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Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is a quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. It’s rare to find a house that doesn’t serve at least one, if for no other reason than “it’s Thanksgiving, you have to have pumpkin pie”. I am a huge pie person (and an even bigger pie crust person), but truth be told, pumpkin has never been one of my favorites. I will eat it, for sure (I’m not totally crazy), but it just never did much for me. Kind of “eh”. Until this recipe. While the flavor isn’t too dramatically different than most recipes, it has an extra oomph, and the texture is far superior to any pumpkin pie I’ve ever tasted. It’s silky smooth, creamy, and has an incredibly clean, slightly spicy pumpkin flavor.

This recipe definitely differs from that old familiar one on the back of the can of pumpkin. While it’s a bit more involved as far as prep goes, I think the payoff is well worth the extra effort. Some notes on how the different ingredients and techniques impact the pie:

* The addition of candied yams (sweet potatoes) intensifies the pumpkin flavor.
* Using fresh ginger adds much more flavor than dried.
* The maple syrup amps up the pumpkin’s natural sweetness.
* Simmering the pumpkin and sweet potatoes cooks off a good bit of moisture and concentrates their flavor.
* Cooking the spices along with the pumpkin allows their flavors to really get a boost.
* Heating the filling allows it to firm up quickly in the oven, rather than soaking into the crust and making it soggy.

So there you have it. Definitely a spin on your traditional pumpkin pie, but definitely a step up. This will certainly become my standard pumpkin pie from now on!

One year ago: Fallen Chocolate Cakes

Pumpkin Pie

Yield: One 9-inch pie

Prep Time: 2 hours (including crust)

Cook Time: 55 to 70 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 recipe for single pie crust

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup drained candied yams (from 15-ounce can)
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Prepare the crust and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

3. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Use a fork to prick the dough all over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.

4. Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans, filling the whole way up to the rim of the pie plate. Bake on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove foil/parchment and weights, rotate plate, and bake 5 to 15 additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove pie plate and baking sheet from oven.

5. While the pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Combine the pumpkin, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to a sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 t0 15 minutes.

6. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the cream mixture until fully incorporated. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl, using the back of a ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Rewhisk mixture and transfer to warm prebaked pie shell. Return pie plate with baking sheet to oven and bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue baking until edges of pie are set and the center looks firm but jiggles slightly (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream.

(Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated, November 2008)

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59 Responses to “Pumpkin Pie”

  1. Green Girl @ A little bit of everything on November 11, 2010 at 12:35 am

    as weird as it sounds, I never made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, to finish my confession I rarely make pies, unless i have a store bought crust (hate making it)
    your pie looks so delicious, you make it sounds like it’s a piece of cake
    I’ll try soon your pie crust and if it’s a success I’ll make the filling too, if not I’ll but the crust and make the filling :d

    Reply

  2. Tanya on November 11, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Truth be told, I’ve always thought store bought pumpkin pies were far better tasting than any homemade one. I’m definitely willing to try this though because I feel like buying the pie is cheating. Thanks for all the great recipes! =]

    Reply

  3. Katrina on November 11, 2010 at 7:03 am

    I’m a big fan of pumpkin pie. I’ve never added yams before though. I’ll try this recipe next time :)

    Reply

  4. Lauren at KeepItSweet on November 11, 2010 at 7:16 am

    your pie looks so pretty, i like the idea of adding sweet potatoes

    Reply

  5. Tabitha @ From Single to Married on November 11, 2010 at 7:28 am

    can I just say how much I LOVE pumpkin pie! And the good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it) is that my husband hates it so when I make one I get to eat the whole thing! And this looks like a great recipe to try!

    Reply

  6. Estela @ Weekly Bite on November 11, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Pumpkin pie is my favorite pie of the season!

    Your pictures are breathtaking!

    Reply

  7. the blissful baker on November 11, 2010 at 9:08 am

    wow, your pumpkin pie looks beautiful, and i’m sure it tastes wonderful too! pumpkin pie is my favorite, and this version looks absolutely fabulous!

    Reply

  8. Laura Wifler on November 11, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I’m right with you on the pumpkin pie thing — I’m personally not one for it, but it’s a must to serve at Thanksgiving. I think I’ll try out this recipe this year and become a convert! :)

    Reply

  9. Lisa on November 11, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Gorgeous photos! My mom makes fantastic pumpkin pie… from the recipe on the back of the can of pumpkin. For years I thought it was a secret family recipe. It’s so tasty and familiar, though, I’m not sure that I am willing to break this tradition. :-)

    Reply

  10. Baking Serendipity on November 11, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I love the adaptations! I sometimes think I’m in the kitchen so much on Thanksgiving anyway, a little extra time spent on perfecting the pie won’t matter :) Thanks for the updated recipe!

    Reply

  11. maria on November 11, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I normally don’t like pumpkin pie, but I am pretty sure I could devour this piece!

    Reply

  12. Patty on November 11, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Your tweaks sound fantastic! I adore pumpkin pie – though I usually make pumpkin tarts or pumpkin puddings – and I usually use other winter squash instead, since there are much richer better tasting ones out there. I’ve added yams in there too – they rock. I guess they’re not really pumpkin pies then! Yours sounds really delicious – beautiful too – thanks for sharing this wonderful inspiring recipe. :)

    Reply

  13. eatgreek.net on November 11, 2010 at 11:07 am

    so yummy!!!! :D

    Reply

  14. Keeley on November 11, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I like pumpkin, but believe it or not, pumpkin doesn’t make a regular appearance at Thanksgiving in my family (or my husband’s side of the family). Maybe it’s a regional or cultural thing? Our families prefer sweet potatoes in all forms, so I bookmarked this recipe hoping I can encourage them to try it because it technically includes their beloved sweet potato!

    Reply

  15. Dawn Dishes It Out on November 11, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I love all your healthy substitutions! Your pumpkin pie looks absolutely delicious!!

    Reply

  16. Paula on November 11, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    My husband is not a big fan of pumpkin but I certainly am! Your pie looks amazing. Hoping you have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 14th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

      Thank you Paula, wishing you a wonderful holiday as well!

      Reply

  17. NanaBread (Jeanne) on November 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    It’s not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie, at least for me. Your notes and tweaks make perfect sense. Makes me wonder why I never tried some of them before. I can’t wait to try your version. It sounds fantastic, and the photos are gorgeous!

    Reply

  18. madge@vegetariancasserolequeen on November 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I’m with you on the pumpkin pie. I eat it for tradition’s sake, but if whipped cream weren’t involved I probably wouldn’t! I’ll have to give this one a try with the yam’s and make my own crust. That does make all the difference, doesn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  19. Deborah on November 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I am a pumpkin pie fan, and I’ve been trying to decide what pie to bring on Thanksgiving. I think you sold me!

    Reply

  20. Tricia @ {every}nothing wonderful on November 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I consider myself a pumpkin pie connoisseur…yet I got some good tips from you I’ll try. Thanks!

    Reply

  21. Shawn S. on November 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Pumpkin pie is definitlely a staple for Thanksgiving dinner. My mother-in-law is making all the pumpkin pies this year, but I might try to sneak one of these bad boys in {Desperate Housewives style}. Thanks a bunch!

    Reply

  22. DeannaJ on November 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I just roasted and pureed a pumpkin today, so I’m ready to make some pies! Yours looks soooooo yummy……I am trying to wait until Thanksgiving to make one, but that one looks so good, I may not be able to wait that long, LOL. I am gonna try your recipe, sounds delish, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  23. Mackenzie @ The Caramel Cookie on November 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I love, love, LOVE pumpkin pie! The addition of candied yams is a great idea!

    Reply

  24. Sherry on November 11, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Those are great tips! They will definitely be useful=)

    Reply

  25. Fayanne on November 11, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I was set on making Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie but after seeing your recipe I think I’m going to have to try this! Looks great!

    Reply

  26. Annie on November 11, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Oh my! This pumpkin pie might rival Grandma’s recipe! I can’t wait to try your recipe. (Your photos are beautiful too!)

    Reply

  27. Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox on November 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Yams! That’s brilliant! I actually got my hands on a sugar pie pumpkin last night. Yay. Took 3 markets, but found one. Your pumpkin pie looks delicious. That one slice with whipped cream just screams “eat me!”

    Reply

  28. the blissful baker on November 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    i made this pumpkin pie earlier in the week, and it was simply amazing. it was the best pumpkin pie i’ve ever had. thank you SO much for sharing the recipe!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 29th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

      You are welcome! I agree – I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan and this one converted me – it’s fab!

      Reply

  29. Hsunamisweets on November 27, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I made this pie twice for two different thanksgiving celebrations. Everyone loved it, and I have a new favorite too. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 29th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

      Yay! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

      Reply

  30. Alinia on November 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Just made a couple of times this last weekend — perfect pumpkin custard pie! Except that I roasted and then pureed the pumpkin and sweet potato and reduced the ginger by half. Did not cook again on stove and baked at 325 for 70 mins instead of 300 for 25-30mins. Definitely need to blind bake crust and cool completely.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 29th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks for the tips on your alterations! Glad you loved the pie!

      Reply

  31. Buttercup on December 25, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Made this for Christmas dessert. Haven’t tasted it yet but this produced enough filling for two, not one, pie. Sadly, I didn’t plan for two and will have to keep the filling in the fridge overnight. We’ll see how it turns out tomorrow. Who knows, overnight in the fridge may give the flavors more time to blend.

    Also, instead of straining for lumps, I moved the hot pumpkin filling to a bowl and added a cup of the egg/milk mixture a cup at a time using an immersion blender to smooth out the lumps. Then I whisked in the rest of the egg mixture. Worked perfectly. No lumps.

    Reply

  32. Ryan on October 3, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Hi from all the way in Trinidad and Tobago!
    I’ve tried so many of your recipes and always received great reviews.
    I’d love to try this one, (we don’t have Thanksgiving here) for Christmas,one thing though we don’t have the pumpkin in a can..how much cups of pumpkin puree would be needed to substitute for this?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 10th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Ryan, You would use the same amount of pumpkin puree, but make sure to squeeze out any extra moisture.

