This easy pumpkin pie recipe is made completely from scratch and is a great make-ahead dessert for the holidays!
If there’s one thing I look forward to at Thanksgiving, it’s the pumpkin pie. Okay, pumpkin pie topped with a huge dollop of whipped cream. Today I’ll be sharing my absolute favorite traditional pumpkin pie recipe that’s made 100% from scratch.
If you don’t make many pies, then this is a good one to have tucked up your sleeve for the holidays. The pumpkin pie filling is as simple as whisking the ingredients together and pouring it into a partially-baked pie shell.
Because pumpkin pie has to be stored in the fridge, it’s a great make-ahead dessert that everyone will love!
Ingredients for This Recipe
This pumpkin pie recipe requires minimal ingredients, so it’s important that you use the right ones. Here’s an overview of what you’ll be using to make this recipe:
- Pie crust: I like to use my favorite pie crust recipe to make this pie, but a store-bought crust works as well.
- Brown sugar: Sweetens the pumpkin pie filling and also adds flavor. I used light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar works great too.
- All-purpose flour: There’s just one tablespoon of flour in the filling to help thicken it and ensure that the pie sets up properly.
- Spices: I use a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. There’s also a pinch of salt in the filling to enhance the pumpkin flavor.
- Eggs: Helps bind the filling together and creates a custard-like consistency. I recommend lightly beating the eggs first to ensure that they mix together better with the other wet ingredients. Room temperature eggs are also best. If you forget to set them out ahead of time, just place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Pumpkin puree: Make sure to use pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which is already sweetened and has spices added to it. The only ingredient on the back of the can of pumpkin puree will just be pumpkin.
- Evaporated milk: Not to be confused with sweetened condensed milk, which is much thicker and sweeter. Evaporated milk is richer than regular milk and makes for a creamier pie!
How to Make Pumpkin Pie
To make this pie, you want to start by blind baking your pie crust. If you’re not familiar with this term, it simply means to bake the pie crust for a little while on it’s own before adding the filling.
While this isn’t necessary for every pie, I highly recommend doing it for this recipe because it ensures that the bottom of your crust stays crisp. Here’s a quick breakdown on how to blind bake your crust:
- Roll out the pie crust: I typically roll mine out to about 12-inches in diameter. You want the pie crust to be a little bigger than your dish, so you have enough to fit it into the dish and decorate the edges.
- Transfer the crust to your pie dish: You can do this several ways, but I find that rolling it up over my rolling pin, then unrolling it over the dish is easiest. This recipe makes quite a bit of filling too, so be sure to use a pie dish that’s at least 1 and 1/2 inches deep.
- Fit the crust into the dish and decorate the edges: Make sure to be gentle with the dough during this process and don’t stretch it (which can cause the crust to shrink).
- Chill the crust: This gives the dough time to relax, which makes it less likely to shrink. It will also ensure that the butter and shortening in your pie dough are cold, which makes for a flakier pie crust.
- Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork: This will help prevent the bottom from bubbling up when you remove the pie weights later.
- Line the dough with parchment paper & fill with pie weights: I just use dried beans for my pie weights.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 400°F
- Remove the pie weights: Lift up the parchment paper with your pie weights and remove them from the pie crust.
- Bake for another 5 minutes at 400°F: This will allow the bottom of the crust to bake a little more.
- Cool slightly while you make the filling
If you need more detailed instructions on blind baking a pie crust, I have a full step-by-step tutorial for how to blind bake a pie crust here. You can also watch me do this step in the video below right above the recipe.
Once the crust is partially baked, it’s time to mix together the filling. To make the pumpkin pie filling:
- Reduce oven temperature to 375°F (190°C): The filling needs to bake at a slightly lower temperature so that it doesn’t burn or crack.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Don’t worry if you have a few lumps of brown sugar in the mixture, they will whisk out once you add them to the wet ingredients.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the pumpkin puree and evaporated milk.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients: Whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Pour the filling into the partially baked pie crust
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 375°F: I highly recommend using a pie crust shield to prevent the edges of your crust from burning. I prefer to cover the edges of my pie crust once I’ve blind baked the crust and added the filling, so I don’t have to open the oven door again. If you don’t have a pie crust shield, you can simply use foil to cover the edges instead.
