from the usual. When I saw the list of spices in this one, I knew I had to try it. My husband is not usually too excited about pumpkin pie, but he had three slices of this one. And my 79 year old dad, who loves any kind of pie, called me at home 20 minutes after I dropped off a few servings for him to taste, telling me it was the best he’d ever had and to please make this again for Christmas! That’s high praise from dad, as my grandmother (his mom) made the best pies I’ve had yet. Thank you for an easy and delicious recipe.

  35. Sarah Whitney

    ELise, This looks soooo good, but I am a very green cook I have never made a pie in my life. I just made your (Pâte Brisée) pie crust Recipe for this pie and it is chilling right now!! My husband and me are having a bit of a disagreement, you said that the pie crust doesn’t need to be per baked, but he says if I don’t per bake the crust will be soggy and we both hate soggy curst!! Could you please clear this up for us *SS* Thanks

    We don’t pre-bake the crust for pumpkin pie, but you can if you want. ~Elise

  36. Don Kennedy

    On Nov 22, 2006, Naomi Daugherty asked about a recipe using molasses and brown sugar. I like wise am looking for the same thing. I have a recipe from my mother that has no quantities (not unusual) and it uses CUT UP PUMPKIN instead of puree which I like very much. Here it is (it’s double crust);
    Sprinkle a thin layer of flour and sugar in bottom of pie crust.
    Peel and dice thin enough pumpkin for pie.
    Sprinkle a little salt over pumpkin and mix, then pour over molasses and sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon and mix.
    Put in pie crust and dot with butter or margarine.
    Put on top crust and bake at 425 degrees until juice cooks out of holes thickly.

  37. rebecca h.

    I used this recipe for our early Thanksgiving last Sunday and it was perfectly lovely, exactly the kind of spice combination I was wanting. I made two pies as we were feeding 15 but I decided to try one with condensed milk and one with cream. I think the condensed milk, while fine, masks the pumpkin flavor with too much sweetness. The cream one was perfectly delicious.

    It sounds odd but I used two roasted butternut squash for the puree. Butternut is so flavorful, it loves spices like cinnamon, and roasting has a sort of caramelizing effect that brings out sweetness and flavor.

  38. Bob Beer

    Several people have asked about differences between carving pumpkins and sugar pumpkins. First – there is no botanical difference between a pumpkin and a squash – pumpkins are squash. And there are lots of different textures. Squashes like Hubbard, Kabocha, and Buttercup all have very dry, smooth flesh that is ideal for pie making. The canned pumpkin puree you get in the stores is more often than not gray Hubbard squash. Butternut also produces a great pie. I usually puree it with an immersion blender, then pour it into a large strainer and let it stand over a bowl for about half an hour to get rid of the extra water.

    This is the first time I’ve added cardamom to a pumpkin pie; mine is in the oven right now (made with a Triamble squash) and I can’t wait to try it!

  39. Melanie

    If I want to bake two of these pies at once, do I have to make any changes to the baking times or temperatures?

    I think it depends on your oven. You might want to swap the positions of the pies halfway through cooking, and the cooking time might be a little longer. ~Elise

  40. Patti

    Hi, I made this pie last night as a trial run for thanksgiving. It was delicious, but next time I will try the cream instead of the condensed milk as some one suggested as we thought it was too sweet. My other concern was I thought that the pie was too moist. Is this the way pie made with roasted pumpkins turns out?
    I want to thank you for posting this, even though I sound like we did not like it, it still way better than the pie mass produced from a store.

    It is harder to predict results when you roast your own pumpkin rather than using canned pumpkin. ~Elise

  41. Patti

    Hi, just wanted to share results with pumpkin pie #2. I left out the white sugar and used heavy cream instead of the condensed milk. The 4 cups of pumkin puree in the frig for 2 days drained almost 3/4 cup of liquid. This pie was the best. Not too sweet or moist and firm when I cut it.
    Thanks again for the recipe.

  42. cinzia

    … it’s in the oven!

  43. Randi Lynne

    I made this (my first pumpkin pie) last week. I used a bit of lemon extract instead of zest, canned pumpkin and a wonderful homemade pie crust. With some of the leftover pie crust, I made three flowers and used them as decoration. I cooked them in the toaster oven until lightly browned and then used some egg wash (as glue) to put them in place on the pie during the last 10 mins of cooking. I had to cook the pie about 10 mins longer than recommended. It came out perfect, though! What a delicious, go-to recipe!

