Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Last weekend I made my first pumpkin pie completely from scratch. I bought a small pumpkin from the grocery store thinking it would make for a festive decoration, but it wasn’t until later that I realized it was a pie pumpkin complete with a recipe stuck to the bottom. I decided to give it a try and since I was making the filling from scratch, I figured I couldn’t cheat and use a frozen pie crust or store-bought whipped cream. After some trial and error, I finally made a pie that was worth sharing.


I’ll admit that my first attempt was not pretty. It tasted good, but the edges of the pie crust were pretty burnt. My main issue was that it was too thin and it didn’t help that I used a fork to get the crimped look instead of fluting the edges with my fingers. When it comes to baking, learning from your mistakes is part of the process. It can be frustrating when you waste time and ingredients on something that doesn’t turn out, but in the long run it will help you become a better baker because you know what NOT to do. Hopefully this recipe will prevent you from learning that hard way like I did :)


Homemade Pumpkin Pie
{Makes two 9-inch pies}

For the pie crust

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 7 Tbsp. ice water

For the pumpkin filling

  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For the whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar


First up is the pumpkin filling!

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Wash the pumpkin, cut in half and remove the stem, seeds and strings. Place cut side down on a baking sheet, cover with foil and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, until tender.
  2. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and place the pumpkin meat into a medium-sized bowl. Mash the pumpkin until smooth.
  3. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt, stirring until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, then fold into pumpkin mixture. Place in the refrigerator until pie crust is ready.

Now it’s time for the pie crust:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt until combined. Using clean hands, add the pieces of butter and toss until coated. Rub it between your thumb and forefinger to incorporate it into the flour mixture, until the butter chunks are about the size of a lima bean. Add the shortening and repeat the process to fully incorporate it into the mixture, leaving it still a little chunky.
  2. Drizzle in 3 to 4 Tbsp. of water, and rake it through the mixture with your fingers , until the dough is moistened. Add remaining water 1 Tbsp. at a time, combing it through until the dough begins to form. Don’t overwork it because it will become too tough.
  3. Push dough between your palm and the dough, gathering it into a ball. Place on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten it into a disk, then fully cover with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F. On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to create a flat disc large enough to cover the pie pan with some overlap. Lightly spray pie pan with cooking spray, then place rolled out dough on top and press into pan. Trim the overlap with a knife or kitchen shears, leaving about one inch.
  5. Now it’s time to crimp the crust. I found this instructional video from Fine Cooking helpful. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry, then bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust begins to color around the edges. Set aside.


You’ve made it to the easy part!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pie crust and set it on a baking sheet.
  2. Cover the pie crust edges with thin strips of foil or a pie crust shield. Bake for about 40 minutes, until firm. Let cool before slicing.

As tempting as it is smelling the freshly baked pie, you’ll want to wait until you can top it with a dollop of homemade whipped cream:

  1. Using a metal bowl and whisk that have been in the freezer, whip the cream until stiff peaks are just about to form.
  2. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over beat because the cream will become lumpy.