I know there are tons of pumpkin pie recipes out there. BUT. This one is absolutely PERFECT. The pumpkin filling is silky smooth and beautifully spiced. It’s not overly sweet. The crust is easy to prepare, with no par-baking required. A dollop of lightly whipped cream adds the ultimate finishing touch.
The pumpkin pie filling in this recipe is 100% homemade. Of course, you can use store-bought canned pumpkin pie filling, and the pie will be nearly as good. If you’re willing to take the extra time to make your own pumpkin puree (which is super easy), then you will not regret it. Trust me. It’s worth the extra bit of effort. Homemade pumpkin puree, made from roasting a sweet pumpkin, is just so much richer tasting than the canned stuff.
I really didn’t have much choice except to make my own pumpkin puree, when I wanted to bake pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, when I first moved to Australia. Pumpkin is served as a savoury dish here, not a dessert. Pumpkin pie filling is not something that is readily available, although I did see it in the new American section at my grocery store last year. It wasn’t Libby’s, though (I didn’t even know any other brand existed, when I lived in America!). I tried it, just for the convenience, since I was pregnant and feeling tired much of the time, and wanted to save time. It did the job, but it just couldn’t compare to homemade pumpkin puree. It’s worth noting that pumpkin puree is a bit runnier than canned pumpkin pie filling. That’s why it needs to cook down, to thicken up, before using it in the pie.
I like to make an all-butter pie crust, for this recipe, but, sometimes, I buy it instead. You can use any pie dough you prefer. (My go-to pie crust recipe has always been Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee.) I like to decorate the edges of my pumpkin pies with pretty leaf shapes. They’re very easy to cut out, if you have a small, sharp knife. Just wet the edge of the pie dough with a pastry brush and then gently press the dough leaves around the edge, overlapping them end to end. It adds a lovely touch to the pie, but it’s optional. I have also decorated the edges with a thin braid of dough, which was a bit trickier. You can always do the classic pinched edge, or use fork tines to make decorative lines around the edge, if you like.
I’ve been making this pumpkin pie for several years now, and my family looks forward to having it every year at Thanksgiving. I had to convince my partner, who is Australian, that pumpkin can be really wonderful in desserts. He was skeptical. Then he had this pie. To say he has been converted to a pumpkin pie lover is an understatement. I’ve also had the pleasure of serving this pie to some Aussie family and friends, and they all loved it. I always bake two pies for Thanksgiving, because we all love it so much. I hope you and your family and friends will enjoy it, too.
Perfect Pumpkin Pie
I know there are tons of pumpkin pie recipes out there. BUT. This one is absolutely PERFECT. The pumpkin filling is silky smooth and beautifully spiced. It's not overly sweet. The crust is easy to prepare, with no par-baking required. A dollop of lightly whipped cream adds the ultimate finishing touch.
- Butter, for greasing the pan
- Pie dough, enough for a single-crust 9-inch pie, plus extra if making leaves, braids, or other decorative trim for edges
- ¾ cup/ 190mL crème fraiche
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch/ corn flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 cups pumpkin purée (see recipe below)
- ¼ cup heavy cream/ thickened cream (not light/ low fat!)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark, packed
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon medium-grain kosher salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- Butter or spray oil in a 9-inch pie pan and set aside. (I like to use a Pyrex pan or a ceramic tart pan.)
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to be about 12 inches around. Fit the dough into the prepared pie pan, gently pushing the dough into the sides, and leaving the edges evenly overhanging on the outside. Fold the excess dough around the rim, to make a raised edge. A lot of filling will be going in, so a bit of height on the crust is necessary.
- Crimp or decorate the edge, if you like. I like making leaf shapes in another sheet of dough. To make a braid, roll extra dough (about 1/4 of a recipe for a single-crust pie dough) to 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Cut into long 1/8-inch strips and braid in groups of 3. Wet the pie dough edge with water or an egg wash made with an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water, using a pastry brush. Then gently place leaves or braid on top, carefully pressing down to secure. Use as many leaves or braids as needed to cover the edge, joining the ends for a braid.
- Put the pie shell into the fridge for 30 minutes, if using an aluminum pie tin, or for about 10-15 minutes, if using a Pyrex pie dish.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375° F / 190° C, with a rack in the lower third (this will help to cook the crust).
- Scoop the crème fraîche into the bowl of a food processor that has the metal blade in place. Add the cornstarch/ corn flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and Allspice. Run the machine for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl once.
- Combine the pumpkin purée, thickened cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is sputtering and thickened, with a glossy sheen, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the spiced crème fraîche and run the machine until blended, for 1 minute. Scrape down the side of the bowl, and process again for 2 minutes. Take off the lid and let the filling cool down a bit — about 10 minutes — the bowl should feel warm, not hot.
- Replace the lid and fire up the motor again. Add the eggs, one at a time, through the feed tube, stopping and clearing the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat until well blended. Remove the bowl from the machine and carefully knock it against a counter to release any trapped air. Let settle for 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350° F / 175° C.
- Pour the filling into the pie shell (only fill about 2/3 full, to avoid spilling over).
- Bake pie until the filling is puffed at the center and with only the slightest wobble, for about 40 to 50 minutes (or longer, depending on your oven).
- Transfer pie from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack (without the baking tray).
- Refrigerate pie within 2 hours after coming out of the oven. (The egg and cream in the pie filling requires refrigeration to stay safe.) Consume pie within 3 days. Serve chilled with a dollop of softly whipped cream on top.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
If you're willing to take the extra time to make your own pumpkin puree (which is super easy), then you will not regret it. Trust me. It's worth the extra bit of effort. Homemade pumpkin puree, made from roasting a sweet pumpkin, is just so much richer tasting than the canned stuff. It's worth noting that pumpkin puree is a bit runnier than canned pumpkin pie filling. That's why it needs to cook down, to thicken up, before using it in the pie.
This recipe was adapted from smitten kitchen.
- 1 whole sugar pumpkin (or other sweet variety of pumpkin, see notes below)
- Preheat your oven to 400F/ 200C/ 190C fan-forced. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or baking paper.
- Cut whole pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the 2 pumpkin halves cut sides down on the baking sheet.
- Roast the pumpkin until it is completely tender inside, about 45 to 65 minutes.
- Once pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scrape the pumpkin flesh off the skin with a large spoon (a metal spoon works well, because of the sharper edges).
- Puree roast pumpkin in a food processor until smooth.
- Allow puree to cool completely, and use as needed.
Notes: 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree holds about 1 3/4 cups of puree. If you don’t have a sugar pumpkin, sweet potato, butternut squash, and red kuri squash will work instead. Sweet potatoes will roast faster, and so will smaller squash, but the method is the same: cut in half, roast face-down, scrape the flesh off the skin, and puree it until smooth. Sweet Australian pumpkin varieties include: Kent, Jap, and Queensland Blue.
These recipes were created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.
All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2019 for a delicious moment.