  44. Dizzysmamma

    Made my first pie from scratch last Thanksgiving. A world of difference in the tasts when using fresh ingredients. One thing I have always done, whether using canned filling or fresh, is instead of using condensed milk, I use an 8oz. container of sour cream. It adds a depth and richness to the pie that is not to be believed.

  45. William W

    I made a pumpkin pie recently from a leftover jack o lantern, doing several things wrong, but it still turned out great. Firstly, it wasn’t a pie pumpkin – it was a very short squat thing, about 15 lbs before carving. After Halloween, I cut it into wedges and peeled them with a vegetable peeler. (Wrong, but ok). Boiled the pieces completely submerged in water – wrong again, but not that bad. Drained and mixed with hand mixer, decided it was too watery. So I drained the glop in a colander overnight and it looked pretty good after that. Not leaving well enough alone, I ran that mixture through the vegetable strainer attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer. (kind of a hassle to clean up all the parts, but fun!) Turned out great. Plus I ground up some cinnomon stick and whole cloves in a coffee grinder for extra zing.

  46. Kimberly

    Yum! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. A quick question, since I’ve not made pumpkin pie before – can I make this the day before? Like, early the day before? And if so, how should I store it? I have a cool three-season porch, room in the fridge, counter space…
    Thanks for the recipe! And for the step-by-step photos in the crust recipe. :)

    Yes you can make it a day ahead. I would store in the fridge. ~Elise

  47. Lisa

    Do you pre bake the crust? I plan to make the crust.

    No need to pre-bake the crust. ~Elise

  48. Kierra

    What size pie tin do I use?

    9-inch. ~Elise

  49. Bill

    Tried this recipe, and ended up with four pies worth of filling using double the recipe. It’s in the oven so I can’t measure the pans, but I think it’s two 9″, 1 8″, and a 10″ crustless one.

  50. Syl

    Thanks for the great recipe! I just cooked it up today, came out a treat.

  51. Lauren

    This was the best pumpkin pie I have ever made!! I roasted the pumpkins, that I purchased from my local co-op, and used heavy cream for the milk. I also used a gluten free pie crust, Celiac disease and Multiple Sclerosis in our family, and I almost cried with my first bite! I was so excited to do it all myself. Such a gratifying and delicious pie! Thank you, thank you for sharing this recipe with all your readers! Happy Thanksgiving to your whole family!

  52. Cassie

    Elise,
    Just thought I would follow up on a previous post regarding shrinking crust and cracked pies… A person responded with suggesting to pre-bake the pie shell. I can say I followed instructions and came up with a pretty sorry looking crust. So, I pitched it and started over. This time, I followed your original instructions. The only change I did make was put the crust in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to filling the pie crust. It did not shrink as much. Taste of the pie and crust…great as usual. As for the cracking, I read cold drafts and cooling too fast causes cracking, as well as over baking. I hid mine in the microwave to cool off and that helped as well.

    Again, thanks for an awesome website. Each Thanksgiving, my family thinks I am the great cook… ;-)

  53. 00hmai0.0

    Can I make this with grahmcracker crust?

    I don’t see why not. ~Elise

  54. J.

    Oh I’m so glad I found this recipe again. I made it last year for Christmas dinner and I didn’t bookmark it.

    Anyway, I’m a Canadian expat living in Australia and there’s no tinned pumpkin here unless I order it from some online specialty store. But there’s plenty of fresh pumpkin available in the shops. So, I was thrilled to find this recipe last year and we made it for Christmas dinner (there’s no Thanksgiving here) and my husband and I both thought it was the best pumpkin pie we’d ever tasted.

    Now it’s Christmas Eve here and we’re getting ready to make it again to bring to our friends’ house for dinner. They’re from England and South Africa and none of the family members have ever tried pumpkin pie before. They’ve been looking forward to it and talking about it all week, so I knew that I couldn’t make any other version but this one…it’s perfect! Thanks so much for an amazing, delicious recipe that is becoming a family tradition here.

  55. Phil

    Tried this out as the recipe says and it made two nine inch pies. I had two sugar pumpkins from my garden so now I have four pies in total. Gaaaa…
    Here’s a tip, on my second batch I added some geradeli hot chocolate mix and am making a chocolate pumpkin pie. Looks good so far.

