Perfect Pumpkin Pie – Once Upon a Chef

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Pumpkin pie: seemingly simple, yet often a challenge! This recipe promises success with a buttery, flaky crust and a delicately spiced, smooth pumpkin filling that stays perfect—no unsightly cracks!—as it cools.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

For such a seemingly simple dessert, pumpkin pie can be tricky to get right. Over the years, I’ve tested at least a dozen recipes and have encountered every pitfall: fillings that won’t set, unsightly cracks, and soggy crusts. Whoever coined the term “easy as pie” had obviously never baked a pumpkin pie! Part of the challenge with pumpkin pie is that there are a lot of variables. First, there’s the type of pan you use: ceramic, glass, and metal all behave differently. Second, no homemade pie crust is ever the same. Finally, similar to cheesecake or flan, pumpkin pie filling is a custard, which means you have to remove it from the oven while it’s still a little jiggly, which makes it difficult to gauge doneness. Take it out too early and it never sets up; cook it too long and it cracks down the center. Sometimes, even perfect timing doesn’t prevent that dreaded crack!

“I’ve been baking pumpkin pie for what seems like an eternity. The custard always cracks. Not this time. And, not only does the the pie look great, its absolutely delicious! Thank you.”

Kathleen

In this foolproof recipe, I use my favorite homemade pie crust, which is deliciously buttery and easy to work with. To avoid a soggy crust, I blind bake it until it’s thoroughly dry before adding the filling. To prevent those unsightly cracks in the filling, I’ve tweaked the traditional recipe: a bit of flour for stability, replacing some whole eggs with yolks for richness, and baking at a low temperature for even cooking. The result? A perfect pumpkin pie that’s forgiving, even if you leave it in the oven a tad too long.

What you’ll need to make Pumpkin pie

pumpkin pie ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Blind Bake The Pie Crust

If using a homemade crust, roll it out and fit it snugly into a 9-inch deep dish pie pan, then chill for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and place it on a baking sheet (this makes it easy to move in and out of the oven).

pie crust on baking sheet

Cover the crust with a piece of parchment paper and fill it about three-quarters full with dried beans or pie weights.

crust filled with beans

Bake for 20 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven and remove the parchment paper and beans/pie weights.

removing the beans

Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough is dry and golden. Don’t worry if the bottom puffs up; just press it down gently with a flat spatula, taking care not to puncture it. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

If using a store-bought crust, simply follow the blind-baking instructions on the package.

blind baked pie crust

Step 3: Make The Filling

While the crust finishes cooking, combine the pumpkin pie filling ingredients in a large bowl.

pumpkin pie filling ingredients in bowl

Whisk until smooth.

smooth pumpkin pie filling

Step 4: Bake the Pumpkin Pie

Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust.

pumpkin pie ready to bake

Bake the pie for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is just set. It should look dry around the edges and the center should jiggle just slightly if you nudge the pan. The pie will look a little puffed when it comes out of the oven, but it will settle as it cools.

baked pumpkin pie

Cool the pie on a rack (leave it on the baking sheet) to room temperature, a few hours. Slice or refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Video Tutorial

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“This is my new go-to pumpkin pie! I was a bit skeptical of the black pepper, but decided to include it, and to follow the recipe exactly…This pie is absolutely delicious, not too sweet, not too spicy, just perfect!”

Mary Kate

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie: seemingly simple, yet often a challenge! This recipe promises success with a buttery, flaky crust and a delicately spiced, smooth pumpkin filling that stays perfect—no unsightly cracks!—as it cools.

Ingredients

  • 1 Homemade Pie Crust or 9-inch deep-dish frozen pie crust shell (thawed)
  • 1 (15-oz) can pure pumpkin (about 1¾ cups)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large eggs yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1¼ cups evaporated milk (you’ll need one 12-oz can but you won’t use all of it)

Instructions

Blind Bake the Crust

  1. For homemade crust: Roll out the dough and gently fit it into a (9-inch) deep-dish pie pan, ensuring it’s snug against the pan’s edges and bottom. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Remove the chilled pie crust from the refrigerator and place it on a baking sheet (this makes it easy to move in and out of the oven). Cover the crust with a piece of parchment paper and fill about three-quarters full with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven; remove the parchment paper and beans/pie weights and tent the edges with a few strips of foil folded in half lengthwise (this will protect the edges from getting too dark). Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough is dry and lightly golden. Don’t worry if the bottom puffs up; just press it down gently with a flat spatula, such as a pancake turner, taking care not to puncture it. Remove the foil but don’t throw it away; you may need it again.
  2. For frozen crust: Follow the instructions for blind-baking on the package.
  3. After blind-baking the crust, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Make the Filling

  1. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, egg, egg yolks, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and evaporated milk. Whisk until smooth, then pour the filling into the pre-baked crust.
  2. Bake the pie for 50 to 60 minutes (at 325°F), until the filling is just set. It should look dry around the edges, but the center should jiggle just slightly if you nudge the pan. Keep a close eye on the pie as it bakes; if ever the crust looks like it’s browning too quickly, tent the edges with foil strips. Let the pie cool on a rack (leave it on the baking sheet) to room temperature, a few hours. Slice or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Make Ahead: Pumpkin pie can be made one day ahead of time and refrigerated.
  4. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The dough can be made ahead, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. If you freeze it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. The pie can be frozen after baking for up to 1 month. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 335
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Sugar: 27g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Sodium: 287mg
  • Cholesterol: 103mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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