Seriously Delicious, Fool-Proof Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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Seriously Delicious, Fool-Proof Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Autumn in a casing, our pumpkin pie recipe is the perfect crowd pleaser for the festive season.

Pumpkin pie is one of those foods that evoke autumnal coziness, and the spices make the whole house smell festive. I'd actually been looking forward to baking a pumpkin pie for a long time - last December I watched a Thanksgiving episode of Friends and decided I'd like to give it a go, but it was too late in the season and I couldn't get hold of tinned pumpkins (no, I didn't consider making my own pumpkin purée - one step too far!).

I've now spent a few weeks testing pumpkin pie recipes, and really, it can be as easy or time-consuming as you make it. The standard recipes (like the one on the back of my pumpkin tin) call for tinned pumpkin and shop-bought pastry - if you're happy to use those, the filling takes 15 minutes to make, so you could have a pie ready to eat in less than an hour.

Pumpkin - tinned or fresh?

I did a lot of reading around fresh vs. tinned pumpkin, and I PROMISE YOU that tinned pumpkin is the way to go. In baking, cooking temperatures and times hinge heavily on the ingredients used (as does the final texture of your bake), and fresh pumpkins will all be slightly different in moisture content, acidity, sweetness, etc. Tinned pumpkin is more reliable. Not to mention the faff - if you did want to use fresh pumpkins, the process involves baking, skinning and seeding, and finally blitzing the pumpkin to get a similar purée to the one you can buy in the tin.

Pastry - shop-bought or homemade?

This one is a bit of a no-brainer for me. Unless you're working with puff pastry - shop-bought puff is still pretty good, and the 48-hour process it would take to make some at home is unrealistic - I don't cut corners when it comes to pastry. I think hand-made, buttery pastry makes all the difference in the world to the pie tasting delicious. And, the pumpkin filling is easy and quick, so you should still be able to get everything ready to bake in under an hour.

I tested this pumpkin pie with a flakey pastry with a high-butter-low-sugar content (almost like what I'd use for a savoury quiche or meat pie), but found the flakey texture a little bit too greasy with the velvety sweet filling. After a fair bit of trial-and-error, I decided on a sweet shortcrust pastry - I'll write my own recipe for this at some point, but this recipe by Sainsbury's is a good option. It has a higher sugar content than a savoury flakey pastry (I actually thought it tasted amazing on its own!) and it's biscuity and really elevates the pie. Do blind-bake it before baking the final pie, as the base takes a little longer to cook than the filling.


Keywords: Pumpkin, Pie, Baked Goods, Pastry, Seasonal, Thanksgiving

  • Prep Time: 0 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 0 mins




  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 110 g packed dark brown sugar
  • 65 g white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tin of pumpkin purée
  • 375 ml evaporated milk (just under 1 standard tin)
  • 1 pie crust (chilled or frozen, our go to is shortcrust and you can visit our recipe here)


  1. Before you start making your pumpkin pie, pre-heat your oven to 220C and grease a 9" fluted tin (or a pie dish, if you're happy to serve it in the dish).
  2. Note: I normally make a slightly larger batch of pastry and keep 1/3 of it aside for decorations, like the stars in this recipe's photo.If you want to make pastry decorations for the top, treat them as you would biscuits - shape the pastry while raw and bake separately for 10-15 minutes, then lay over the pie when cool.


  1. This step is SOOOOO important. The pumpkin filling is a custard-like mix, which cooks much more quickly than pastry - blind-baking is essential to make sure your pastry doesn't end up raw, or the filling overcooked.Making sure you keep the pastry cold, roll out the crust to about 1/4 inch thick, and line your tin. Don't worry if you get some tears in the pastry, just patch them up!Once your pastry is in the tin, put both in the fridge for a few minutes to make sure the pastry is cold before baking - this will help it hold its shape and avoid the crust shrinking when you blind bake it.
  2. 1. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on top of the raw crust and weigh down with a layer of baking beans (raw rice or beans will also work if you haven't got ceramic baking beans) - this will stop the pastry from puffing up in the oven or shrinking while it's being blind baked.
  3. 2. Bake the pastry case with the baking beans in the oven at 220C for 15 minutes. It won't be cooked through, but the edges will start turning gold. Leave it on the size to cool slightly.

Pumpkin Filling

  1. 1. Whisk the eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl.
  2. 2. Add the brown sugar, white sugar, spices and lemon zest, and whisk again until combined.
  3. 3. Add the pumpkin purée and mix with a wooden spoon (it'll be too thick to whisk with a hand whisk, and you want to avoid over-whisking with an electric one).
  4. 4. Add the evaporated milk and whisk gently, until just combined. Again, avoid over-whisking, it will cause the filling to go dry and grainy instead of velvety and smooth.

Bake the Pumpkin Pie

  1. 1. Pour your pumpkin filling into the pre-baked pie crust, so that it's about 1/4 inch from the top - it won't rise very much.
  2. 2. Bake at 220C for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180C and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the crust - you may need to lay some tinfoil over it, or use a pie crust shield, to avoid it burning (especially if you've used a crust recipe with a high sugar content).
  3. 3. There are a few ways to check if your pie is cooked. You can use a tooth pick to check that the filling is cooked (it should still come out wet, but not covered in raw mix). You should also keep an eye on the rise - if the centre of your pie is rising, it's definitely baked. Ideally, you want to take it out while the centre is still slightly wobbly - it will finish cooking out of the oven for a velvety, smooth texture.
  4. 4. Leave to cool completely, then decorate using your pastry shapes or anything else you wish!