A classic homemade pumpkin pie recipe, that is perfectly creamy and pleasantly spiced. Served topped with whipped cream.
I am long overdue in sharing this pumpkin pie recipe. Every year, it seems Canadian Thanksgiving has arrived before it occurs to me that I should have baked my pumpkin pies early, so I could share the recipe. I was on the ball this year though! I baked these up in mid-September just so I could finally share the recipe before Thanksgiving.
Now I have to start by saying that pumpkin pie is one of those things where a lot of people may already have their own "favourite". It's probably what you grew up eating. So if you already have a favourite, go-to pumpkin pie, you are already good to go. If you have yet to find your perfect pumpkin pie though, I would definitely urge you to give this one a try. I've eaten a lot of pumpkin pie over the years and I still believe this one is the best!
This is the pumpkin pie I grew up eating. It has a wonderful, fresh pumpkin taste, is beautifully moist and it's spiced nicely with equal parts of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. No cloves in this one. I personally find that cloves over-power the other flavours in a pumpkin pie, but that's just me :) In your kitchen, you're free to spice as you like it.
The other interesting addition to this pie is evaporated milk. It is combined with whole milk, for a perfectly creamy taste and texture, without the need for actual cream, which makes a pumpkin pie a bit too rich for me, especially after a big turkey dinner!
Pumpkin Puree: Even though we're making a pie, you don't want to use Pumpkin Pie Filling here. Look for Pure Pumpkin Puree. You will need the large (28oz-ish) size can for two pies.
Evaporated Milk: Full fat evaporated milk is highly recommended here. As this is a special, Thanksgiving dessert, using full-fat evaporated milk (and milk) will yield the nicest results and you will be thankful that you did when you eat it :)
So you don't want to use the evaporated milk that is labeled as 2%, 1% or fat-free. The one you want is the full-fat version and is the one that doesn't say any of that :)
Milk: Again, you'll want to use whole milk here, for best results. Whole milk is labeled as 3% or 3.25% generally.
Spices: As noted above, the spicing in this pie is equal parts of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. It results in a pleasantly, but not overly spiced pie. If you are a cloves in your pumpkin pie lover, you can certainly add some, though I would always urge you to try it as written first and adjust later.
Whipping Cream: Also known as heavy cream, this is a must for me to whip fresh for topping these pumpkin pies. If you'd prefer, you can always use the real whipped cream in a can.
Pie Shells: Use frozen or refrigerated, store-bought pie shells or your favourite homemade pastry. The pie shells do not need to be pre-baked. You will need two pie shells.
Add the eggs last. I have no idea why. It's just the note that is added to this family recipe, so that's what I do.
The filling will fill two pie shells, though the recipe can be doubled, if needed.
As your pies sit in the fridge, a small bit of the oils from the pumpkin may pool on the top of the pie. I like to use a bit of paper towel to blot it off before adding the whipped cream.
I always whip and top my pumpkin pies shortly before serving. It really only takes a minute to whip the cream and spread on top of the pies. You can do this a bit ahead (a couple of hours, at most), to keep things from being too last minute.
Don't attempt to top these pies with whipped cream while they still have any warmth to them, or you will have a mess on your hands. I like to make these ahead and thoroughly chill before topping. It is perfectly fine to make the day before and refrigerate (without the whipped cream). They will not suffer for it. Don't cover the pies until they are chilled (to avoid condensation dripping onto the pie), then loosely cover with plastic wrap.
Can these pumpkin pies be frozen? Yes they can! Allow to cool completely at room temperature or in the fridge, then transfer to the freezer, well wrapped. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Simply Perfect Pumpkin Pie
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk, full-fat
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 3 - 3.25% b.f.
- 3 cups pure pumpkin puree, not pie filling
- 3 large eggs, add last
- 2 Unbaked pie shells, thawed if frozen
For whipped cream topping:
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, cold
- 3 Tbsp white sugar
- Preheat oven to 425F. *Reduce to 400F if using glass pie plates.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, brown sugar, white sugar and flour. Add the evaporated milk, whole milk and pumpkin puree. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs and whisk into mixture until well combined.
- Pour in to 2 unbaked pie shells.
- Bake at 425F. (or 400F for glass pans) for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 375F (350F for glass pans). for 35-45 minutes or until set, golden on top and showing a little cracking around the outside. Pies shouldn't jiggle at all. Let cool completely, then refrigerate or freeze. Top with whipped cream when ready to serve.
- For the whipped cream topping: Add cold whipping cream to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high, adding white sugar as the mixture starts thicken. Whip until soft peaks form. Spread on top of completely cooled pies just before serving.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.