This easy classic pumpkin pie recipe has a crisp crust and a smooth filling with a beautiful blend of creamy, spicy-sweet flavors that envelop all that is wonderful about fall.
You can make this easy pumpkin pie from scratch a few days in advance and is freezer friendly. Check out all my tips and tricks so you can bake with confidence!
What You’ll Need For This Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Pumpkin Pie Crust
Butter: Your butter should be straight out of the fridge and cold.
Why the emphasis on temperature? This is to prevent the fat from melting. You’ll lose the flakiness if the butter melts inside the dough prior to baking. As the pie bakes & the knobs of butter melt, steam will be created and helps to separate the crust into multiple flaky layers.
In the bowl of your food processor or in a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the cold butter. Use a pastry cutter (or two forks) to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a range of pieces from small lentil-sized nuggets to larger clumps.
Next: Vinegar & ice water (measure it in a cup and add ice).
Start with the vinegar, then drizzle in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Either pulse to combine or stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon after every tablespoon.
Add the 2 leftover tablespoons of ice water OR (optional) sprinkle in two tablespoons of lemon juice/vinegar or vodka. The acid will slow down gluten development. The alcohol doesn’t promote gluten formation, thus helping the crust stay flaky and tender. If using alcohol, it will bake-off, don’t you worry 😉
Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps
Gently knead it together until the dough clumps together. Shape it into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
The specks and swirls of butter will help ensure a flaky pie dough. A GOOD thing!
Roll out the crust. Be gentle. When rolling the dough out, always start from the center and work your way out, turning the dough 90 degrees with your hands as you go. Turn, roll, turn, roll.
Roll the dough into a 30 cm (12-inch) circle, to fit a 23 cm (9-inch) pie dish.
How To Blind Bake A Pumpkin Pie Crust?
It’s basically baking pie crust without a filling. Your eyes are open the whole time. ?
Make sure you chill your pie shell before blind baking for at least 20 minutes and up to 5 days (Or freeze for up to 3 months) by wrapping the pumpkin pie crust in plastic wrap. If you freeze it, let it thaw for a couple hours in the fridge (ideally overnight) before continuing.
Here’s our problem:
When we bake the pie dough, the fat melts, and this causes the pie crust to shrink down the sides of your pie dish. As the fat melts, steam is created. Now this is both good and bad. Let me explain:
- It creates delicious layers and flakes. BUT
- It also causes the pie dough to puff up when there’s no filling weighing it down.
How do we solve this?
Weighing down the pie crust with rice or bake weights so it doesn’t puff up in the center or shrink down the sides.
You want to start by carefully lining the pie dough with parchment paper, then add some weight. You can purchase special pie weights or you can use dry beans or rice. Note: 2 packs of these pie weights are definitely needed!
How To Dock A Pie Crust
This helps the steam to escape and prevents lots of puff. Pricking holes in your pumpkin pie crust is also called “docking” the pie crust.
I always use my trusty pie weights and remove them after the edges turn brown ( be careful, they are very hot), then I dock the crust with a fork and return it to the oven so the bottom cooks.
The remaining oven time depends on whether you want a partially blind-baked pie crust or a fully blind-baked pie crust. In this recipe, we pour the pumpkin pie filling right in after we remove the pie weights.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
Ingredients in Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- Eggs. They give the filling its rich, luxurious texture.
- Heavy cream. Heavy cream makes pumpkin pie luxurious and silky smooth.
- Canned Pumpkin Pie.
- Pumpkin pie spice + freshly ground black pepper. Because this little addition turns your pumpkin pie into the BEST pumpkin pie. It is so damn good. A pinch of pepper. I’m just going to shout it: IT’S SO GOOD.
Mistakes to Avoid In This Pumpkin Pie From Scratch
- Not using canned pumpkin purée. Fresh pumpkins vary in size, moisture content, and roasting time. OvenTemperature can affect those factors as well. For a stunning pumpkin pie year after year, use canned pumpkin.
- Not blind baking the crust. Blind baking means that the crust is partially baked before it is filled to prevent the crust from deforming as it bakes. Try to keep your blind-baked crust warm so the warm filling goes into a warm crust. This makes for a better texture in both the crust and pie.
