Pumpkin Pie: the traditional, spiced dessert recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner

Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

It’s fall season and that means it’s time for our favorite pumpkin desserts…homemade pumpkin pie! Pumpkin pie is an easy, traditional dessert recipe to make in fall and serve at Thanksgiving. Pumpkins are native to the American continent, but the method of making pumpkin pie traces its origins back to France and England. Today it’s a classic dessert in America which is a symbol of harvest time.

This is a traditional recipe that’s rich in flavor and smooth in texture. The thick pie crust is easy to make, but you can also use a store-bought option. You only need a handful of pantry ingredients for the pumpkin pie filling – pumpkin puree, eggs, condensed milk, sugar and spices.

Serve the pumpkin pie with whipped cream and you’re good to go! You can even make it ahead of time, refrigerate it for the next day or customize it according to taste.

Is It Best Fresh Or Canned Pumpkin For Pumpkin Pie?

The best option really depends on how you bake the homemade pumpkin pie. You can use fresh pumpkin, but you must make sure that the pumpkin is dry enough before using it in your pie. Additionally, you will need to season it with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

If you want to use a store-bought option, you can also add unflavored canned pumpkin puree to the filling. However, don't get confused with pumpkin pie filling, which is already spiced.

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

Flour – use cake flour or all-purpose flour

Butter – use unsalted; if you’re using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt

Sugar – granulated sugar will work, but if you want a smoother filling, use castor sugar.

Pumpkin puree – it can be homemade or canned; if you’re using pumpkin pie filling, omit the spices. You can use any pumpkin for this recipe, we used butternut squash puree.

Condensed milk – it adds more creaminess.

Eggs – they're the binding ingredient that makes the filling rich and set once baked.

How To Make Pumpkin Pie

Start by making the pie crust. In a large bowl, combine flour, egg, butter, water, sugar and salt until you form a ball, then wrap it in plastic and let it chill for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In another bowl, add pumpkin puree, eggs, condensed milk, white and brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until combined and smooth. Roll out the the pie crust, arrange it on a greased pie dish, then pour in the filling. Remove extra pastry and bake for about 55 minutes. Allow to cool slowly before serving with whipped cream.

Tips For Making Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Keep an eye on your pumpkin pie while it bakes as one of the biggest reasons for cracks is overcooking.

For a richer pumpkin pie, you can add pumpkin spice mix to the filling.

If you want to make sure your pie crust won't be soggy, you can blind bake it for about 15 minutes. Then, remove it from the oven, add the filling and bake again.

If it does happen that your pumpkin pie is left with an unsightly crack, don’t worry! Simply decorate your pumpkin pie with more dollops of whipped cream.

Can You Make Pumpkin Pie Ahead? 

To make Thanksgiving Day less stressful, you can make this pumpkin pie ahead of time (up to two days). Bake the pumpkin pie, allow to cool, and store it in the fridge as the recipe calls for eggs.

How To Store Pumpkin Pie

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Can you freeze Pumpkin Pie?

Yes! You can freeze pumpkin pie for up to a month. Make sure to wrap the cool dessert in several layers of plastic wrap, then in an additional aluminum foil layer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.


for the pie crust
All-purpose flour
310 g (2 1/2 cups)
Cold butter
160 g (2/3 cup)
Cold Water
80 ml (1/3 cup)
15 g (1 1/4 tbsp)
4 g (2/3 tsp)
for the filling
butternut squash or pumpkin puree
300 g (1 1/5 cups)
Condensed milk
200 ml (2/3 cup)
Brown sugar
75 g (1/3 cup)
White sugar
75 g (1/3 cup)
Ground cinnamon
1 tsp
Ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp


Whisk flour with salt, sugar, and butter and work the mixture with your hands, forming crumbs. Add one egg and pour in cold water. Mix to form a uniform shortcrust pastry. Wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.

For the filling, add butternut squash puree with egg, condensed milk, white and brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Whisk until combined and smooth.

Roll out the pastry.

Arrange the pie crust on the bottom and sides of a 25-cm pie dish. Remove any excess pastry.

Pour pumpkin filling into the pie dish and transfer into the oven. Bake for 55 minutes. Your pumpkin pie is ready when the crust is golden brown and the filling is slightly wobbly. Make sure not to overcook the pumpkin pie if you want to prevent it from cracking. Let it cool down for a few minutes as the center will set.

Slice, serve with dollops of whipped cream and enjoy the pumpkin pie.

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