A classic Canadian pumpkin pie recipe, that is perfectly creamy and pleasantly spiced. Served topped with whipped cream.
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. There are no cloves in this pumpkin pie. 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!
Ingredients and Substitutions
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 :)
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, deep-dish 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, deep dish 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.
Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing
You can easily make this pumpkin pie the morning before or even the day before. If making the day before or if you prefer a chilled pumpkin pie, store uncovered in the refrigerator. You may notice a small amount of liquid forms on top of the pies. Simply use a paper towel to blot the liquid off before topping with whipped cream.
Baked pumpkin pies can be frozen, but I feel like they do suffer a little bit from the freeze/thaw process. I find them a little looser after freezing. My preference is to make a day ahead and refrigerate, but freezing is an option if you are needing to do them more than a day ahead. If you do want to freeze, allow to cool completely at room temperature or in the fridge, then transfer to the freezer, well wrapped. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Get the Recipe: Classic Canadian Pumpkin Pie
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 Tablespoons 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, added last
- 2 Unbaked deep dish pie shells, thawed if frozen
For whipped cream topping:
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, cold (35% b.f.)
- 3 Tablespoons white granulated 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.
- Place pie shells onto a large baking sheet. Pour filling into 2 unbaked, deep dish pie shells. *You may have a tiny bit left-over, depending on the size of your 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.
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!