Best Recipe for Pumpkin Pie (from Scratch)

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by Nindo Mom on November 28, 2010

My family would always just buy a pumpkin pie from the local Safeway food store. I never had anything else, so I was satisfied. Then, as a college student, my boyfriend’s family had what I thought was a much more interesting tradition: they had homemade pie for Christmas dinner. And not just one pie, but six: 2 pumpkin, 1 apple, 1 pecan, 1 lemon meringue, and 1 cherry.

My first experience with homemade pumpkin pie made me realize what I had been missing all these years. So from then on, I made pumpkin pies from scratch.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie is Way Better than Store-bought

Preparing homemade food is usually cheaper than the pre-prepared “freshly baked” or frozen items in your grocer’s freezer. When you make it yourself, you’re not adding unhealthy preservatives, nor are you adding fillers with no nutrition to make the “real food” stretch farther. When you find (or develop) a good recipe, it can taste so much better than what you’d buy in the grocery store. And in a society where families seem to have less and less time to cook from scratch, a homemade pie can really put people in the holiday spirit as they sit down to a holiday meal at your table.

The following is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe. You can prepare the filling the night before and store in the refrigerator to allow the spices to spread throughout the mixture. Or, you can make it right before you slide it into the oven. Either way comes out great.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 T white flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 extra large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (NOT canned pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 1/4 cups light cream
  • homemade single pie crust (from pie crust recipe)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In one mixing bowl, combine the sugars, flour, salt, and spices. You can use a whisk or fluff together briskly with a fork. Set aside.

In a second mixing bowl, whip together the eggs, pumpkin, and cream, combining well. Add this wet mixture slowly to the dry ingredients, stirring until homogeneous.

Pour mixture gently into a pie crust you’ve prepared in advance. (Here’s the homemade single pie crust I use.)

Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.  (You may want to put a cookie sheet on the oven rack underneath the pie in case the filling bubbles over. This will help to keep those nasty drips off the bottom of your oven.

You know your pie is done baking when the edges–about 2 inches in from the edge of the pie plate–appear fully set. (Please don’t test with your finger, or you’ll burn the ^#*% [what Qbert says when an enemy lands on his head] out of it.) The center of the pie will still appear unset–kind of like chilled gelatin dessert with a molten center–but will set fully when the pie cools.

Allow the pie to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. (I cheat on this step sometimes.)

When preparing the pie to be served, I like a nice dollup of real, slightly sweetened whipped cream on top. If you prefer to use something pre-prepared like Redi-whip, make sure to get the kind made with real cream, because it seems to compliment the flavor of the pie a lot better. And, real cream is generally healthier than the fake ingredients manufacturers typically use in place of cream.

You’re sure to get lots of compliments on this pie. And, once you’ve made it a few times, you’ll realize it’s not that time consuming, and you may want to incorporate it into your non-holiday meals, as well!

Save Time and Frustration

Sometimes, during the holidays–or any day of the year, really–it’s time to slip the pie in the oven. But wait, you’re already using the oven. In this situation, it’s incredibly helpful to have a counter top convection oven. The Breville BOV800XL The Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven with Element IQ is the highest rated counter top convection oven on Amazon. One of the great things about it is you program the exact temperature you want, rather than approximating like with lots of smaller, less well made models. I asked my mother to bring her counter top convection over this Thanksgiving so that I wouldn’t have to wait until the turkey came out of the oven to cook the pie, and it turned out to be a real life-saver.

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