Classic Pumpkin Pie

Classic Pumpkin Pie

This year I decided to up my pumpkin pie game. I’ve been using the same classic recipe forever, same recipe that’s published over and over just about anywhere you look. I wanted to improve a few things: make it creamier, avoid any possibility of soggy crust, make it visually more appealing and glossy and up the spice level to really bring out those earthy notes.

And this version achieves exactly that!

First, we start with the addition of brown butter. Not only does it bring those earthy, nutty notes to the pie, it also creates a beautiful sheen. The whole pie looks like it was studded with diamonds. I wish my photography was better so that I could depict better just how stunning it was.

Next, we are adding some heave cream for more richness and some brown sugar for the hint of molasses and even more earthiness.

I’m increasing the spiciness level to make it memorable, yet still balanced and not overpowering.

We are pre-baking the crust, almost all the way, to avoid any possibility of soggy uncooked crust. The bottom crust does not cook at all after the custard is added, so if you made soggy crust pumpkin pies before, you will really appreciate the additional step of pre-cooking the crust this time.

Last but not least, the technique is discussed in so much detail to help prevent puffing, cracking of the pie.

Let’s get cooking. Or shall I say baking?!

Yields8 Servings

 3 eggs, cold
 1 tbsp vanilla
 15 oz pumpkin puree (that's just abot 2 cups, maybe a tablespoon less) - from small sugar pumpkin
 1 can sweetened condensed milk
 ¼ cup heavy cream
 ¼ cup light brown sugar
 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp butter
 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
 1 ½ tsp ginger
 ½ tsp nutmeg
  tsp ground cloves
 ¼ tsp kosher salt (half as much if using fine table salt)
 1 pie crust, recipe follows, or storebought
 Garnish to taste. Lightly sweetened whipped cream is my garnish of choice, just be sure to whip it to soft peaks (not firm!) Ice creams also makes a great garnish.

For the Pumpkin Puree:
1

For the butternut squash puree. You can use store bought or make it yourself.

Set wire racks to lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Grease it very lightly with oil if you wish.

Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and membranes. Place cut side down on your prepared sheet and bake for about 40 minutes until completely fork tender. When tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

The skin will come off very easily from the cooked pumpkin, so peel it and/or scoop the pumpkin out and puree it in a blender until completely smooth. You will only need about 60% of this puree, so reserve the rest for another use.

For pre-baked Crust:
2

Set wire racks to lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line the refrigerated and shaped pie crust with parchment or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights; I use and re-use beans, but keep in mind they are not suitable for cooking later. Place this on a large rimmed baking sheet (so you don't break the crust moving it in and out of the oven.)

Bake for 12-14 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven. Lift out the pie weights, parchment and foil carefully.

Place back into the oven for another 10 minutes or so until dry and a bit golden. We are baking this almost all the way, until light golden and firm, to prevent any chance of sogginess. Your crust won't cook much once you add the filling.

Cool the crust slightly before filling, however, you don't need to cool it all the way.

For the Pie:
3

Heat butter over medium heat in a small pot, swirling the pot constantly and stirring the butter with a wooden spoon. At first your butter will shimmer (sound of water evaporating,) then it will start to brown and you will see brown solids forming; your butter will become perfectly still, become light golden and smell nutty - you just made brown butter. This whole process should take only about 1.5-2 minutes for this small amount of butter. Be sure to watch closely, stir constantly to avoid burning and scorching the pot. Remove from heat and set aside.

4

Whisk eggs in a small bowl with a fork. The idea is to whisk them well without beating them too hard and incorporating too much air - that's what makes the pie puff and crack (incorporating too much air.)

Whisk the rest of ingredients in a large bowl, including still warm brown butter, well to combine. Add eggs and whisk/stir carefully (but again carefully not to introduce too much air to the batter.)

Fill your pie shell with your pumpkin batter.

5

Bake the pie in preheated 400° oven for 25 minutes, reduce the oven to 350° and continue baking for another 25-38 minutes. It took 57 minutes total baking time for my pie. (the time will vary depending on your oven, temperature of all your ingredients, moisture content of your pumpkin, etc.)

