How to make a delicious old-fashioned pumpkin pie recipe like our grandmother's with a creamy spiced filling like this delicious cinnamon pie and a buttery, crispy crust.
Why you'll love this recipe
This homemade pumpkin pie recipe is much tastier than the store-bought ones, and I can't tell you the difference between making it with fresh pumpkins versus canned pumpkins.
- A buttery, crispy pie crust that's similar to a puff pastry.
- A homemade pumpkin puree filling full of flavor and spiced with a homemade pumpkin pie spice mix.
- A full-flavored dessert to share with the family with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
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Fresh vs canned pumpkin
If you are used to using canned pumpkins to make classic pumpkin pie as it is easier and faster but you should also try making your own homemade puree and see the difference in taste, flavor and texture.
For the past few years I've been banishing canned goods as much as I can and going more for fresh, but to be honest, when it comes to baking you won't see much difference in using fresh or canned puree.
Canned pumpkin is more concentrated and has a stronger taste while fresh pumpkin is juicier and has a more delicate flavor.
And don't forget that canned pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and spiced pumpkin puree.
Ingredients you need
* You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card below.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour, ideal for pie crusts as it ensures a light and flaky texture.
- Sugar: Powdered sugar adds a touch of sweetness to the pie crust, but its primary role is structural, contributing to the texture and color of the crust.
- Salt: Salt is essential to enhance the flavor of the pie crust. It balances the sweetness of the sugar and adds depth to the flavors.
- Butter: Cold unsalted butter Butter is the key ingredient that brings richness and flavor to the crust. Make sure it's cold to achieve a flaky and tender texture.
- Water: Ice-cold water is used to bind the dry ingredients and form the dough. It should be very cold to maintain the flakiness of the crust.
- Sugar: A mixture of white sugar and dark brown sugar or cane sugar.
- Pumpkin puree: Canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree, the texture will be a little different depending on whether you use one or the other. Use sugar pumpkins or butternut squash rather.
- Heavy cream: To soften the texture and taste of the filling, the more you use, the creamier the consistency will be. If you reduce the amount, the texture will be thicker, less creamy and more spicy. You can also replace it with unsweetened condensed milk (evaporated milk).
- Eggs: at room temperature.
- Cornstarch: in combination with the eggs, it helps to firm up the texture, it is an essential ingredient that you can eventually replace with flour.
- Spices: essential, here I have slightly dosed the quantities of some spices, like ground ginger, nutmeg or ground cloves, only cinnamon is dosed more because it is the one I prefer. You can use a pumpkin pie spice mix directly, which is perfectly suitable.
- Vanilla and salt: Indispensable to perfume and bring out all the flavors.
How to make old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
Make the crust
- Put the flour, granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl and add the cold butter cut into pieces.
- Use your hands to rub the ingredients together until you get a sandy texture with a few pieces of butter still visible.
- Add the cold water and bring the dough together to form a ball that is not very homogeneous.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
- Grease a pie pan with butter or line it with parchment paper so that the dough doesn't stick after baking.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of baking sheet to a thickness of about 3 - 4 mm.
- Cover the inside of the pie plate, cut out and shape the edges (as shown in the photo).
- Prick the bottom of the unbaked pie crust with a fork and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes while preparing the filling.
- Combine all dry ingredients, flour, cornstarch, salt and pumpkin pie spices and set aside.
- In another bowl, put the eggs with the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and beat with a hand whisk for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin puree and then the heavy cream and mix again until smooth and liquid.
- Add the dry ingredient mixture and gently mix to incorporate.
- Fill the inside of the pie shell with the entire pumpkin pie filling.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Bake pumpkin pie halfway through for about 1 hour until golden brown on top and the filling is firm.
- Cool completely to room temperature, then unmold and place on a wire rack or place directly on in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Serve a slice of pumpkin pie cold with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Storage and freeze instructions
In the Fridge: Pumpkin pie can be safely stored in the refrigerator for approximately 3 to 5 days. It's recommended to allow the pie to cool completely before placing it in the fridge for the best texture and flavor.
In the Freezer: If you want to extend the lifespan of your pumpkin pie, freezing is a great option. Once the pie has completely cooled after baking, cut it into individual slices or wrap the whole pie in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped slices or pie in an airtight container or a resealable freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
Defrosting: When you're ready to enjoy your frozen pumpkin pie, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator. Allow it to thaw slowly in the fridge until it's fully defrosted. This gradual thawing process ensures that the pie maintains its delicious taste and texture. It may take several hours or overnight for the pie to thaw completely, so plan ahead for your dessert cravings!
Tips for this recipe
- Use fresh pumpkin puree: While canned pumpkin puree is convenient, using fresh pumpkin puree from a sugar pumpkin can enhance the flavor of your pie.
- Choose the right pumpkin: Look for sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins, as they have sweeter and smoother flesh compared to carving pumpkins.
- Use a homemade pie crust: While store-bought crusts are convenient, homemade crusts can be flakier and more flavorful.
- Don't overmix the filling: Overmixing can lead to a tough texture. Mix until just combined.
- Cool completely: Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack before serving. This helps the filling set and improves the flavor.
Pecan Pumpkin Pie: Add a layer of chopped pecans to the bottom of the pie crust before pouring in the filling for a delightful crunch.
Bourbon Pumpkin Pie: Incorporate a couple of tablespoons of bourbon into the filling to give your pie a warm, boozy flavor.
Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Pie: Create a chocolate swirl effect by mixing cocoa powder or melted chocolate into a portion of the filling before swirling it into the pumpkin mixture.
Mini Pumpkin Pies: Make individual-sized pies using a muffin tin or mini pie dishes for a cute and convenient dessert.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use any kind of pumpkin to make pumpkin pies, but you will get different textures and tastes from each variety you use.
Yes, it is normal that the texture is runny before baking, after baking the texture will firm up and even more so after resting in the fridge.
The best pumpkin to use for pumpkin pie filling is the sugar pumpkin, the famous jack-o-lantern pumpkin.
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