  56. Lori

    Did I do something wrong? It has taken over two hours for this pie to bake properly. I had the temp up to 425 then lowered it down to 350 like it stated in the recipe. I used fresh pumpkin and the cream. I keep looking over the recipe but cannot find where I went wrong. Oh, never mind, it is at 400 and is still taking forever to bake! Can you imagine what it would’ve looked like if I baked it at 350?

    Don’t know. Perhaps the fresh pumpkin puree was too moist, and needed to have some of the moisture squeezed out of it (you can do that with paper towels.) ~Elise

  57. Jalex

    Can I premake the filling or should it be baked immediately after combining the ingredients? If so how long can the mixture be stored for before it is used? Should it be brought back to room temp before baking? Thanks!! Oh…I used the crust recipe when I made the Peach Galette recently and it was AMAZING!! Thanks!!

    Hi Jalex, great questions. I honestly don’t know. I’ve never premade the filling. If you try it this way, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  58. Chelsea

    I hate pumpkin pie….. I LOVE this pumpkin pie.
    I share the same sentiments of numerous other
    commenters that I shall never ever make
    another pumpkin pie from a can again. I made tarts
    as well with the filling and they turned out
    wonderfully! THANK YOU for converting me!

  59. Jette Stuart

    Great recipe, and easy to double. Thanks for sharing!

  60. Danielle

    I see your recipe specifically asks for dark brown sugar? just getting started in the cooking/baking world so I am wondering what the difference will be if I make this with the light brown sugar that I have on hand rather than the dark brown as you say I need?

    Hi Danielle, dark brown sugar is just a light brown sugar with a little more molasses in it. You can make the pie with light brown sugar, if that’s all you have. Or if you have some molasses, you can add a teaspoon to the light brown sugar for the extra flavor. ~Elise

  61. Rosalee

    Is there anyway to make this sans crust?
    I would love just the filling
    Thanks so much
    Rosalee

    I don’t see why you couldn’t just put it in individual custard ramekins and make it that way. You might have to experiment around a bit with the timing. ~Elise

  62. Pixie

    This will be my first year trying your recipe for Pumpkin Pie. But I have a topper to dress it, if you would like to try.

    As an aside,I’ve cooked for 45 years, and when I saw your instructions for chicken soup, I knew we were a match (My gold standard for recipe books).

    Try any amount, but end up with one stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add one cup of pecans and, four minutes later, 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar. Mix just until congealed. Cool for five minutes, then distribute over a cooled pumpkin pie. My son’s “To die for” Thanksgiving favorite. Make both the day before and refrigerate until serving.

    I do hope you enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    Thanks Pixie! ~Elise

  63. Tonya

    I used this recipe last year with our homegrown pumpkins to great success! I did do one variation: graham cracker crust. Saved on my favorite recipes for use this year! :)

  64. Sonya

    I never comment on recipes (although I definitely read the comments!) but I wanted to tell you that this Thanksgiving will be the third time since Halloween I’ve used your recipe for homemade pumpkin pie. I had never made a pumpkin pie from scratch before, and your simple instructions for roasting and scooping the pumpkin – with pictures – was very helpful. Now I’m a pro, and my boyfriend asks for another pie the moment he finishes one! The only thing I do differently is make the pie with a gluten-free crust for my celiac significant other.

    thanks!

  65. The Rube Cook

    I just posted my experience making this pumpkin pie. It’s easy and it’s a great tasting pie. I love the cardamon and ginger combination. You can read about my experience at http://rubecook.blogspot.com/ I say many nice things about Simply Recipes because it is an awsome site! I’m making my first Thanksgiving Dinner every using Simply Recipes.

  66. Paul A.

    I’m lactose intolerant and make the regular Betty Crocker pumpkin pie recipe with two cups of scalded milk instead of evaporated milk. For years I stopped making my favorite pie when my lactose intolerance got bad. Then I saw an Amish recipe for pumpkin pie and it used scalded regular milk which I buy in a lactose free variety. I also add a quarter cup of flour to the filling to help it thicken a little. No one notices the difference and I am a very happy pumpkin pie junkie.

