This pumpkin pie from scratch is worlds better than anything you’ll buy at the store. No canned pumpkin, no sweetened condensed milk, no store-bought pie crust. Seriously, this is the BEST pumpkin pie recipe I’ve ever tried, and I don’t say that lightly!
I’ve been a little obsessed with making my own pumpkin puree this year.
I can’t get over how much better it is than canned puree! I tried my pumpkin pasta recipe with both, and the version with canned pumpkin was almost inedible. The homemade puree created a smooth, delicate, and creamy sauce.
Clearly, I had to use some puree to create a pumpkin pie from scratch. Everything is homemade here, including the crust, pumpkin puree, and filling.
You don’t have to make this entire recipe using homemade ingredients, you can swap out the puree, pie dough, or both. However, you should try going for the full homemade recipe. If you’re only in charge of bringing a dessert to Thanksgiving this year, what do you have to lose? Yes, it takes more time, and time is valuable. But you’re going to make people happy when they taste this.
I don’t say this lightly, but this is quite literally the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. My neighbors all agree. I almost never use the word “best,” because I know it’s a bold statement. I’m throwing down and saying this is the best pumpkin pie recipe you’ll ever try.
Note: this ingredient list includes everything needed for homemade pie dough and homemade pumpkin pie spice. You can easily substitute either of these for a semi-homemade pumpkin pie recipe!
- All-purpose flour
- Unsalted butter
- Pumpkin puree
- Large eggs
- Light brown sugar
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
How to Make Pumpkin Pie From Scratch
To avoid making this post super long, I’m skipping how to make pie dough from scratch and going straight to the pumpkin pie. If you’d like to see photos of the entire process, check out this great step-by-step food processor pie dough tutorial from Serious Eats.
If you don’t want to use a food processor, check out my tips section below the step-by-step photos.
Step 1: Whisk Ingredients Together
Start by whisking together the pumpkin puree, eggs, and spices together in a medium-sized bowl until smooth.
Next, add the milk and cream, whisking until smooth.
Step 2: Pour Filling Into The Crust
Some people blind-bake the crust before adding the filling, which means partially or fully baking it to make sure the bottom isn’t mushy. I don’t like to do this with pumpkin pie, because the filling needs to bake for a good amount of time to set, and I don’t like an overdone crust.
I’ve never had issues with the crust coming out soggy on the bottom with this recipe, but if you do decide to blind-bake it first, I highly recommend using a pie crust shield.
Here’s a good tutorial on blind baking, if you have no idea what I’m talking about and would like to learn more.
Step 3: Bake Until Filling Is Set and Slightly Puffed Up
The filling almost always puffs up a bit in the oven, but it will flatted back down as the pie cools. Cool to room temperature before serving (slightly warm should also fine).
Tips For Making The Best Pumpkin Pie
No Food Processor? If you don’t have a food processor, you can make the pie dough in a large bowl, pressing the butter into the flour with a pastry blender, fork, or even your fingers (some people actually prefer to do it this way instead of using a food processor). Stir in the water with a spatula, then switch to your hands at the end and knead a few times to bring the dough together.
Regardless of whether you use a food processor or bowl, the key is to not over-mix the dough. The less you mix the dough, the flakier the crust will be!
Water Content in Homemade Pumpkin Puree – If you use homemade pumpkin puree in this recipe, make sure to thoroughly roast, puree, and strain it to remove as much excess water as possible. The pumpkin should be falling apart when you scoop the flesh away from the skins.
If the pumpkin is underdone, more water will be trapped inside and might release when you bake the pie. It will still taste great, but the slices might not hold their shape as well.
Protect the Crust – As I mentioned above, I don’t like it when a crust gets too dark. Because this pie takes a while to set, I highly recommend using a pie crust shield if the crust starts getting dark before the filling has set.
If you don’t have a crust shield, you can make your own using foil! Do this before you start baking, though, so you don’t have to fuss with things mid-bake. Simply make two half circles from foil that fit over the crust, then set them aside in case you need them.
More Pie Recipes
You can also see my full archive of pie recipes here!
Pumpkin Pie From Scratch
For the pie dough: (see notes)
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 2 1/2 cups using Scoop & Sweep Method)
- 1 ounce granulated sugar (2 1/2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, very cold and cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup ice cold water
For the filling:
- 2 cups pumpkin puree, preferably homemade
- 3 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
Prepare the Pie Dough:
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse several times to combine the ingredients. Add the butter and pulse several more times until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal with a few pea-sized pieces scattered around (those will melt in the oven and create a flaky crust).
- Turn on the machine and quickly add the cold water until the dough has just barely come together. It will look very crumbly, but should form a dough when pressed together.
- Transfer to a large bowl or clean counter and gently kneed a few times to finish bringing the dough together. Divide the dough in half, then shape each half into flattened rounds and wrap tightly in plastic. Reserve one for a later use (it can be chilled for 48 hours or frozen for up to 3 months if you don't have immediate plans for a second pie). Chill the other half for at least one hour or overnight.
- When you're ready to bake the pumpkin pie, remove the dough from the fridge and place on a clean, lightly floured surface. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes so the butter can warm up slightly for easier rolling. Begin rolling out the dough, turning the dough after every single roll to prevent it from sticking. If the rolling pin ever feels like it's sticking to the dough, sprinkle a small amount of flour on top. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thin and around 12-inches wide. Roll the dough around the rolling pin, then unroll around a 9-inch pie dish. Gentle press the dough so it's flush against the inside of the pan, then trim away or fold under any excess dough and crimp the edges. Place in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the filling.
Prepare the Filling:
- Place an oven rack on the center position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt until smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream and whole milk. Pour the filling into the pie dough, then carefully place into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 40-60 minutes, until the filling is set in the middle. If the crust starts browning too much before the filling has set, you can use a pie crust protector (or make your own using aluminum foil; just be careful not to disturb the filling).
- Remove the pumpkin pie from the oven and cool. The center of the filling usually puffs up, but it will flatten back down as it cools. Serve at room temperature or while slightly warm (but don't cut into it while it's hot or it might not hold its shape).
- Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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