The edges should be set, but the centre should still be jiggly. The knife inserted one inch from the crust should come out clean.

Measuring the internal temperature is not my favourite way for this preparation, however, you can measure to ensure it's over 180° and be sure not to bake it past 206°, but the knife test works just fine.

6

Remove from the oven and cool completely at room temperature. Serve or refrigerate covered with parchment and plastic wrap until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired. Enjoy!

Ingredients

 3 eggs, cold
 1 tbsp vanilla
 15 oz pumpkin puree (that's just abot 2 cups, maybe a tablespoon less) - from small sugar pumpkin
 1 can sweetened condensed milk
 ¼ cup heavy cream
 ¼ cup light brown sugar
 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp butter
 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
 1 ½ tsp ginger
 ½ tsp nutmeg
  tsp ground cloves
 ¼ tsp kosher salt (half as much if using fine table salt)
 1 pie crust, recipe follows, or storebought
 Garnish to taste. Lightly sweetened whipped cream is my garnish of choice, just be sure to whip it to soft peaks (not firm!) Ice creams also makes a great garnish.

Directions

For the Pumpkin Puree:
1

For the butternut squash puree. You can use store bought or make it yourself.

Set wire racks to lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Grease it very lightly with oil if you wish.

Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and membranes. Place cut side down on your prepared sheet and bake for about 40 minutes until completely fork tender. When tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

The skin will come off very easily from the cooked pumpkin, so peel it and/or scoop the pumpkin out and puree it in a blender until completely smooth. You will only need about 60% of this puree, so reserve the rest for another use.

For pre-baked Crust:
2

Set wire racks to lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line the refrigerated and shaped pie crust with parchment or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights; I use and re-use beans, but keep in mind they are not suitable for cooking later. Place this on a large rimmed baking sheet (so you don't break the crust moving it in and out of the oven.)

Bake for 12-14 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven. Lift out the pie weights, parchment and foil carefully.

Place back into the oven for another 10 minutes or so until dry and a bit golden. We are baking this almost all the way, until light golden and firm, to prevent any chance of sogginess. Your crust won't cook much once you add the filling.

Cool the crust slightly before filling, however, you don't need to cool it all the way.

For the Pie:
3

Heat butter over medium heat in a small pot, swirling the pot constantly and stirring the butter with a wooden spoon. At first your butter will shimmer (sound of water evaporating,) then it will start to brown and you will see brown solids forming; your butter will become perfectly still, become light golden and smell nutty - you just made brown butter. This whole process should take only about 1.5-2 minutes for this small amount of butter. Be sure to watch closely, stir constantly to avoid burning and scorching the pot. Remove from heat and set aside.

4

Whisk eggs in a small bowl with a fork. The idea is to whisk them well without beating them too hard and incorporating too much air - that's what makes the pie puff and crack (incorporating too much air.)

Whisk the rest of ingredients in a large bowl, including still warm brown butter, well to combine. Add eggs and whisk/stir carefully (but again carefully not to introduce too much air to the batter.)

Fill your pie shell with your pumpkin batter.

5

Bake the pie in preheated 400° oven for 25 minutes, reduce the oven to 350° and continue baking for another 25-38 minutes. It took 57 minutes total baking time for my pie. (the time will vary depending on your oven, temperature of all your ingredients, moisture content of your pumpkin, etc.)

The edges should be set, but the centre should still be jiggly. The knife inserted one inch from the crust should come out clean.

Measuring the internal temperature is not my favourite way for this preparation, however, you can measure to ensure it's over 180° and be sure not to bake it past 206°, but the knife test works just fine.

6

Remove from the oven and cool completely at room temperature. Serve or refrigerate covered with parchment and plastic wrap until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie

And for the crust – please read about it in my Foolproof Pie Crust Post.

2 Comments
  1. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite desserts and this looks perfect. Can’t wait to make it soon!

    1. Aww you are the best Michael 🙂 I love love love pumpkin pie too and this version is one of my faves

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