Classic Pumpkin Pie from ‘What to Bake & How to Bake It’

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Pumpkin Pie_Final

Image: What to Bake & How to Bake It

If there is one food that brings to mind the holiday season and thanksgiving, it is pumpkin pie. Hands down, there is no other food that is so associated with a single time of year than pumpkin pie and fall or winter. For this reason, we found an amazing recipe for the best pumpkin pie around, and it comes from What to Bake & How to Bake It

Because we love this cookbook so much, we’ve all ready featured three recipes from it:

The feedback we’ve received from these recipes has been overwhelmingly positive, which is part of the reason we highly recommend What to Bake & How to Bake It as a great gift this holiday season. You can find it available on Amazon, and it is Prime eligible!

Pumpkin Pie

Preparation time: 1 hour, including blind baking, plus chilling

Baking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 12

Essential baking for fall, especially at Thanksgiving, this pie is delicately set and spiced, with a good crisp crust. A big dollop of boozy maple cream on the side really complements the flavor of the pumpkin. There’s a recipe for pumpkin pie spice on page 93 if you’d like to make your own.


For the pie crust

1 recipe basic sweet pie dough (see page 210), or use 12 oz store-bought

all-purpose flour, for rolling

For the filling

3 eggs

½ packed cup light brown sugar

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2–3 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix, depending how spicy you like your pie

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup milk

2 tbsp maple syrup, or 2 tbsp more sugar

15-oz can solid-pack pumpkin purée (or see Tip)

a pinch of salt

For the cream

½ cup heavy cream

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp bourbon or whisky


Lightly flour the work surface, then roll out the pastry dough until large enough to line a 9-inch pie pan with a lip or a tart pan with removable bottom. Use the pan as a guide for size, and try to keep the pastry as round as you can. See page 193 for full rolling instructions, if needed.

You can either use the rolling pin to lift the pastry into the pan, or try this method: dust the top of the pastry with a little flour, then fold it first in half, then into a triangle. Lift it into the dish, then unfold.


Don’t worry if your pastry tears. Dampen a little of the leftovers and stick it down well to seal the hole.

Press the pastry against the edges of the pan, then trim off the overhanging pastry with a sharp knife. Prick the bottom all over with a fork, right down to the metal. Crimp the edges, if you like, pushing the pastry between your thumb and forefinger to make deep, V-shaped indents. Repeat all the way round, then chill the pie crust for 15 minutes, or longer if you have time.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the pan onto a baking sheet. Tear a sheet of foil or parchment paper that’s large enough to completely cover the pastry, edges and all. If using paper, crumple it up so that it can fit right into the corners. Pour in some pie weights to cover the base, mounding them up a little towards the edges. Bake for 20 minutes.

Check under the foil or paper; if the pastry looks dry and set, remove the covering. If not, bake for another 5 minutes. When ready, carefully spoon out the hot pie weights, then remove the paper or foil. Bake for another 15 – 20 minutes, or until it is golden and feels sandy. If the edges color before the base is ready, cover them with foil.

Make the filling while you wait. Beat the eggs, saving 1 tablespoon to glaze the pie shell later. Beat the rest of the filling ingredients into the eggs, to make a thin custard.


To make your own filling, roast large chunks of pumpkin with just a little oil for 30 minutes at 400°F, or until softened, or microwave them. Purée or mash well, then pass through a sieve until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients once cooled.

Now we need to seal the pastry, as the filling is so liquid. Brush the pie shell all over with 1 tablespoon reserved beaten egg, then bake for 2 more minutes, until shiny.

Pull the oven rack out a little. Pour the filling into the crust, without letting it overflow, and slide the oven rack back in.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges of the filling have risen slightly and the center wobbles gently. Let cool in the pan. To make the cream, whip the ingredients together until just thickened.

Serve the pie at room temperature or chilled, with the cream.