- Not baking it correctly. Over-bake them and they become dense and pasty; undercook the pie and say bye-bye to perfect slices. The best way to prevent cracks in your pumpkin pie is to avoid over baking it. When done, give the pie a nudge. It should jiggle slightly in the center. A knife inserted into the edge of the filling should come out moist but clean.
- Not cooling completely before slicing. The idea of eating a warm pie might be appealing, but most pies require to be cooled down completely. Because pies are dense, their edges and bottoms might feel cool to the touch, but the center is still quite warm.
Tips To A Perfect Pumpkin Pie
An egg wash is KEY to a golden beautiful crust. You can use cream, milk or even water to mix with the egg. Make sure to mix thoroughly.
Warming the pie filling is a crucial step for a smooth pie that has a crisp bottom so don’t skip it.
Cover your crust with aluminum foil. Just fold a length of foil in half then loosely wrap around the pie and crumple over the top so the crust is protected. Doing this will give you a golden crust and baked through pie.
- 320 g Plain Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Granulated sugar
- 245 g Cold butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Cider vinegar
- 7 1/2 Tbsp Cold water
- 1 tin Pumpkin puree (425g)
- 135 g Light brown sugar
- 115 g Caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp Ground black pepper
- 240 ml Double cream
- 60 ml Milk
- 3 Whole eggs
- Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of your processor and pulse to combine.
- Add the cubes of butter to the dry mixture and pulse for a few seconds to break the butter up. You'll be left with a few lumps of butter and pea-sized butter pieces.
- Start by adding the vinegar and continue with the cold water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, while pulsing until the mixture comes together. (10 secs)You can also squeeze a bit of the dough in your hand, if it’s ready, the clump will hold together and you're good to go. If not, add any leftover water.
- On a lightly floured surface, bring the dough together in 1 ball, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Flatten into a disc, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
- Once your pie crust is chilled and is nice and firm, remove it from the fridge.On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pie crust into a 30 cm (12-inch) circle. Carefully transfer the dough into a 23 cm (9-inch) pie dish. Carefully tuck the dough in, and use the back of your fingers to push in the crease of the pie dish, making sure it is smooth. Trim the edge leaving 3 cm (an inch) of overhang then fold the edge under and pinch into a crimped pattern. Dock with a fork all over so steam can escape during the blind bake.Optional: use the excess dough to make leaves etc… (bake separately, not on pie itself)
- By now your pastry might have warmed up a bit (which is totally fine!). In that case, place your pie in the fridge for 20 minutes just to harden up that butter again.
- Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F)
- Line the pie crust with parchment paper. (Crunch up the parchment paper first so that you can easily shape it into the crust.) Fill with pie weights and make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Bake at 190°C (375°F) for about 15 minutes then remove the paper and weights, dock with a fork again and bake another 5 – 7 minutes or until the bottom is dried out. Set aside & reduce oven temperature to 175°C (350°F)In the meantime, make your pumpkin filling.
- Add the pumpkin puree, both sugars, salt, vanilla extract, and spices to a medium saucepan on medium-low heat. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup combine the milk and cream then warm in the microwave for about 60-90 seconds until luke-warm. This can be done on the stove as well.
- Stirring frequently until the mixture is hot and just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl then drizzle the luke-warm milk mixture while whisking.
- Whisk the egg mixture into the pumpkin filling. Mix until you're left with a smooth and homogeneous batter.
- Pour pumpkin pie filling into the warm pre-baked crust. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. Brush edge with an egg wash.Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is just set in the middle ( a small part will be wobbly) and knife inserted in the center comes out clean.After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a pie crust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 35, and then 40, and then 45, etc.
- Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 2-3 hours. Decorate with pie crust leaves (optional). Serve pie with whipped cream if desired. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Storage & Make-Ahead
Pumpkin pie freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
Pie crust dough is freezer friendly as well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
The filling can be made the night before as well. It gives the spices, pumpkin, and both sugars a chance to infuse and blend. Cover and place in fridge overnight.
- Festive Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch
- Oven-Baked Donuts Recipe – 3 Ways
If you make this pumpkin pie from scratch please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #WhatsUpDoughBakes.