    Great ideas for those who are lactose free. Thank you. ~Elise

  67. greyeagle

    I may be off the mark here and maybe it’s called something else in other parts of the world but I keep reading about people using “condensed” milk and saying it’s way to sweet. Of course it is my dears. There is a huge difference between “condensed sweetened milk” and Evaporated milk. This recipe gives an alternative for Evaporated Milk NOT Condensed milk. The Sweetened Condensed milk has heaps and heaps of sugar in it and is cooked down to almost a syrup. Evaporated milk just has the water removed from milk. They are not interchangeable. I would think condensed milk would change the consistency of the pie custard as well. If you are in any doubt use the heavy cream aka whipping cream, although I’ve read there is actually a difference in them too, but they are at least interchangeable. I sincerely hope this saves someone the disappointment of an overly sweet pie on a holiday. I’ve been cooking and baking for over 45 years now and have made many a mistake just like this. I plan this year using a whole lot Elise’s recipes, sure wish there had been sites like this when I first started out!

  68. narutojp

    Glad to see the recipe that says from scratch and is from scratch. I was verbally abused last year on another cooking site when I commented on their ‘from scratch’ pumpkin pie recipe that was made from canned pumpkin. I use kabocha pumpkins as they are readily available in Japan, where I live. When I made a pie recently using canned pumpkin it tasted good, but I prefer pies made from fresh pumpkins. Nice recipe.

  69. Katrina

    Beautiful. Nothing better than the classic.

  70. Nancy

    Please can you help my pumpkin pies always weep after they cool there is always a liquid laying on top which I have to remove gently by placing a papertowel to absorb,I have not been able to find anyone who can tell my why this happens or to try and fix it.
    Thanks so very much.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Frances Oldenburg

      are you covering it with plastic before cooling completely, I suggest only covering with tinfoil when complete room temperate cooled.

  71. Delishhh

    Fabulous – this might just have to be my recipe this year. . .

  72. kyleen

    Usually I make my own puree too, but this year, I’ve gotten so lazy. It’s good to know that the fresh stuff really makes a difference!

    Gorgeous pie, by the way.

  73. Candy C.

    I made “from scratch” pumpkin pie for the first time last year and it really, really is SOOO much better than using the canned pumpkin! My husband said it was the best pumpkin pie he had ever had and has requested I do it again this year! Thanks for posting this recipe! :)

  74. Amy

    I am not a pumpkin pie person but I really like this one. I think the lemon zest and cardamom are what make it different from others. I did make a few changes. I used half and half, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and1/8 cloves. I cut back on those two spices because I was concerned they would overwhelm. This pleased all in the family, pumpkin lovers and non-lovers both. Great recipe!

  75. Shelley W,

    I have been butchering my children’s Jack o lanterns for years, and never ever have had a problem with stringing pie. Not once. I also always use brown sugar which makes a better pie then white, and lots of spices. Couldn’t afford to buy anything pre-made or ready made. So I prefer the kill the jack, butcher, bake and take for the best ever. I am making the biggest yet this year, 14″ Pie using organic whole wheat pastry flour and only butter. Mmmmmm get the other fam members to eat non white flour yet.

  76. Lyn

    My grandmother always, always used scalded milk instead of condensed milk and it is what makes a world of difference in pumpkin pie. She also used 4 eggs. Everyone who tries her pie recipe raves about it. I have never had another pie as delicious made by anyone else. People that eat it literally drool.

  77. Rebekah

    Wow, excellent! I used canned pumpkin and evaporated milk, and reduced the sugar even a bit further, to 2/3 cup total. My eggs were small so I just used three whole eggs. :) The spices were perfect! Everyone loved this.

  78. Rebecca H

    I almost didn’t try this because I was out of ground ginger & had no lemons, but I am so glad I did. I am a very amateur pie maker, but the crust although a little too brown on the edges (I will put on foil for the whole cooktime in the future) was perfect. I used fresh ginger & fresh lime zest instead & baked it in a stone pie dish. It was absolutely the best pumpkin pie I have ever had! Thanks Elise for the inspiration!

  79. Liz

    I use condensed milk and omit all the sugars and it isn’t overly sweet. I love fresh pumpkin too, but I found that the organic canned pumpkin has as much flavor as fresh if you’re pressed for time. Good to know that the Libby’s is butternut squash as it doesn’t have much of a pumpkin flavor.

  80. Jennifer

    I’ve never made fresh pumpkin pie and it was awesome! I usually make a pumpkin pie for my husband for thanksgiving, but this year this was my favorite pie! Delicious!

  81. Dee

    My dad always made the Thanksgiving pies and this was our first big holiday without him. So I decided to try in an effort to both honor him and not miss him as much. This pie is delicious; the lemon zest is inspired. I used two small pumpkins from my CSA box. So many great recipes here. Thanks!

