Pumpkin pie is made at my house with brown sugar and extra spice. Get substitutions for evaporated milk and find out when your pie is done baking.
Of course, no matter how you make it, I think pumpkin pie is best served cold with a giant splotch of whipped cream on top for breakfast with a cup of strong coffee on the side.
Pumpkin pie is one of the easiest pies to make. I put it up there with pecan pie in terms of ease.
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?
The following post contains affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I'll earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See disclosure policy.
How to Make Pumpkin Pie
How to Make Pumpkin Pie (see recipe for detailed instruction)
Gather your ingredients before you get started. The last thing you want to do is get half way through making a pumpkin pie only to find out you're missing a spice or eggs.
Unroll a prepared pie crust, unless you're making homemade, and fit into a 9-inch pie plate.
Measure spices and put in a small bowl.
Open can of pumpkin puree and can of evaporated milk.
You'll mix those together in a large mixing bowl.
You can use either a wooden spatula or a hand mixer or a stand mixer to make the filling.
I have heard tell of cooks mixing pie filling in a blender but I have no experience with that myself.
Add eggs one at a time, breaking each egg into a separate, small bowl. This way if the egg is bad, you haven't ruined your pie mixture.
Add brown sugar and spices and thoroughly mix to combine.
Pour into prepared pie shell and bake. (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.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Ingredients
Pumpkin pie spice includes ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger and ground nutmeg.
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.
Save the nutmeg in small spice jar or a resealable plastic bag for other uses.
Fresh nutmeg tastes great added to any kind of creamy food like mashed potatoes or Fettuccine Alfredo.
Just grate a sprinkle or two.
Fresh nutmeg is pungent and easily overdone.
Or, if you can buy a pre-made pumpkin pie spice at your spice counter.
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.
Common Pumpkin Pie Questions and Answers
You can use 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 when done should be 180 degrees F. Stick a food thermometer in the middle of the pie to get a reading. This food thermometer has good reviews.
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.
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.
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,
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.
Dress Up Your Pie
- * 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.
This post and/or recipe may contain affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I'll earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See Disclosure policy.