You know it’s almost Thanksgiving when folk start waxing lyrical about pumpkin pie. Sure, it’s a staple of the season and an all-time classic the whole family loves. But if you’ve been making the exact same pumpkin pie from scratch for years—maybe decades—it can get a bit…dare we say…boring.
Quick and Easy Pumpkin Pie From Scratch Recipe
I know, I know – less can be more in the kitchen. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…wise words, well spoken. But the simple fact of the matter is that if you don’t make things up on occasion, you end up in a rut.
Precisely where I found myself last year, when out of the blue, I just couldn’t face the same pumpkin pie once again. I assembled my baking gear, checked the pantry was stocked, and subsequently felt no motivation to dive in.
Much to the bemusement of my family, who as usual expected me to deliver the goods come Thanksgiving. My fault for having set such a high standard over the years, but there you go!
Sure, switching to sweet potato pie to bring in a little variety is an option. But even then, getting a least a tad creative in the kitchen is still the way to go…in my humble opinion, anyway.
If you’re looking for other fall recipes to make in the kitchen, you can also try my pumpkin mac and cheese recipe or this pumpkin soup from scratch recipe. Enjoy all things pumpkin? Make all three recipes and go for the pumpkin trio—appetizer, main, and dessert!
Pumpkin Pie from Scratch: Back to Basics
The recipe you’ll find below is by far the most fool-proof, back-to-basics pumpkin pie recipe you’ll ever find. You absolutely cannot go wrong with it and it’s a walk in the park. Whip it up once and the whole thing becomes second nature.
After which, I recommend a more freestyle approach. Riff on the basics of the standard recipe, for bringing in your own creative twists.
What’s great about pumpkin pie is how aside from the pastry, the rest is little more than sweet pumpkin mush. Which means you can experiment to your heart’s content, without the risk of ruining the whole thing.
That is, just as long as you nail it consistency-wise.
So yeah, I basically recommend learning this fool-proof recipe for pumpkin pie, before coming up with something that’s all your own.
Pumpkin Pie From Scratch
- Mixing bowl
- Pie plate
For the crust
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ cup cold butter
- 3 tbsp ice cold water
For the pie filling
- 2 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- To make the pie crust in a large mixing bowl—stir in the flour, salt, granulated sugar and butter.
- With the help of your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until sand-like consistency.
- Then pour in the water and knead into a smooth dough.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly dusted working surface.
- Transfer it to a pie dish. Remove any excess dough and seal the edges with the help of a fork.
- To make the filling, in a large mixing bowl stir in the pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, whole milk, heavy cream, and cornstarch.
- Mix until combined and pour the pie filling into the pie crust.
- Bake in an already heated oven at 350°F or 180°C for about 55 minutes or until the center of the pie is a little jiggly and the edges are golden brown in color.
- Let it cool completely and serve to enjoy.
Ideas and Inspiration for Your Pumpkin Pie
After last year’s total lack of inspiration, I set about trying out a whole bunch of tweaks and twists I came across online. Among which, these turned out to be the easiest and most effective ways to breathe new life into this year’s pumpkin pie:
1. Toss seasonal spices into the crust
The difference this makes is unbelievable and really could not be easier. All you need to do is take your favorite spices of the season, grind them up and toss them in with the crust. Nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon are the obvious choices, but you’d be surprised how far a tiny (very tiny) dash of chili or cloves goes for a touch of warmth.
2. Switch the milk for eggnog
I mean, what could be more seasonal than a pumpkin pie loaded with eggnog? Bringing eggnog into the mix means diving into a pie with so much more natural sweetness and flavor. This can also be a good basis for a vegan pie, as there are plenty of plant-based ‘nogs’ around right now that are just as good.
3. Refrigerate the filling overnight
Ask any seasoned baker and they will tell you that pumpkin pie filling gets better with time. And it does – precisely why it’s far better to make your filling in advance, giving the spices time to open up and bloom. There’s something noticeably smoother and more balanced about a pumpkin pie filling that’s being given at least a day or so to do its thing.
4. Add layers of flavor
This year, don’t simply load your pie filling straight onto your naked crust. Instead, take the time to whip up an additional layer of deliciousness to sit between the two. Hazelnut praline comes highly recommended, as do caramelized crushed pecans and anything that smacks of chocolaty goodness. After prebaking your crust (essential), add a generous layer of anything that pairs perfectly with pumpkin, before getting to business with the rest.
5. Go nuts with the topping
Last up, if you plan on topping your pie this year, push the boat out with something totally different. Almond cream topping, coconut cream topping, whipped cream and honey topping, salted caramel topping, crunchy walnut topping – why stick with plain old whipped cream?
- No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- Grill Chicken Drumsticks
- Stuffed Peppers with Cream Cheese and Beef
- Apple Turnovers
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