This easy pumpkin pie recipe is made completely from scratch and is a great make-ahead dessert for the holidays!
If there’s one thing I look forward to at Thanksgiving, it’s the pumpkin pie. Okay, pumpkin pie topped with a huge dollop of whipped cream. Today I’ll be sharing my absolute favorite traditional pumpkin pie recipe that’s made 100% from scratch.
If you don’t make many pies, then this is a good one to have tucked up your sleeve for the holidays. The pumpkin pie filling is as simple as whisking the ingredients together and pouring it into a partially-baked pie shell.
Because pumpkin pie has to be stored in the fridge, it’s a great make-ahead dessert that everyone will love!
Ingredients for This Recipe
This pumpkin pie recipe requires minimal ingredients, so it’s important that you use the right ones. Here’s an overview of what you’ll be using to make this recipe:
- Pie crust: I like to use my favorite pie crust recipe to make this pie, but a store-bought crust works as well.
- Brown sugar: Sweetens the pumpkin pie filling and also adds flavor. I used light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar would be fine to use too.
- All-purpose flour: There’s just one tablespoon of flour in the filling to help thicken it and ensure that the pie sets up properly.
- Spices: I use a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. There’s also a pinch of salt in the filling to enhance the pumpkin flavor.
- Eggs: Helps bind the filling together and creates a custard-like consistency. Room temperature eggs are also best. If you forget to set them out ahead of time, just place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Pumpkin puree: Make sure to use pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which is already sweetened and has spices added to it. The only ingredient on the back of the can of pumpkin puree will be pumpkin.
- Evaporated milk: Not to be confused with sweetened condensed milk, which is much thicker and sweeter. Evaporated milk is richer than regular milk and makes for a creamier pie!
How to Make Pumpkin Pie
To make this pie, you want to start by partially baking your pie crust. While this isn’t necessary for every pie, I highly recommend doing it for this recipe because it ensures that the bottom of your crust stays crisp.
I have a completely separate post on blind baking pie crust, but here’s a quick breakdown on how to partially bake your crust:
- Roll out the pie crust: I typically roll mine out to about 12-inches in diameter. You want the pie crust to be a little bigger than your dish, so you have enough to fit it into the dish and decorate the edges.
- Transfer the crust to your pie dish: You can do this several ways, but I find that rolling it up over my rolling pin, then unrolling it over the dish is easiest. This recipe makes quite a bit of filling too, so be sure to use a pie dish that’s at least 1 and 1/2 inches deep.
- Fit the crust into the dish and decorate the edges: Make sure to be gentle with the dough during this process and don’t stretch it (which can cause the crust to shrink).
- Chill the crust in the fridge: This gives the dough time to relax, which makes it less likely to shrink. It will also ensure that the butter and shortening in your pie dough are cold, which makes for a flakier pie crust.
- Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork: This is also known as “docking” and will help prevent the bottom from bubbling up when you remove the pie weights later.
- Line the dough with parchment paper & fill with pie weights: If you don’t have any pie weights, dried beans, rice, or even some flour work just fine!
- Bake for 15 minutes at 400°F: The edges of the crust should start to lightly brown.
- Remove the pie weights: Lift up the parchment paper with your pie weights and remove them from the pie crust. The bottom of the crust will look a little raw, this is normal!
- Bake for another 5 minutes at 400°F: This will allow the bottom of the crust to bake a little more.
- Cool slightly while you make the filling
Once the crust is partially baked, it’s time to mix together the filling. To make the pumpkin pie filling:
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C): The filling needs to bake at a slightly lower temperature so that it doesn’t burn or crack.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Don’t worry if you have a few lumps of brown sugar in the mixture, they will whisk out once you add them to the wet ingredients.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the pumpkin puree and evaporated milk.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients: Whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Pour the filling into the partially baked pie crust and bake: I highly recommend using a pie crust shield to prevent the edges of your crust from burning. If you don’t have a pie crust shield, you can simply use foil to cover the edges instead.
- Cool completely & chill in the refrigerator: Once the pie comes out of the oven, let it cool on the countertop for a good two to three hours. Then, cover it tightly and place it in the fridge for several hours before slicing and serving (overnight is best).
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ll know the pie is done baking when the center is almost set and wobbles ever so slightly (the center will finish setting up as the pie cools). In total, the pie will need to bake for roughly 45 to 50 minutes at 375ºF (190°C).
The pie will be fine to sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. However, since this is a custard pie, it does need to be refrigerated.
If covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for up to 4 days.
If you don’t have any evaporated milk on hand, then you can replace it with an equal amount of half and half.
Yes, you can replace the spices in the recipe with 2 to 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
- You can use a store-bought or homemade pie crust for this pumpkin pie recipe. My pie crust recipe will make two pie crusts, but you can easily freeze the other half to use later. You can even use the second pie crust to cut out leaves or other decorations to go on top of the pie.
- I prefer to cover the edges of my pie crust once I’ve blind baked the crust and added the filling, so I don’t have to open the oven door again.
- Don’t over mix the filling! This can incorporate more air into the filling and potentially cause your pie to crack as it’s baking in the oven.
- To prevent any cracks in your pumpkin pie, make sure not to over bake it! I usually bake mine for about 45 minutes and remove it while the center is still just a little wobbly. As the pie cools, the center will finish cooking and firm up.
- This pie will freeze well for up to 3 months. Make sure to let it cool completely, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and store it in a large freezer bag. To thaw the pie, place it in the refrigerator overnight.
More Pumpkin Desserts to Try!
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Mini Pumpkin Pies
Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- 1 store-bought or homemade pie crust
Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- 1 cup light brown sugar (200 grams)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (8 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 (15-ounce can) pumpkin puree (425 grams)
- 1 ¼ cups evaporated milk (300 ml)
- To prepare the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll the dough out to 12-inches in diameter. Next, carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate (make sure it's at least 1 and 1/2 inches deep), gently fit it into the pie plate, trim any excess dough, and decorate the edges. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 15 to 20 minutes while the oven is preheating.
- Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Line the pie dough with parchment paper or foil, making sure to cover the bottom and fit it snuggly in the corners and up the sides, then fill with pie weights (dried beans or dry rice work well too).
- Bake the pie crust at 400°F (204°C) for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment paper (or foil) and pie weights. Return the pie crust to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- To prepare the filling: Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C). In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves until well combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and evaporated milk until well combined.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together until fully combined.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the partially baked pie crust. Return to the oven and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the center is almost set (it should be a little wobbly). Cover the edges of the pie crust with a pie crust shield or foil as needed to prevent them from over-browning.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack for 2 to 3 hours to cool completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Pumpkin pie filling slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour