This perfect recipe for pumpkin pie, has an all butter tender, flaky crust and a smooth, custardy pumpkin filling. Baked in a deep dish pie plate creates an extra generous portion of pumpkin.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Pumpkin Pie has been on my mind. For the perfect pumpkin pie, I like using a deep dish pie plate, so there is as much filling as possible. The pumpkin filling is flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. It’s extra smooth and creamy, absolutely glorious paired with the golden and flaky pie crust and freshly whipped cream.
Tips for Pie Crust Success
Freeze the Butter – when the butter is frozen it is less likely to melt. Cold pieces of butter in the dough will melt when baking and create pockets of air, making the pie dough tender and flaky. If the butter melts while you are still making the crust, the crust will be tough and flat.
Don’t Overwork the Dough – if you overwork the dough, the butter will melt.
Don’t Add Too Much Water – adding too much water will make the dough sticky, it will be harder to roll out, which will cause you to overwork it and once again, it won’t be tender and flaky. When you mix the dough in the food processor, it should still look shaggy and will come come together when you pinch it between your fingers. Don’t add any more water. When you place it on the counter and bring it together with your hands, it will easily hold together. Form it into the shape of a disc.
Chill the Crust Before Baking – chilling the dough will let the butter rest, keep it cold and help the gluten relax, so the dough doesn’t shrink too much while you are rolling it out. Chill the dough before rolling it out and also after rolling it out and placing it into the pie pan. This will help the pie crust not to shrink too much when you bake it either.
Blind Bake the Crust To Avoid a Soggy Bottom – blind baking means partially pre-baking the crust before adding the filling. This will help to make the crust golden and crisp, not pale and soggy.
Tips For the Best Pumpkin Pie
Use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin filling. Pumpkin puree is cooked and pureed pumpkin, pumpkin filling has other ingredients added to it, which we don’t want, since we want to flavor it to our own preference. Also, using canned pumpkin helps to have more consistent results. If you cook and puree the pumpkin, the pumpkin pie may not turn out consistently well, since there are different pumpkin varieties and the pumpkin may have too much liquid, which will affect the consistency of the pie filling.
I got this tip from America’s Test Kitchen to start cooking the pumpkin filling on the stovetop first before pouring it into the pie crust and putting it into the oven. It works so well! I actually tested this method by baking two pumpkin pies, using the exact same ingredients, but only mixing the pumpkin filling ingredients for one and pouring it right into the blind baked pie crust and the second pie I started cooking the filling on the stove before pouring it into the blind baked pie crust and then baking in the oven. The pie with the warmed filling finished baking significantly faster (a good 25 minutes earlier), was really smooth, the pie didn’t have a single crack and the pie crust wasn’t over baked. The other pie took much longer to bake, was starting to crack, the pie crust was starting to burn around the edges because it was in the oven for so long, so it turned out much harder, tougher and the filling was inconsistent. I could tell it would be very simple to over bake in some areas, while still be undercooked in the center.
The combination of milk, heavy cream and eggs along with the pureed pumpkin, creates the rich, creamy and smooth pumpkin filling. If you want the filling to be really tender and creamy, use 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup cream. I prefer using 2/3 cup milk and 2/3 cup heavy cream, which makes the filling a bit more rich and satiny.
How To Prevent Cracks in the Pumpkin Pie
As I mentioned above, heating up the pumpkin filling before adding it to the pie crust will help it to bake faster. Over baking the pie is one of the biggest reasons why a pumpkin pie cracks, so because the pie bakes faster with the warm filling, it will most likely result in a smooth, even surface.
Don’t cook the pie too long. The edges of the pie should be set, but the middle should still jiggle just a bit when you shake it. The pie will continue cooking even after you turn off the oven, so turn it off before it completely sets in the middle too.
Sudden temperature changes also can cause a pumpkin pie to crack. I turn off the oven and leave the pie in there for a little bit, opening the oven door and propping it open, so the pie cools off gradually.
Making the Pie in Advance
You can make the pie crust up to a few months in advance and freeze it. You can also store it for a few days in the refrigerator, either rolled out and in the pie dish, or just stored in a disc. Either way, make sure to cover it tightly with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a freezer ziplock bag, so it doesn’t absorb any odors and doesn’t dry out.
You can also bake the pie and store it in the refrigerator, covered well, for 3-4 days. You can even freeze the already baked pumpkin pie. Cool it completely before placing it into the freezer, covered tightly, and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw the pie in the refrigerator. (Make sure to remove the foil or plastic first, so there aren’t any water droplets soaking into the pie as it thaws.)
This perfect recipe for pumpkin pie, has an all butter, tender, flaky crust and a smooth, custardy pumpkin filling. Baked in a deep dish pie plate creates an extra generous portion of pumpkin.
Pie Crust: 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter, chilled (I freeze it first) 4-5 Tablespoons ice water Pumpkin Filling: 1 1/2 (15 oz) cans pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filing) (22.5 oz total) 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon pinch of ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2/3 cups heavy cream 2/3 cups milk 4 large eggs
Prepare the pie crust.
Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse to combine until the butter is pea sized.
Add the water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition of water. Keep adding water until the dough just begins to gather into larger clumps.
Dump the dough onto the counter and gather together into the shape of a disc. Wrap in parchment paper or aluminum foil. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Roll out the pie dough on a well floured surface and then gently ease into the bottom of a deep dish pie plate. Crimp the edges of the dough. Chill the pie dough in the pie plate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper inside the chilled pie plate on top of the pie crust, add dry beans or pie weights and bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and bake the crust for another 5 minutes, uncovered.
While the pie crust is baking, make the pumpkin filling.
In a blender or food processor, combine the pumpkin puree with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until the pumpkin filling becomes glossy and more concentrated.
Add the milk, heavy cream and vanilla extract, mixing to combine.
Place the eggs into the same blender or food processor that you used to combine the pumpkin ingredients, pulsing for just a few seconds, until the eggs are combined. With the engine running, slowly pour some of the hot pumpkin mixture into the blender/food processor, mixing so that the eggs don’t curdle. Once you’ve added at least half of the pumpkin mixture to the eggs, pour everything back into the saucepan, mix to combine evenly.
When the pie crust has finished blind baking, pour the pumpkin filling into the pie crust and return to the oven.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, until the edges have set and the center is still just a little bit jiggly. This will depend on your oven and on the size of the pie plate that you use, so watch the pie closely instead of trusting the time. You may have to bake for an additional 5-15 minutes.
Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open, so that the pie gradually cools off.
Serve the pie with whipped cream. Store the pie in the refrigerator.
Keywords: pumpkin pie, deep dish, autumn, thanksgiving, dessert