  82. Beth

    Love this recipe! I’ve made it three times for and since thanksgiving. The first time I accidentally left out the cream but it was still delicious.

  83. zipcarissa

    This pumpkin pie recipe looks delicious! I will definitely have to try it!

  84. Kat

    I live in Australia and wanted to make a Turtle pumpkin pie for Christmas although all the recipes I found online seemed to have a lot of pre-made ingredients in them (cool whip and canned pumpkin etc). I ended up using this recipe (minus the cardamon and cloves), although I coated the base of the crust with a thin layer of caramel top n fill and then sprinkled crushed pecans over it, prior to filling with pumpkin and baking.
    Once cool I then topped with a thin layer of fresh whipped cream and chilled prior to serving.

    My family raved about it!! (I also tried the Texas caviar salad to serve on the side of a roast pork for NY Eve and was a success as well!!)

    So glad I discovered your blog – the recipes are amazing and have decided to try a new recipe every Sunday for family get togethers!

  85. brenda for [pheobe]

    This recipes is the rave for our home our hard copy, paper, was destroyed and we thought all was lost thanks for the website wheeee so here we are again and the pie is on the way yay

  86. Sandra

    Hi there, I’m thinking of an easier way to prepare the pumpkin. I’m going to cut the pumpkin into quarters, peel it then put it into a dish and bake it until it is soft. I’m going to try this pie. Thank you for the recipe. God bless!

  87. Maria Betânia Ferreira

    I’ve made it yesterday for diner and everybody loved it! Encore une fois, un vrai régal!

    Warmest regards from your Brazilian fan in France.

  88. Gabriela Branisteanu

    Autumn is so wonderful, it’s always been my favorite season… All Hallow’s Eve, scary ghost stories, crows (yes, there are so many crows here, in Iasi, Romania!) falling leaves, hot cider, cinnamon apples and this lovely old fashioned pumpkin pie! Instead of the pastry shell, I make mine out of crushed graham crackers, brown sugar and melted butter. It comes out very tender and crunchy at the same time!
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe and have a beautiful Autumn!

  89. Corinna

    I typically use the pumpkin pie recipe on the back of the organic Trader Joe’s canned pumpkin. Usually with the canned pumpkin, but today, I used a fresh sugar pumpkin. Can’t wait to try it. What is the role of lemon zest in your recipe?

  90. Susan

    Can I ask a question? Can I prepare this pie and freeze it? If so, should I freeze it before baking it or after baking it? I am trying to get a head start on Thanksgiving. Thank you. The recipe looks absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to try it.

  91. Chrispy

    This is the second time I made this pie and what dumbfounds me is the amount of filling left over after filling the pie shell.
    There is at least 1 cup to a cup and a half of extra of filling.
    Although the pie was very good after cooking it I will be changing to another recipe.

  92. Garrett

    Make sure to strain the pumpkin before making the puree!!!! The recipe doesn’t mention that when using a fresh pumpkin. If you don’t then your filling will be waaaaayy to runny, like mine ended up. :(

    • Alura

      I also didn’t know to strain the pumpkin. If you could edit the recipe and mention that it would be very helpful! This is my first time making a pie and I worked really hard last night to make the crust and cook the pumpkins, and when I finally put everything together today instead of a feeling of completion I ended up with a big bowl of creamy soup and a feeling of panic. I’m trying to heat it up on the stove over low to get some of the water out and I might try to add a bit more of the puree if I can get the moisture out of that too somehow….Pretty disappointed.

  93. Christina

    Hello Elise, I loved making this recipe! I was wondering if I use canned pumpkin instead of the actual pumpkin itself will it still taste the same, be better or not good?

    • Elise

      Hi Christina, most pumpkin pies are made with canned pumpkin purée because the canned purée is more consistently good. You’ll be fine making this pie with canned purée.

  94. Robyn

    I will start off by saying that I usually don’t like pumpkin pie. But I went ahead & made this for my family last Thanksgiving anyway. It was by far the BEST pumpkin pie I’ve ever had! The fresh pumpkin & cardamon made all the difference. It wasn’t plain or boring like I find most of them to be. I was beginning to plan out my Thanksgiving meal for this year when I realized I didn’t save this recipe & I completely panicked! After many searches, I finally found it & I will never lose it again!

