Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

DessertThanksgivingPiePumpkin

BEST homemade pumpkin pie recipe! With fresh or canned pumpkin purée, cream, brown and white sugar, eggs, and pumpkin spice

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The single most requested dessert at our Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie. (The second being apple pie.)

In fact, pumpkin pie is so synonymous with the holidays that during this time you can find “pumpkin spiced” everything, from lattes to donuts.

Homemade vs Canned Pumpkin Pie

My friend Suzanne performed an experiment with her family and me. She baked two pumpkin pies, one using the purée and recipe from a can, the other using purée she made from a ripe sugar pumpkin.

Each of us received two slices, one from each pie, without knowing which was which. The winner?

Pumpkin Pie served with whipped cream

The adults clearly preferred the pie made from scratch—it had a richer flavor (possibly due in part to added spices). One child preferred the pie made from the canned purée, the other two had no preference.

Needless to say, everyone finished both of their slices, and the whipped cream too!

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin* OR 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin purée (can also use puréed cooked butternut squash)
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1 good crust (see pâte brisée recipe or our no-fail flaky pie crust recipe)

* 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.

roasted-pumpkin-800-1 roasted-pumpkin-800-2

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.

Special equipment:

Method

1 Preheat your oven to 425°F.

2 Beat eggs, mix in sugars, salt, spices, lemon zest: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, white sugar, salt, spices—cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, cardamom, and lemon zest.

3 Add pumpkin and cream: Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the cream. Beat together until everything is well mixed.

4 Pour into pie shell and bake: 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. The pie is done when the center of the filling reaches 175°F (79°C) when measured with an instant read thermometer.

If you don't have a thermometer, a knife tip inserted in the center comes should come out wet but relatively clean, and the center of the pie should still be a little bit jiggly.

(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.)

5 Cool on a rack: 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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Links:

Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Marshmallow Topping from David Lebovitz

Tangy, Creamy, Pumpkin Pie from The Traveler's Lunchbox

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Slice With Whipped Cream

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

243 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Ines

    why I haven’t found this website before??? LIFE CHANGING

  • Britt

    Delicious. Has a rich and creamy texture. I love the subtle lemon in it, and altogether not too “spicy”. I substituted allspice for cloves and omitted cardamom (because my pantry was lacking), and still turned out great.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Vasilia

    After decades of making pumpkin pies that were OK this is just what I’ve always wanted. It’s the perfect combination of flavour, texture and thickness. I won’t have to try a new recipe each year, instead I’m printing this one out and now I know I can have a consistent delicious pie that everyone will drool over.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Larissa

    Finally a pumpkin pie I actually liked the taste and consistency of!! I didn’t have cardamom and I omitted the lemon. Great tasting pie. Thanks!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Lise

    Amazingly good! I used canned purée (as this was a last minute dessert) and I held back on the cream, using 1-1/4 cups, only because the batter seemed too loose. In the end, it turned out perfectly, but next time I’ll add the full amount of cream. Thank you for sharing this no-fail, delicious recipe!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Pumpkin PieOld Fashioned Pumpkin Pie