This classic pumpkin pie has a silky smooth and well spiced filling, a buttery crust and is best served with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
I can’t remember the last time I bought a store-bought pumpkin pie. Store-bought crust? Yes, all the time. But actual pie? I think it has been at least a decade, if not longer. That’s because pumpkin pie is so easy to make – just stir a few ingredients together in a bowl to make the filling then pour that filling into a crust and bake. See? Easy.
Pumpkin pie filling is forgiving and easy to adapt. This is one recipe where you can easily switch out a few ingredients without a noticeable difference. Over the years, I’ve made some version of this basic pumpkin pie recipe that I’m sharing with you here, making small changes along the way to suit my tastes. I’m sharing my (current) favorite version of this pie below and I’ll also share some easy ingredient modifications as well.
First, let’s answer some basic pumpkin pie questions.
Can I make pumpkin pie ahead of time?
Absolutely. I typically make 2-3 different pies a few days before Thanksgiving so that there’s less work to do on the big day. I’ll make the pies, let them cool down on the counter and then put them in the fridge. On the day of, I’ll bring the pies out and serve them at room temperature or I’ll warm them up a bit in the oven. I serve the pies with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.
You can also freeze these pies for up to a couple months. If you do this, you’ll want to first tightly wrap the pies. I like this biodegradable cling wrap along with this dispenser (which helps easily cut through it).
Two things you may notice as you remove the pie from the oven:
When you remove pumpkin pie from the oven, you may notice the middle of the pie jiggle just the teensiest bit and that’s okay. The pie will continue to cook as it cools on the counter and will eventually set. You don’t want to overcook the pie as that’s what causes cracks. But really, cracks are not the end of the world. You know how to fix cracks in pumpkin pie? Cover ’em up with whipped cream.
You may also notice that the pie filling is a bit puffy when it first comes out of the oven. Don’t worry, it’ll fall a bit as it cools.
Okay, now let’s talk about pie crust.
Let’s quickly chat crust. You can use any crust you’d like with this pumpkin pie filling – you can go with homemade crust or store-bought. Both work well with this pumpkin pie filling.
If you’re looking for an amazing gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free crust, I’ve got the perfect crust for you. It is basically made out of magic because it’s somehow still flaky and buttery and tastes like a normal pie crust.
It’s also really easy to make. Put four ingredients into a food processor, press the start button and watch as it “kneads” the dough into a nice round ball. Then just smush the dough into a pie pan.
Pumpkin pie ingredients:
To make this pumpkin pie, you will need the following ingredients (for the full list/amounts, see the recipe card below):
Pumpkin: I use canned pumpkin puree. It’s convenient and works great.
Sweetener: I used to only sweeten my pie with maple syrup. Over the years I’ve added a bit of sugar to my pumpkin pie and really prefer the combination of the two. Maple adds great flavor and the sugar makes it all a bit sweeter. You don’t have to add the extra couple tablespoons of sugar listed in the recipe – the pie is still sweet enough. But I mean, it’s pie. Let’s get a little crazy.
Spices: I know I normally list out individual spices but not when it comes to pumpkin pie spice. I love the stuff. I keep a jar next to my little nespresso machine in the fall (read: late summer) and add it to my latte every morning. So yes, we’re adding pumpkin pie spice to this pie. I also add a big pinch of freshly grated nutmeg – it’s so good. I love fresh nutmeg. And finally, a bit of salt. Because all desserts benefit from a pinch of salt.
Dairy/Non-Dairy: I prefer using high quality dairy (pastured organic heavy cream) in pumpkin pie but if you’re dairy free, full-fat canned coconut milk works really well too. You can use any milk or nut milk that you’d like in this pie.
Eggs: this is what makes the pie custardy and helps set the pie.
Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes?
- instant pot mashed potatoes
- instant pot cranberry sauce
- chocolate pecan pie
- sweet potato pie
- Thanksgiving meatballs or meatloaf
- homemade pie crust or store-bought crust
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- ½ cup heavy cream OR full-fat canned coconut milk OR nut milk of choice
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Big pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons sugar optional for a sweeter pie
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream or canned coconut cream if paleo/dairy-free
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar or honey if paleo
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Combine the pumpkin pie filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour this filling into either a homemade pie crust or a store-bought crust.
- Bake the pie for 60-65 minutes, checking on the pie periodically to make sure the crust isn’t getting too brown (if it looks brown, cover it with foil and continue to bake).
- Remove the pie from the oven. The filling should look mostly set but it’s okay if the center wiggles a bit as the pie will continue to cook as it cools.
- Allow the pie to cool for a couple hours then serve with whipped cream. If making the pie in advance, loosely cover and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or tightly cover and keep in the freezer for up to two months.
how to make whipped cream
- Pour the cream and sugar into a stand mixer (or use a hand-held electric mixer) and whisk on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes, or until you see peaks form.