- Cool completely & chill in the refrigerator: Once the pie comes out of the oven, let it cool on the countertop for a good two to three hours. Then, it needs to be refrigerated for several hours before slicing and serving (overnight is best).
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can You Tell if Pumpkin Pie Is Done?
You’ll know the pie is done baking when the center is almost set and wobbles ever so slightly (the center will finish setting up as the pie cools). In total, the pie will need to bake for roughly 45 to 50 minutes at 375ºF (190°C).
Should Pumpkin Pie Be Refrigerated?
Since this is a custard pie, it does need to be refrigerated.
How Long Is Pumpkin Pie Good For?
If covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for up to 4 days.
What Can I Substitute For The Evaporated Milk?
If you don’t have any evaporated milk on hand, then you can replace it with an equal amount of half and half.
Can I Use Pre-Made Pumpkin Pie Spice?
Yes, you can replace the spices in the recipe with 2 to 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
- You can use a store-bought or homemade pie crust for this recipe. My pie crust recipe will make two pie crusts, but you can easily freeze the other half to use later. You can even use the second pie crust to cut out leaves or other decorations to go on top of the pie.
- When blind baking the pie crust, make sure to line the pie dough with parchment paper or foil. You want to cover the bottom and fit it snuggly in the corners and up the sides, then fill it with pie weights. You can also use dried beans or dry rice if you don’t have any pie weights.
- To prevent any cracks in your pumpkin pie, make sure not to over bake it! I usually bake mine for about 45 minutes and remove it while the center is still just a little wobbly. As the pie cools, the center will finish cooking and firm up.
- This pie will freeze well for up to 3 months. Make sure to let it cool completely, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and store it in a large freezer bag. To thaw the pie, place it in the refrigerator overnight.
More Pumpkin Desserts to Try!
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Mini Pumpkin Pies
Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- 1 store-bought or homemade pie crust
Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- 1 cup light brown sugar (200 grams)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (8 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 (15-ounce can) pumpkin puree (425 grams)
- 1 ¼ cups evaporated milk (300 ml)
- To prepare the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll the dough out to 12-inches in diameter. Next, carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate (make sure it's at least 1 and 1/2 inches deep), gently fit it into the pie plate, trim any excess dough, and decorate the edges. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 15 to 20 minutes while the oven is preheating.
- Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Line the pie dough with parchment paper or foil, making sure to cover the bottom and fit it snuggly in the corners and up the sides, then fill with pie weights (dried beans or dry rice work well too).
- Bake the pie crust at 400°F (204°C) for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment paper (or foil) and pie weights. Return the pie crust to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- To prepare the filling: Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C). In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves until well combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and evaporated milk until well combined.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together until fully combined.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the partially baked pie crust. Return to the oven and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the center is almost set (it should be a little wobbly). Cover the edges of the pie crust with a pie crust shield or foil as needed to prevent them from over-browning.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack for 2 to 3 hours to cool completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Pumpkin pie filling slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour
I am attempting to use your recipe this Thanksgiving and hope it turns out perfect! For the past 2 years, my pumpkin pie comes out very moist and unable to eat it so I have to throw it away 🙁 I have a couple of questions, you mention to use “1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree”, is it ok to use the Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin 15 ounce pumpkin that comes in the can? I am terrible at making homemade pie crust, which would be better to use, a frozen pie crust or ones that are left in room temperature?
Hi Lauren! Yes, you can use a 15-ounce can of Libby’s Pure Pumpkin. A frozen pie crust or room temperature one would be fine to use in this recipe too, I would use whatever is easiest for you.
I knew I was forgetting a question, would you suggest the pie be used under “Bake” or “Convection Bake”?
All of my recipes are tested with a conventional oven (not convection) so you would want to use the bake setting.
Hi! I was just wondering if we are using a store bought crust, if we should also bake it before hand, or if it is okay to just pour the filling in and bake like that. If we should still bake the store bought crust beforehand, should we do it for the same amount of time?
It depends on what kind of store-bought pie crust you’re using. If you’re using the ones that are similar to regular pie crust and you roll them out, then yes you will want to bake pre-bake the pie crust. If you’re using a frozen one that’s already molded into a pan, it may be okay to skip that step, but I haven’t tried it.
400 degrees is way too high in my oven. Burnt.
Sorry the pie didn’t turn out well for you. Have you checked your oven temperature with an oven thermometer?
