I have to admit: for a long time, I didn’t really like homemade pumpkin pie. For years, I actually preferred store-bought pumpkin pie because I found many of the recipes that I had tried to make at home produced a pie that was too soft and lacked texture (like baby food).
In testing so many different variations to this recipe, I discovered that adding a tablespoon of cornstarch gives the pumpkin pie the perfect texture — creamy and smooth but still with a little bit of body to it. Combined with the delicious flavor of flaky and buttery homemade crust… there is no going back to the store-bought version!
The best part is, homemade pumpkin pie is actually super easy to make and only requires a single mixing bowl and a whisk. It pairs perfectly with my easy homemade Flaky Pie Crust, but you could just as easily use store-bought crust if you wanted; just follow the instructions on the package for pre-baking the crust.
This recipe uses one 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree; however, if you can’t find a can that size, you can just measure out 2 cups of pumpkin puree (which is technically 16 ounces, but it will come out just fine!). Also, if you are using a store-bought pie crust, you may end up with leftover filling (as the store bought shells are usually on the smaller side). In that case, I just add any extra filling to a ramekin or ovenproof dish and bake it alongside the pie until it is done — it makes an excellent treat for the chef!
HOW LONG SHOULD I BAKE PUMPKIN PIE?
My only tip for making homemade pumpkin pie is to be sure not to bake it for too long. I bake mine on 350℉ for around 50 minutes. But it depends on the size of your pie dish and your oven.
WELL, HOW DO I KNOW WHEN PUMPKIN PIE IS DONE BAKING?
It’s hard to describe, but when the pie is finished baking, the filling should have a slight jiggle in the center (like jello) when you take it out of the oven, but not so much that it appears wavy and liquidy. Just remember: jiggles, not waves!
Over-baking the pie can make the top crack and give the pie an unpleasant, somewhat eggy, texture so be sure to keep an eye on it!
Start by preparing the pie crust using pastry dough (I use my homemade Flaky Pie Crust recipe), or simply skip this step if using a store-bought pie shell.
In any event, preheat the oven to 400℉.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough so that it is about 1″ larger in diameter than your pie dish.
Carefully place your pie dough over the dish, pressing the dough gently into the bottom edges. Fold and press the outer edges into your desired shape. Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Then, blind bake the pie dough.
If using a store-bought pie shell, simply pre-bake it according to the instructions on the package.
If using homemade pastry dough, remove the unbaked pie shell from the freezer and prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork. This will help prevent the crust from puffing up in the oven.
Place a piece of aluminum foil against the surface of the dough, pressing the foil into the edges of your unbaked pie shell. Fill the aluminum foil with pie weights, dried beans, or rice.
Bake the dough for 15 minutes, then remove the pie weights and foil.
Return the pie shell into the oven and continue to bake it for another 8 to 10 minutes until the crust is lightly golden brown. Remove it from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
When ready to assemble and bake the pie, reduce the oven temperature to 350℉.
Combine the pumpkin purée, eggs, heavy cream, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt into a large bowl and mix with a whisk to combine.
In a small bowl, combine the milk (or dark rum) and the cornstarch. Stir until all of the cornstarch is dissolved, then stir that slurry into the rest of the pumpkin mixture. Pour the pumpkin filling into the pre-baked pie shell.
Carefully place the pie on a baking sheet into the center of the oven.
Bake for about 50 minutes (depending on the size of your pie dish), until the filling has just set. It should appear firm along the sides of the pie but still have a slight jiggle in the center when moved.
Finally, remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for at least an hour before serving (to allow the filling to fully set). Otherwise, allow the pie to cool completely and then refrigerate it for later.
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Nothing marks the arrival of fall and the holiday season quite like pumpkin pie. This homemade version hits all of the right notes — a flaky, homemade crust filled with a silky pumpkin filling and the perfect combination of spices.
- Pastry Dough (click for my homemade Flaky Pie Crust recipe, of which you will only need ½ for this recipe)
- 15 oz pumpkin purée (about 2 cups)
- 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 cup heavy cream (at room temperature)
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 2 Tbsp milk (or substitute with dark rum)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Preparing the Pastry Dough (skip if using store-bought pie shell)
- Place chilled pasty dough on a well-floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough into a circle about 1 inch larger in diameter than the pie dish. Keep rotating the dough to prevent sticking.Pastry Dough
- Carefully transfer rolled-out dough onto pie dish. Gently press dough into bottom and side edges of dish to form the crust, as desired.
- Fold outside edge of dough under itself to form a thicker crust, pressing gently.
- Chill in freezer for 5 minutes.
Blind-baking the Pastry Dough
- For store-bought pie shell: Pre-bake according to instructions on package.
- For homemade pastry dough: Preheat oven to 400ºF. With a fork, prick the bottom layer of pastry dough inside the dish. Place aluminum foil against the surface of the dough and gently press into bottom and inner edges. Using baking beans or pie weights, weigh down the aluminum foil. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and baking beans (or pie weights) and bake until crust is lightly golden brown (about 8–10 minutes more).
- Set aside and allow to cool before filling.
Assembling and Baking the Pie
- Reduce oven temperature to 350℉.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, eggs, heavy cream, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.15 oz pumpkin purée3 large eggs1 cup heavy cream½ cup light brown sugar, packed¼ cup white sugar1 tsp ground cinnamon½ tsp kosher salt¼ tsp ground nutmeg¼ tsp ground ginger
- In a small bowl, combine milk (or rum) and cornstarch. Stir until cornstarch is fully dissolved.2 Tbsp milk1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Add cornstarch slurry to pumpkin mixture. Stir until mixture is well combined.
- Pour the pumpkin filling into the pre-baked pie crust.
- Set on a sheet pan and place in the oven on the middle rack.
- Bake until pumpkin filling has just set (about 50 minutes, depending on the size of your pie dish). Note: the pie should appear firm along the edges, but still have a slight jiggle in the centre.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least an hour before serving. (Otherwise, the filling may not be fully set.)
- Once cool, store in the refrigerator.
- This recipe makes enough filling for a pie dish up to 11 inches in diameter. If you have any extra filling, you can pour it into ramekins or an ovenproof dish and bake it separately. (This makes a great little treat for the chef!)
- When the pie is finished baking, the filling should have a slight jiggle in the center (like jello) when you take it out of the oven, but not so much that it appears wavy and liquidy. Just remember: jiggles, not waves!