The Ultimate Guide to Making a Simple Pumpkin Pie: A Recipe for Everyone

simple pumpkin pie

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without a homemade pumpkin pie, and we’re here to let you in on a little secret: Making this seasonal dessert is actually quite simple. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a complete beginner, our easy pumpkin pie recipe is perfect for you. So grab your pie crust, pumpkin puree, and let’s get started!

Recipe and procedure

Simple Pumpkin Pie with Butter Flaky Pie Crust

Ryan Yates
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8



    For the Butter Flaky Pie Crust:

    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter chilled and diced
    • 1/4 cup ice water

    For the Filling:

    • 2 cups pumpkin puree canned or fresh
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream



      Prepare the Butter Flaky Pie Crust:

      • Combine Flour and Salt: In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.
      • Cut in Butter: Cut in the chilled butter using a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
      • Add Ice Water: Gradually add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until the dough holds together.
      • Form a Ball: Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

      Blind Bake the Crust:

      • Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
      • Roll Out the Dough: On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to fit a 9-inch pie dish.
      • Fit into the Dish: Press the dough into the pie dish, trimming any excess and crimping the edges.
      • Add Pie Weights: Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
      • Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment, and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

      Prepare the Filling:

      • Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
      • Beat the Eggs: In a large bowl, beat the eggs until well blended.
      • Add Pumpkin and Spices: Stir in the pumpkin puree, followed by the sugar-spice mixture.
      • Add the Milk: Gradually stir in the evaporated milk or heavy cream until well combined.

      Assemble and Bake the Pie:

      • Pour into the Crust: Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie crust, smoothing the top with a spatula.
      • Bake the Pie: Bake in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
      • Cool and Serve: Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or chilled, with whipped cream if desired.


      Blind baking the crust ensures that it’s fully cooked and flaky, without getting soggy from the filling.
      The Butter Flaky Pie Crust recipe adds a rich, buttery flavor that pairs wonderfully with the pumpkin filling.
      Feel free to adjust the spices to your taste preferences.
      Enjoy your homemade simple pumpkin pie with a butter flaky crust! The combination of a perfectly baked crust and a smooth, spiced filling makes this pie a standout dessert for any occasion.
      Keyword Holiday, holiday dessert, holiday desserts, pumpkin, pumpkin pie, simple pumpkin pie, thanksgiving

      About the Ingredients

      • Pie Crust: Use a store-bought crust or make your own with our top-rated Butter Flaky Pie Crust recipe.
      • Pumpkin Puree: A 16-ounce can of pumpkin puree or puree your own pumpkin if you want to go the homemade route.
      • Sweetened Condensed Milk: Adds irresistible flavor and creates a rich, smooth texture.
      • Eggs: Two whole eggs lend richness and help bind the filling together.
      • Pumpkin Pie Spice: A teaspoon of aromatic pumpkin pie spice gives this pumpkin pie all the aromatic, cozy flavor you need.
      • Cinnamon and Vanilla: For a perfect spiced pumpkin flavor.


      • Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can replace it with a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
      • Buttermilk: Regular milk with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar will do the trick.

      Simple pumpkin Pie Nutritional Information

      • Calories: 335
      • Fat: 15g
      • Carbohydrates: 45g
      • Sugar: 27g
      • Protein: 6g
      • Sodium: 287mg
      • Cholesterol: 103mg

      Simple Pumpkin Pie: A Brief History

      The Origins of Pumpkin Pie

      Pumpkin pie’s roots can be traced back to the early European settlers in America. They were introduced to pumpkins by Native Americans and soon discovered the vegetable’s versatility in cooking.

      The Evolution of the Recipe

      Over the centuries, the recipe for pumpkin pie has evolved, with various cultures adding their unique twists. The simple pumpkin pie we know today is a delightful blend of tradition and innovation.

      Ingredients and Tools

      Essential Ingredients for Simple Pumpkin Pie

      • Pumpkin Puree: The star of the dish.
      • Pie Crust: Homemade or store-bought.
      • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
      • Sweeteners: Sugar or honey.
      • Eggs and Dairy: For texture and richness.

      Must-Have Baking Tools

      • Pie Dish: Preferably glass or ceramic.
      • Mixing Bowls: For combining ingredients.
      • Whisk and Spatula: For smooth blending.
      • Oven: Preheated to perfection.

      Step-by-Step Guide to Making Simple Pumpkin Pie

      Preparing the Crust

      A good crust is the foundation of a great pie. Whether you’re using a homemade recipe like our Butter Flaky Pie Crust or a store-bought option, here’s how to prepare it:

      1. Choose Your Crust: Decide between homemade or store-bought. A homemade crust offers a rich, buttery flavor, while store-bought provides convenience.
      2. Roll It Out: If homemade, roll the dough on a floured surface to fit your pie dish.
      3. Blind Bake (Optional): For a crisper crust, consider blind baking. Line with parchment paper, fill with pie weights, and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.
      4. Crimp the Edges: Create decorative edges using your fingers or a fork.

      Pro Tip: Chill the dough before rolling for a flakier crust.

      Mixing the Filling

      The filling is where the magic happens. Combining pumpkin puree with the right balance of spices and sweeteners creates a flavor explosion.

      1. Choose Your Pumpkin: Use canned puree for consistency or roast and puree fresh pumpkin for a more robust flavor.
      2. Mix Dry Ingredients: Combine sugar, salt, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
      3. Beat the Eggs: Whisk eggs until well blended.
      4. Combine Everything: Stir in pumpkin, followed by the dry ingredients and milk or cream.

      Example of Spice Blend:

      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp ginger
      • 1/4 tsp cloves
      • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

      Baking to Perfection

      Understanding the baking process is crucial for a perfect pie. Here’s a chart to guide you:

      Preheat425°FEnsure even baking
      Initial Bake425°F15 minutesSet the crust
      Reduce Heat350°F40-45 minutesCook the filling

      Pro Tip: Use a pie shield or aluminum foil to prevent the edges from over-browning.

      Serving and Presentation Ideas

      A beautifully presented pie makes it even more appealing. Here’s how to serve and garnish your simple pumpkin pie:

      1. Cool Properly: Allow the pie to cool for at least 2 hours to set the filling.
      2. Slice with Care: Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water for clean cuts.
      3. Garnish: Consider whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or candied pecans.
      4. Serve with Style: Pair with coffee, tea, or a dessert wine.

      List of Garnish Ideas:ong>

      Making a simple pumpkin pie is a delightful experience that combines tradition, creativity, and culinary skill. By understanding each step and adding your personal touch, you can create a pie that’s not only delicious but also a beautiful expression of your love for baking. Enjoy the process, and savor the results!

      Variations and Twists

      Vegan Simple Pumpkin Pie

      A vegan version of simple pumpkin pie is not only possible but can be equally delicious. Here’s how to make it:

      1. Crust: Use a vegan pie crust made with vegetable shortening or coconut oil.
      2. Filling: Replace eggs with a vegan egg substitute like flaxseed meal or silken tofu.
      3. Milk Alternative: Use coconut milk or almond milk instead of dairy.

      Example Vegan Filling:

      • 2 cups pumpkin puree
      • 1 cup coconut milk
      • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal (mixed with 6 tbsp water)
      • 3/4 cup sugar
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp ginger
      • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

      Pro Tip: Check the labels of your ingredients to ensure they are certified vegan.

      Gluten-Free Options

      For those with gluten sensitivities, a gluten-free simple pumpkin pie is a delightful alternative. Here’s how to adapt the recipe:

      1. Crust: Use a gluten-free pie crust mix or recipe that includes gluten-free flour.
      2. Filling: Ensure that all other ingredients, including spices, are gluten-free.

      List of Gluten-Free Flour Options:

      • Almond flour
      • Coconut flour
      • Rice flour
      • Gluten-free all-purpose flour blend

      Pro Tip: Cross-contamination can occur in facilities that process both gluten-free and gluten-containing products, so look for certified gluten-free labels.

      International Takes on Pumpkin Pie

      Pumpkin pie has been embraced and adapted by various cultures. Here’s a chart showcasing some international takes:

      CountryVariationKey Ingredients
      FranceTarte à la CitrouillePâte brisée, fresh pumpkin, crème fraîche
      JapanKabocha PieKabocha squash, matcha powder
      MexicoCalabaza en Tacha PieCandied pumpkin, piloncillo, cinnamon
      ItalyTorta di ZuccaMascarpone cheese, amaretti cookies

      Examples of Unique Twists:

      • French Style: Add a layer of almond frangipane beneath the pumpkin filling.
      • Japanese Influence: Incorporate matcha (green tea powder) into the filling for a unique flavor.
      • Mexican Flair: Use candied pumpkin and traditional Mexican spices.

      The world of pumpkin pie is rich and diverse, offering something for everyone. Whether you’re accommodating dietary preferences or exploring global culinary traditions, these variations and twists provide exciting opportunities to enjoy this classic dessert in new and delightful ways. Embrace the creativity, and let your taste buds travel the world with simple pumpkin pie!

      Pairing Simple Pumpkin Pie with Beverages

      Coffee and Tea Pairings

      The rich and spicy flavors of pumpkin pie can be beautifully complemented by carefully chosen coffee or tea. Here’s a guide to finding the perfect match:

      Coffee Options:

      1. Espresso: A shot of bold espresso can cut through the sweetness of the pie, creating a balanced taste.
      2. Latte with Cinnamon: A creamy latte sprinkled with cinnamon echoes the spices in the pie.
      3. French Press Coffee: A full-bodied French press coffee pairs well with the richness of the pie.

      Example Coffee Pairing Chart:

      Coffee TypeWhy It Works
      EspressoBold contrast
      Cinnamon LatteComplements spices
      French PressEnhances richness

      Tea Options:

      1. Chai Tea: The blend of spices in chai tea mirrors those in pumpkin pie, creating a harmonious pairing.
      2. Earl Grey: The citrus notes in Earl Grey can add a refreshing contrast to the pie’s sweetness.
      3. Green Tea with Jasmine: For a lighter option, this tea adds a floral touch.

      List of Tea Pairings:

      • Chai Tea: For spice lovers
      • Earl Grey: For a citrusy contrast
      • Green Tea with Jasmine: For a delicate balance

      Pro Tip: Consider the temperature of the beverage. A hot coffee or tea can enhance the warmth of the pie, while an iced version can offer a refreshing contrast.

      Wine and Spirit Options

      Indulging in a glass of wine or a crafted cocktail with your pumpkin pie can turn a simple dessert into a gourmet experience. Here’s how to choose the right pairing:

      Wine Options:

      1. Late Harvest Riesling: A sweet and fruity wine that complements the pie’s flavors.
      2. Port: A rich and robust choice that can stand up to the pie’s complexity.
      3. Sparkling Wine: For a festive touch, a bubbly option adds elegance.

      Wine Pairing Chart:

      Wine TypeWhy It Works
      Late Harvest RieslingSweet harmony
      PortRich complement
      Sparkling WineFestive elegance

      Spirit and Cocktail Options:

      1. Bourbon: Neat or on the rocks, bourbon’s caramel notes pair wonderfully.
      2. Pumpkin Spice Martini: A themed cocktail for a full pumpkin experience.
      3. Apple Cider Mimosa: A seasonal twist that adds a fruity contrast.

      Examples of Cocktail Pairings:

      • Bourbon: For a classic touch
      • Pumpkin Spice Martini: For a festive celebration
      • Apple Cider Mimosa: For a fruity twist

      Pairing simple pumpkin pie with the right beverage is an art that adds depth and enjoyment to your dessert experience. Whether it’s the comforting warmth of coffee, the delicate balance of tea, or the indulgent richness of wine and spirits, the perfect pairing awaits you. Explore these options, and let your taste buds revel in the delightful symphony of flavors that simple pumpkin pie and the perfect beverage can create!

      Tips and Tricks from the Experts

      Avoiding Common Mistakes

      Even the most experienced bakers can encounter pitfalls when making a simple pumpkin pie. Here’s how to avoid them:

      1. Soggy Crust:
        • Solution: Pre-bake (blind bake) the crust or brush it with an egg wash before adding the filling.
        • Pro Tip: Use pie weights during blind baking to prevent puffing.
      2. Cracked Filling:
        • Solution: Avoid over-baking. Check for doneness by gently shaking the pie; the center should jiggle slightly.
        • Pro Tip: Allow the pie to cool gradually in the oven with the door ajar.
      3. Over-Spiced Flavor:
        • Solution: Measure spices carefully and consider freshly grinding them for balanced flavor.
        • Pro Tip: Taste the filling before baking and adjust as needed.
      4. Uneven Baking:
        • Solution: Rotate the pie halfway through baking for even cooking.
        • Pro Tip: Use an oven thermometer to ensure accurate temperature.

      Common Mistakes Chart:

      MistakeSolutionExpert Tip
      Soggy CrustBlind bakeUse pie weights
      Cracked FillingAvoid over-bakingCool gradually in the oven
      Over-SpicedMeasure carefullyTaste and adjust
      Uneven BakingRotate pieUse an oven thermometer

      Enhancing Flavor and Texture

      Taking your pie to the next level is all about understanding flavor and texture. Here are expert tips:

      1. Use Fresh Ingredients:
        • Flavor Burst: Freshly ground spices and high-quality pumpkin puree can make a world of difference.
        • Example: Use a fresh sugar pumpkin instead of canned puree for a more robust flavor.
      2. Experiment with Spices:
        • Flavor Twist: Consider adding cardamom or allspice for a unique flavor profile.
        • Example: A pinch of cardamom can add an exotic touch.
      3. Texture Enhancements:
        • Silky Smooth: Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve for a smoother texture.
        • Example: Straining removes any fibrous bits, resulting in a velvety filling.
      4. Garnish with Flair:
        • Visual Appeal: Use edible flowers, fresh herbs, or a sprinkle of spice for a beautiful presentation.
        • Example: Garnish with edible gold leaf for a luxurious touch.

      Flavor and Texture Enhancement Chart:

      Fresh IngredientsUse quality productsFresh sugar pumpkin
      Spice ExperimentationTry new spicesAdd cardamom
      Texture EnhancementsStrain fillingAchieve silky smoothness
      Garnish with FlairDecorateUse edible gold leaf

      Mastering the art of simple pumpkin pie is a rewarding journey filled with opportunities for creativity and expression. By learning from the experts and avoiding common mistakes, you can bake a pie that’s not only delicious but also a reflection of your culinary prowess. Embrace these tips and tricks, and let your simple pumpkin pie be a testament to your love for baking. Happy baking, and may your pies always be perfect!

      Simple Pumpkin Pie in Popular Culture

      Literature and Art

      Pumpkin pie has found its way into the hearts and minds of artists and writers, becoming a symbol of warmth, family, and tradition. Here’s how it has been depicted:

      1. In Literature:
        • Novels and Poetry: From descriptions of festive feasts in classic novels to metaphors in poetry, pumpkin pie often represents comfort and home.
        • Example: In “Drums Along the Mohawk” by Walter D. Edmonds, pumpkin pie is described with nostalgic warmth, reflecting colonial American life.
      2. In Art:
        • Paintings and Illustrations: Artists have captured pumpkin pie in still life paintings, symbolizing abundance and the harvest season.
        • Example: Norman Rockwell’s illustrations often included pumpkin pie, portraying quintessential American life.

      Literature and Art Chart:

      Novels & PoetryComfort & Home“Drums Along the Mohawk”
      PaintingsAbundance & HarvestNorman Rockwell’s illustrations

      Festivals and Traditions

      Pumpkin pie is not just a dish; it’s a cultural phenomenon that plays a central role in various festivals and family traditions. Here’s how:

      1. Thanksgiving:
        • Tradition: Pumpkin pie is a staple at American and Canadian Thanksgiving dinners, symbolizing the harvest and gratitude.
        • Example: Many families have cherished pumpkin pie recipes passed down through generations.
      2. Pumpkin Festivals:
        • Celebration: Various towns host pumpkin festivals, where pumpkin pie is celebrated with baking contests, tastings, and more.
        • Example: The Circleville Pumpkin Show in Ohio features giant pumpkin pie displays and competitions.
      3. Cultural Interpretations:
        • Global Twist: Different cultures have embraced pumpkin pie, adding unique flavors and traditions.
        • Example: In some European countries, pumpkin pie is enjoyed with a splash of liqueur or local spices.

      Festivals and Traditions Chart:

      ThanksgivingHarvest & GratitudeFamily heirloom recipes
      Pumpkin FestivalsCelebration & CommunityCircleville Pumpkin Show
      Cultural InterpretationsGlobal TwistEuropean adaptations

      Pumpkin pie’s presence in popular culture is a testament to its universal appeal and cultural significance. From the pages of beloved novels to the canvases of renowned artists, and from the festive tables of Thanksgiving to the lively streets of pumpkin festivals, this simple dessert transcends culinary boundaries. It’s a symbol of home, tradition, creativity, and community. So the next time you enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie, remember that you’re partaking in a rich cultural tapestry that connects us all. Enjoy the flavors, savor the history, and celebrate the simple pumpkin pie!


      Now armed with all this amazing information, making a simple pumpkin pie doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With our easy-to-follow recipe, ingredient substitutions, and helpful tips, you’ll be able to create a bakery-worthy pumpkin pie that’s perfect for any occasion. Happy baking!

      FAQs on This Simple Pumpkin Pie

      Can I make this pumpkin pie ahead of time?

      Yes, you can make it one day ahead and refrigerate.

      What can I use instead of pumpkin pie spice?

      You can use a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

      Can I freeze pumpkin pie?

      Yes, the pie can be frozen after baking for up to 1 month.

      How do I know when the pumpkin pie is done?

      Insert a knife into the pie, about an inch away from the crust. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.

      Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned?

      Absolutely! You can puree your own pumpkin for a more homemade flavor.

      What’s the secret to a tender, flaky crust?

      Blind baking the crust and following our Butter Flaky Pie Crust recipe will give you the perfect crust.

      This article was reviewed and published by Ryan Yates, an experienced Executive Chef, Restaurant Manager and Mixologist with over 15 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. Ryan has worked in and managed a variety of establishments, from casual dining to Michelin rated restaurants, and uses this diverse experience to provide a comprehensive and knowledgeable guide on all aspects of the food and beverage industry.

      Ryan Yates

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