Great recipe! I literally just finished making this. I added one thing extra – bourbon flavored pecans, towards the end.
Thanks for sharing this recipe!
I used your recipe yesterday and I’m delighted to say it’s fantastic! I’ve been searching for this forever. I love that it’s not too sweet.
I did make my own crust instead of a store bought one.
Thank you for the great pumpkin pie we enjoyed yesterday.
My husband and I made this pumpkin pie for this Thanksgiving and I want you know it was awesome! We made the homemade pie crust in this recipe per Danielle’s instructions and it was easy to make. The filling was the best I have ever tasted! It was just two of us for Thanksgiving this year, so there was lots of pie for us to enjoy! I will definitely make this pie again and will use the recipe for the pie crust for other pies as well. I give this recipe 5 Big Stars!
Can I substitute the spices for Pumpkin Pie spice? How much would I know to use?
That would be fine! I would probably use about 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
I made this recipe as a pie and tarts. The pie turned out great, but the tart crust was a little over done. How long do you suggest I should blind bake them before putting the filling in?
It depends on the size of your tart pan. If it’s a 9-inch pan, you can try reducing the baking time for the crust down to 10 minutes with the pie weights, then bake for 3-5 minutes without the pie weights. If your tart pan isn’t very deep, you may also want to reduce the baking time for the filling.
Awesome. Thank you!
Please verify the metric weight. Doesn’t 1 cup light brown sugar weigh 200 grams?
200 grams is correct, just fixed that!
I used this recipe to make mini pumpkin pies for a party, totally amazing! I used store bought ready rolled shortcrust pastry (saving time is a must with a 3 month old baby) cut discs and pushed them into a muffin tray, then topped up with the pie mixture above. I baked them for about 30 mins (but my oven is on its last legs, you may only need 20-25 minutes in one not quite so antiquated). Delicious!
I just made this recipe and am excited to try it (waiting for it to cool down). I do have extra batter though and was wondering if I’m able to store that? Freeze it for the next time I make. Would it still be the same?
I don’t think freezing the extra batter would work well. You could use it to make some mini pumpkin pies though!
Hi, love your recipe. I’ve boiled down sugar pumpkins for my pies for many years, but lost my longtime recipe during one of the fires here in CA. Just want to say that we enjoy your recipe with a delicious crumb crust – fabulous. We grind up about 2 cups altogether of shortbread, gingersnaps, flour, brown sugar & pecans with a small amt. of salted butter and bake it slightly beforehand. Lovely, Your photos & instructions are excellent. Thank you!!
Thank you, Helen! So glad you loved the recipe!
How would I adapt the recipe for a 10” pie pan?
I haven’t tried it, so it’s hard to say. You would probably need about 25% more filling for a 10-inch pan, but it would be hard to adjust this recipe by that much.
This is the best pumpkin pie that I have ever tasted!! Thank you!
If your making pumpkin pie from scratch it should not be puree out of a can but with pumpkins
I did everything as recommended and it turned out just perfekt!! Thank you so very much!! I live in Germany, and pumpkin pie always takes me back to my happiest times and most beautiful memories…
I made this pie this evening and it is very good
What size pie pan do you use?
I use a 9-inch pie dish that’s 1 and 1/2 inches deep.
Waiting for my oven to preheat…can’t wait for the final product. Can’t wait to taste
Hope you enjoyed the pie, David!
Will this freeze well?
Yes, you can wrap it well and freeze it for up to 3 months. I would thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
Best pumkin pie I’ve ever had and I am not a huge fan of it ? my husband om the other hand is a huge pumkin pie fan and he said this was one of the best he’s had! Thank you so much!
I meant I’m mot a huge fan of pumkin pie ?
How far ahead can I make the filling? Can I make it one day, refrigerate it, and cook it the next morning?
Yes, the pumpkin pie filling may be made up to one day in advance. Just cover it tightly and refrigerate.
This is a DELICIOUS pie, BUT ONLY if you add MORE SPICES at your discretion. Definitely put the entire amount of sugar in this pie because otherwise, it’s not sweet enough.
Thank you for the recipe!!
We really enjoyed this recipe and will be bookmarking it for future use. It was the best pumpkin pie with the most perfect creamy texture!
Do I grease the pie dish before adding the dough?
Pie crust has a lot of fat in it, so it shouldn’t stick. You can if you prefer to though.