  95. YADIRA

    Hi, it’s the same result if I use evaporated milk? Because I can’t find heavy cream, and I would like to get a creamy pie like in your first photo. Tks!

    • Elise

      Hello Yadira, you’ll get a similar creamy result if you use evaporated milk instead of heavy cream.

  96. charlotte cerne

    For the baker who said a regular pumpkin was stringy. I use plain pumpkins, the ones that grow back every year after I throw some old ones inthe garden. I bake them after cutting in half and removing strings and seeds. I scoop out and drain for a while so the puree is thick. I freeze it in baggies.

    When I make the pie I put all the ingredients in the blender. Pies are just as smooth as can be. I love this recipe. I sometimes cover with a crumb topping that has a little candied ginger in it.

  97. Ayana

    This is the best pumpkin pie recipe. I have been using it 2 years now, and passed it on to my mother and sister. I add a little more ginger to it because I love the flavor. I have tried other pumpkin pie recipes and none have compared to this one. I always use fresh pumpkins from scratch, I have used the small sugar pumpkins and the large ones as well and have had no difference in taste. I usually make a large batter and freeze what I don’t use to save for thanksgiving day, and then Christmas Day.

  98. Frances Oldenburg

    I love pumpkin pie and have used this recipe ever since making pumpkin pie and my family loves it. I also make my own pie crust too! I used to use the Monach boxed pie crust mix until a good friend showed me how to make this delicious pie crust from scratch:

    2 cups of regular flour
    3/4 teaspoon of salt
    1 cup COLD lard
    4-5 teaspoons of Cold water

    First put 2 pieces of waxed paper larger than the pie plate you are filling. Tape them separately to the counter where rolling, and sprinkle well, with extra flour.
    Put 1 cup flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl and mix well. Chunk up your 1 cup Cold lard into tablespoon sized chunks and mix in flour. Use pastry knives to mix the lard, salt and flour together until you have pea sized balls of the mix. Put in the Cold water and keep mixing with the pastry knives until the mix holds together well enough to roll out. Make 2 balls. Roll each crust being liberal with flour so the crust does not stick to your roller, 1 at a time. Remove tape from the corners, roll the pie crust up with the waxed paper still on it around your roller. Unroll over your pie plate, then removed the waxed paper carefully so you do not split this pastry at all. It should be large enough to fill the pie plate inverted, with a good hang over of 1 inch no more. Place some extra cold water on the 1 inch hangover then carefully fold it over towards the pie so that it is 1/2 inch now. Flute the edges for 1 pie crust pie such as pumpkin pie, and if you have a big family such as mine then you will use the 2nd crust for another pumpkin pie. If you want a 2 crust pie like apple pie it is enough for one double crust pie! When making the double crust wet the hangover of the first crust (1/2 inch this time) with cold water. Fill your crust, heaping liberally with your fruit then make your 2nd crust a bit larger than the first one. Roll it and waxed paper again around your rolling pin and unroll over your fruit recipe. Press lightly over the first crust around edge that is wet. Fold under the first crust and flute.

    Baking: Single Crust Pies: Bake @ 425*F for 12 to 15 minutes
    Double Crust Pies: Bake @ 424*F for 10 minutes, Reduce to 375*F for 40 to 45 minutes.

    Prize Pumpkin Pie (1 pie, if you want 2 then double this recipe)
    compliment of the Five Roses cook book.

    1 tablespoon flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/2 teaspoon each of powdered ginger, mace, and nutmeg
    1 tablespoon melted butter
    1 cup evaporated milk, scorched
    2 eggs well beaten
    1 1/2 cups Pumpkin
    Whipped Cream optional

    Have your pie shell prepared. Mix together all ingredient except for the whipping cream. using canned or your own pumpkin puree. Pour mix into the prepared pie shell. Bake 425*F for 10 minutes, Then 375 for 35-45 minutes. It is fully cooked when a butter knife inserted into the middle of pie comes out clean.
    ENJOY

  99. mimi

    Dear Elise,
    I’m an European girl, who once hated even the smell of pumpkin. However, once I tried the real Thanksgiving pumpkin pie in the US, I simply cannot get enough of it. I’m writing you this comment while making this particular pie with the crust you recommended. I use any kind of pumpkin tha i can find and bake it while I make and cool off the crust in the fridge. Thanks for the awesome smell of the US holiday season at my home country :)