Pumpkin Pie is a traditional Thanksgiving dessert and it is also great for using up your Halloween pumpkin after carving it. This pie has a sweet shortcrust pastry base, which you can make yourself or you can use a ready made option. Either way, it's an absolutely delicious pie! If you've not had it before, it's sweet pie with the texture of a set custard, and it's packed with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. To me, it's Autumn in a pie!
Ingredient Tips & Equipment Information
- I used unsalted butter for the pastry, you can also use a baking spread like Stork.
- If you live in a place where pumpkin pie spice mix is easily available, then you can use 2 tsp of that instead of the mix of spices I've listed in the recipe. I live in the UK so pumpkin spice mix is not something that's sold here.
- I really recommend using light brown soft sugar if you can for the filling, but if you can't get hold of it, caster sugar will work well too.
- You can use shop bought pastry, or even a pre-baked pie shell, if you need to save time.
- Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
- For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Pumpkin Pie
To make the pastry, start by rubbing the butter into the flour and sugar, then add milk and bring it together into a dough. Roll the pastry out and line the tin, cut off any excess.
Blind bake the pastry shell. If you like, use the leftover pastry to make some leaf shapes to decorate the Pumpkin Pie.
For the filling, start by whisking the eggs and light brown sugar together. Then add the cream and pumpkin puree and whisk well. Finally add the spices and a little salt. Then pour it into the pie shell. Bake the pie until it is a lovely rich orange colour, and the filling is set, about 40 minutes. Let the pie cool fully, then put it in the fridge to chill. Don't worry if a few cracks appear on top - you can hide them with the pastry leaves or a dollop of whipped cream!
Where can you buy pumpkin puree in the UK?
I've found tins of pumpkin puree in the American food section of large supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsburys (the two brands I know of are Libbys and Baking Buddy). I have also heard that Waitrose stock it. It's sometimes available all year round, or sometimes only from mid-August until December. It really does depend on the supermarket with this. Keep asking your local store, you may just bug them enough to get them to stock it! You can also buy it online, I have purchased it from Amazon before, and Sous Chef also sell it. It will be a little bit more pricey, but I've found good deals by buying several cans at once (and the best before dates are usually at last one year long).
Can you make pumpkin puree from scratch?
Yes! If you can’t get hold of the canned version, then you can make pumpkin puree from scratch. A 2kg pumpkin will give you roughly 675g pumpkin puree. The good news is, if you have too much you can freeze pumpkin puree. What you need to do is carefully slice up the pumpkin, deseed it and scoop out the stringy bits. Then you can either roast or steam chunks of the pumpkin until soft – it will take 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the pieces, use a knife to check tenderness. Allow the pumpkin to cool fully. Remove the flesh from the skin using a spoon, and then use a blender to puree the flesh. You now have pumpkin puree! It’s also great stirred into risottos or curries if you have leftovers. If it's not the time of year for pumpkins but you really want to make pumpkin pie, then you can use butternut squash too!
Can you make the pie with shop bought pastry?
Yes, if you prefer to use shop bought pastry then follow the instructions for blind baking it in the recipe card below before filling it with the pumpkin mixture. You can also use a pre-baked pie shell for an even quicker method. Just pour the filling straight into it and bake!
Can the pumpkin pie be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes, for gluten free you can replace the plain flour with a gluten free plain flour blend. You might also like to add 1 tsp xantham gum for better texture. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free baking spread for the pastry and a dairy free cream for the filling.
How should the pumpkin pie be stored and can it be frozen?
The pie is best stored in the fridge, on a plate covered with clingfilm or in an airtight container. It will last up to 3 days. To freeze the pie, wrap it well in clingfilm and freeze for up to 2 months. To defrost, remove the cling film and set onto a plate to defrost on your kitchen counter for several hours, or you can defrost it overnight in the fridge.
What can you serve with Pumpkin Pie?
- Whipped cream
- Pouring cream
- Creme fraiche
- Ice cream
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- 9" tart tin
- Mixing bowls
- Cooling rack
- Kitchen scales
- Leaf cutters
- Pumpkin puree
- Rolling pin
- Silicone mat
- Mixed spice
- Pumpkin spice
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More pumpkin recipes...
For the pastry
- 200 g Plain flour
- 100 g Butter or baking spread unsalted, cold
- 1 tbsp Caster sugar
- 45-50 ml Milk or 1 egg, or cold water will work too
For the filling
- 285 g Pumpkin puree
- 100 g Light brown soft sugar
- 2 Eggs large
- 160 ml Double cream
- 1 tsp Cinnnamon
- ¼ tsp Ground ginger
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- ¼ tsp Ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- To make the pastry put the plain flour and caster sugar into a bowl and stir together, then add the butter and rub the mixture together with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs
- Add the milk or water, add it a bit at a time as you may not need all of it (or you may need a little more), and bring it together into a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill for 30 minutes
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6
- Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface (you can roll it out onto cling film or a silicone mat to make it easier to lift up) and line a 9 inch tart tin. Trim the edges and use a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry
- Scrunch up some baking paper and line the pastry, then add baking beans. Bake it for 15 minutes
- Take the pastry out of the oven and remove the baking beans and paper
- Bake the pastry again for 10 minutes on the same temperature, or until golden brown all over and cooked through. Set aside while you make the filling
- If you like, make pastry leaves with any leftover pastry cuttings, brush them with beaten egg and bake on a lined baking tray for 10 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool
- Reduce the oven temperature to 160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4
- For the pumpkin pie filling, whisk the eggs and sugar together
- Add the double cream and pumpkin puree, and whisk in
- Then add the spices and salt and whisk again
- Pour the filling into the pie crust, it's easier to put the crust in the tin on the oven shelf and pour in from there as it'll stop any spills as you lift it from the work surface to the oven
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is a rich orange colour and only has a very slight wobble to it. It will look puffed up when you remove it from the oven, but it will sink back down and flatten out as it cools
- Leave to cool fully, then put in the fridge to chill
- Serve with whipped cream, store any leftovers in the fridge and eat within 3 days