Classic Pumpkin Pie
This Classic Pumpkin Pie is easy to make and full of pumpkin and spices! It’s the perfect classic pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!
Pumpkin pie is my favorite dessert for Thanksgiving! It’s just not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. I love the entire meal of course, but no matter what or how full I am there is ALWAYS space for pumpkin pie.
And if you’re like my dad and I, it’s not just about the pumpkin pie but also the whipped cream. My dad likes a little pie with his whipped cream. I like a little more pie than that, but don’t even bother giving me pumpkin pie without plenty of whipped cream. One without the other is just no good. 🙂
And not all pumpkin pies are equal. There’s quite variety in taste and texture and after years of trying pie after pie from different places, I finally decided to test pumpkin pies galore and have a delicious homemade recipe to come back to year after year. I can’t wait to make it in a few weeks for Thanksgiving!
I tested and tested and this final pumpkin pie is the one! I messed around with the amount of spices, the kind of milk used, the sugar and the number of eggs. The final pie is easy to make and totally delicious!
The first thing I tested was the milk. There are so many options. Heavy whipping cream, regular milk (I used 2% in my testing), sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Ultimately, I found heavy whipping cream to be the best. It produced the creamiest pie in my opinion. Milk was a little blah for me. The sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk seemed fairly similar to me and were good, but I preferred the heavy cream. Ultimately, I used mostly heavy whipping cream and a touch of milk to keep it from getting to be too much and it was just right.
Next was the sugar. You could use regular white sugar, light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. While none are bad, light brown was definitely my favorite. I personally found the dark brown sugar to be too much and kind of take away from the pumpkin flavor a bit. White sugar was fine, but the brown sugar added more flavor and was the perfect one for me.
As for the eggs and spices, I preferred 3 eggs over 4 and loved a good bit of cinnamon. But of course I’m a cinnamon fanatic! You could easily adjust them, but I really did love the final mix of the spices.
One of the wonderful things about a pumpkin pie is that it’s SO easy to make! It’s really just a matter of combining all the ingredients and pouring them into a pie crust to bake. I used a refrigerated pie crust and did pre-bake it. I prefer pre-baking for a flakier crust. I like to use little pie weights to keep it from puffing up like crazy when it bakes. As for mixing ingredients – you just whisk them together! There is an order to adding things though – first the pumpkin, eggs and brown sugar, then everything else. Though it seems like it wouldn’t make a difference to change up that order, it does! Please, please follow the instructions. Believe it or not, changing it can actually cause cracks in the final pie.
As far as cracking, also be sure not to over bake the pie. Custard pies definitely crack when over baked. You want to bake it until the edges are set and the center is just set but still jiggly. When the pie cools on the counter after you take it out of the oven, it’ll continue cooking and then finally firm up when it’s refrigerated.
The final pie is pumpkin pie heaven! I love the final taste, texture and ease of making it! I hope you love it too!
Classic Pumpkin Pie
- Yield: 10-12 Slices
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Refrigerated pie crust
15 oz can pumpkin puree
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup (225g) packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
1/4 cup (60ml) milk, room temperature
1. Place the pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan and crimp the edges. Pre-bake according to the temperature and time of the package directions. I like to use pie weights to keep the crust from puffing up when baking.
2. While the crust bakes, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs and light brown sugar in a large mixer bowl.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined.
4. Remove the crust from the oven when done baking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
5. Pour the pie filling into the hot crust, then place back in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. After about 20 minutes of baking, add a pie crust shield to keep the crust from browning too much.
6. When the pie is set around the edges and the center is just set but still jiggly, remove the pie from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 1-2 hours.
7. Carefully cover the pie and place the pie in the fridge to cool completely, 4-5 hours. Pie can be made 1-2 days ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.