      Reply

  33. Jennifer Eloff on October 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Saw this on Nadia’s blog and had to come and check out the recipe. Awesome!

    Reply

  34. Gordon on October 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

    If I made it I would probably use a bit less whip cream just because I’d probably make a mess with it.

    Reply

  35. Amanda on December 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I made 2 pies using this recipe for Thanksgiving this year and they turned out great (plus I used your pie crust recipe as well). I used fresh pumpkin from a pie pumpkin that I steamed so I was nervous that the texture would be different but it turned out perfect! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  36. victoria on November 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    this is really similiar to smitten kitchen’s recipe…hmm

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 6th, 2012 at 9:53 am

      Yes, it is. If you look at the headnote on Deb’s recipe and the footnote on mine, you’ll see that we both used the same recipe from Cook’s Illustrated’s November 2008 issue. This would be exactly why they are really similar.

      Reply

  37. Natasha on November 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Question about canned candied yams. I’m in an American ex-pat in Australia, and I have to order canned yams from the states. Just to ensure I’m doing this right….are canned candied yams just canned sweet potatoes in syrup? That’s the only thing I can get shipped here! Thanks for the great looking recipe!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 10th, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Natasha, Yes, you’re right on – canned sweet potatoes in syrup are used for candied yams. Enjoy!

      Reply

  38. Laura on November 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Can I use ground ginger instead of fresh and if so how much would I use?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 15th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Laura, Fresh ginger and ground ginger have very different flavors, but if you decide to go ahead with ground, I would use just 1/8 teaspoon.

      Reply

      • Laura on November 17th, 2012 at 11:19 pm

        Thank you

        Reply

  39. Eilidh on November 18, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Hi, just a quick question, I’ve never come across tinned pumpkin or sweet potato where I live, so if just actual whole fresh pumpkin/sweet potato was all that was available, any ideas what would need to be done to it to make it resemble what’s required for the recipe?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 20th, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Hi Eilidh, You could Google how to make fresh pumpkin puree and use that. As for the sweet potato, it does call for candied, which means that they are canned in a sugar syrup. I’m sure there are some instructions online about how to do that as well. I’ve never done either, so unfortunately I am not much help!

      Reply

  40. Catarina on November 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I made this pumpkin pie almost entirely as you instructed. I didn’t have any canned sweet potatoes, but I did have sweet potatoes so I roasted them and (2 smallish) and put those instead. It turned out wonderful!!! It’s not too overly sweet, (at least mine wasn’t) has a good consistency and the spices compliment each other. After many pumpkin pie failed attempts, this one is a keeper!

    Reply

  41. Amber on September 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I made this recipe, and although the flavor was great, I must have made a mistake because the texture/bake was not. I ended up baking it for over an hour at 300 and the middle never set. :( Any ideas on what to do next time to avoid this?

    Reply

  42. Rachel on November 20, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I actually tried this pie the other day! However, I’m not sure I cooked it through….I followed the instructions but the pieces were waaaay different than any pumpkin pie I’ve ever made. It wasn’t firm at all, more like a mouse…soupy…thing. Is that just how it is? The flavor however was just awesome!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 20th, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Hi Rachel, It definitely should not be soupy; it should have the consistency of a pumpkin pie – very custard-like. You may have not baked it long enough.

      Reply

      • Rachel on November 23rd, 2013 at 9:26 am

        Hmmmm…so it should be as firm as normal pumpkin pie? If so then that’s probably what happened. Thanks!

        Reply

        • Michelle on November 23rd, 2013 at 11:45 pm

          Yes, definitely as firm as normal pumpkin pie. You’re welcome!

          Reply

  43. Dana on November 29, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Made this for the third year in a row and it was awesome! Baked two of the pies at the same time so it took a little longer. Taking the filling temperature was genius and they turned out perfect. So grateful you pick the best recipes despite my cookbook hoarding problem, I go to your website first.

    Reply

  44. SusieQ on November 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    It’s a keeper!!! I made this for Thanksgiving ’13 and was very happy with the results. I used my deep pie dish, which was perfect for the amount of custard but the next time I will make more crust. The custard was silky and the taste was perfectly pumpkin and spiced. I did have to cook mine a bit longer than the recipe called for. I will make this again for sure. I think I will go have a slice now.
    Thank you BEB for the recipe. ;)

    Reply

  45. Joyce on December 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Baking in the oven right now. LOVE the recipe and excited for the turnout. My son LOVES pumpkin pie but hates my home baked ones. I just found this recipe and I am determined to make a pie that rivals the store bought! Hopefully we have a winner! Thank you.

    Reply

  46. SusieQ on December 3, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I already left one comment about how awesome this was, but I must leave another. It holds up so well in the refrigerator! We have been eating on this pie several days now and it is just as good, if not better, than the day I baked.
    If you are a pumpkin pie lover, you must bake this pie!

    Reply

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