Pumpkin pie, creamy, delicious and packed with flavor thanks to cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg, is a must at my house for Thanksgiving morning parade-watching.
Pumpkin pie is one of the easiest desserts to make. You're stirring ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a spatula or a hand mixer and pouring them into a pie shell then into an oven.
I put pumpkin up there with pecan pie in terms of ease.
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How to Make Pumpkin Pie
Why You'll Love This Pumpkin Pie
No mixer required, you can put this dessert together with a bowl and a sturdy spatula.
It's both creamy and spicy at once.
This is a classic, no-fail recipe.
Grating fresh nutmeg is optional but it will make a big difference in your pie's flavor.
Pumpkin Pie Ingredients
Pumpkin Puree--not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling.
Brown Sugar--adds sweetness and carmelization. Use dark or light. Swap with granulated sugar if you have no brown.
Evaporated Milk--adds creaminess
Eggs-- adds richness and works as a binder to keep all the ingredients together
Ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg--brings the flavor
You can use a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice if you're missing the other spices.
For bonus points, you can grate fresh nutmeg if you like.
You'll only use a fraction of the nutmeg, which just like the name implies, is actually a nut you can buy at the spice counter.
How to Make Pumpkin Pie (see recipe for detailed instruction)
- Prepare your pie crust, unroll and lay in a 9-inch pie plate and prick bottom of crust with a fork.
- Measure spices and pour into a small bowl and stir together.
- Mix the contents of a can of pumpkin puree, brown sugar and evaporated milk in a large mixing bowl.
- Add eggs, one at a time, breaking first in a small bowl. This way if the egg is bad, you haven't ruined your pie mixture. Stir to combine.
- Add vanilla extract and spices. Stir.
- Pour into prepared pie shell and bake at 425F for 15 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350F and continue baking for 40 minutes or until a knife or toothpick, inserted in the middle of the pie, comes out clean. (See recipe for detailed instructions)
- Let rest on counter for an hour after baking.
Be sure to refrigerate pumpkin pie within two hours of removing pie from the oven.
There's an old saying that if pie jiggles like Jello in the middle, it's done. If the pie wiggles like a wave, it isn't done.
Then there's the classic knife method.
Stick a butter knife in the middle and pull it out. If there's pumpkin on the knife, keep baking. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done.
Storing Pumpkin Pie
According to the FDA, pumpkin pie will keep (if it lasts that long!) two to three days in the refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap or foil first so the pie doesn't dry out.
Don't store the dessert on the counter for longer than two hours.
A 9-inch pie will yield 8 servings.
Substitute equal amounts of any milk or cream as a substitute for evaporated milk. Try replacing the evaporated milk with whole milk or two percent or cream. You can also use skim milk but your pie won't taste as rich. You can substitute almond milk to make dairy-free pumpkin pie.
The internal temperature of pumpkin pie should be 180 degrees F. Stick a food thermometer in the middle of the pie to get a reading.
Visual cues that a pumpkin pie is done baking:
Look at the pie. The entire surface of the pie should be darker than when you put it in the oven. The edges should be darker as well.
Put a potholder on your hand and nudge the pie tin, if the whole pie shakes keep baking.
Pumpkin pie is safe on a countertop or table for two hours but then should be refrigerated, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Dress Up Your Pie
If you want something a little different from pie, try Paula Deen Pumpkin Bars
The only easier pie recipe might be Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key Lime Pie Recipe (Just 3 Ingredients).
Another good, easy dessert is St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake (aka The Cake You Won't Stop Eating)
If you're a new baker, I suggest checking out What Should a Beginner Bake?
- * 1 homemade or refrigerated pie crust
- * 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- * 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I like Vietnamese)
- * ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- *⅛ teaspoon of ground nutmeg (see notes)
- * ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- * 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- * 1 cup brown sugar
- * 2 large eggs, beaten
- * 1 14-ounce can evaporated milk (see notes for substitutions)
1. Fit pie crust onto pie plate. Prick crust with a fork so that air bubbles release while baking.
2. Preheat oven to 450 F
3. Pour pumpkin puree into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
4. Add brown sugar and spices. Mix until combined using hand mixer or sturdy spatula or stand mixer paddle attachment.
5. Add eggs and beat until combined, about three minutes.
6. Add evaporated milk and beat until combined on low speed to start. Blend until well-combined, at least two minutes.
7. Pour pumpkin mixture on unbaked pie crust. Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes.
8. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and bake for another 45 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the pie with a food thermometer.
Pumpkin pie should reach an internal temperature of 180 F.
9. Let pie cool for at least an hour then refrigerate. Slice and serve with whipped cream.
Evaporated milk substitutions in pumpkin pie include whole milk, two percent milk or heavy or light cream. Use the same amount of milk or cream--14 fluid ounces.
Pumpkin puree substitutes: pureed squash or carrots, either canned or fresh.
If you're out of brown sugar, you can substitute the brown sugar for granulated sugar.
Fresh nutmeg is a great addition to pumpkin pie but you can leave it out.
You can get a nutmeg grater for less than $5 on Amazon or at your natural food store at the time of this writing. I think my nutmeg was less than a dollar.
You'll only use a fraction of the nutmeg itself. Save it to grate fresh nutmeg over mashed potatoes or a creamy pasta dish or steamed cauliflower.
How do you know when a pumpkin pie is ready to come out of the oven?
The best way to tell is to check the internal temperature of the pie. Grab your food thermometer, put on oven mitts, open the oven, carefully pull the oven rack towards you and stick your thermometer in the middle, being careful not to push it all the way to the bottom. The bottom will be hotter than the middle. The internal temperature when done is 180 F, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 310Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 62mgSodium 289mgCarbohydrates 45gFiber 3gSugar 30gProtein 7g