Introduction: How to Bake a Pumpkin Pie (from Scratch)

Picture of How to Bake a Pumpkin Pie (from Scratch)

This instructable is a continuation of my How to Bake a Fresh Pumpkin instructable.

Baking pumpkin pies from scratch is somewhat of a tradition in my family, and ever since having had pies made from fresh pumpkin, I can't eat the ones made from canned pumpkin.

You can use this instructable to make a pie from canned pumpkin, but if you're planning on using a fresh one you should follow the instructions in my other instructable.

See the last page for a bonus recipe for homemade whipped cream with flavor booster.

Step 1: The Ingredients

Picture of The Ingredients

Since you'll be baking, you'll probably want to make sure you have all of the ingredients before starting. The only thing that doesn't really count as 'from scratch' is the pie crusts, but that's because when I took the photos I was feeling lazy.

This recipe is based on one out of my mom's ancient Joy of Cooking cook book, but I've added a few things for extra flavor.

You'll need:

*1 pie crust. You can use the store bought kind (either graham cracker or Pillsbury) or make your own.

  • 2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin (450 g)
  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk (350 ml)
  • 1/4th cup brown sugar (30 g)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (60 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 eggs

Cooking utensils:

  • A pie pan
  • some measuring cups and spoons
  • some regular spoons for stirring
  • a few assorted bowls in various sizes (about 3)
  • a blender (optional, but helps)

Step 2: Start Mixing

Picture of Start Mixing

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (210 Celsius).

Start by mixing the fresh pumpkin with the eggs and the evaporated milk in one bowl. Mix the brown sugar into this bowl too.

Once they're well blended, switch to a separate bowl and mix the white sugar, spices, and salt together until they're pretty well mixed. Then, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ones and mix until everything is as smooth as you can get it.

Once you have everything all mixed together, pour it all into a blender and blend it for a couple of minutes on a medium setting. This helps make sure that your pumpkin is totally broken down, and it also helps make sure there aren't any little pockets of cinnamon or ginger that didn't get broken up either.
This is important, because it means that the finished pie will have a smooth texture instead of a chunky, stringy, or spotty one. No one likes a chunky pie.

Step 3: Fill and Bake

Picture of Fill and Bake

Pour the pie mixture from the blender into the pie crust, making sure not to overfill it.

Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes.
The time it takes to bake will depend on how evenly heated your oven is. I recommend checking the pie at 30 minutes into the second half and seeing how far along it is. My oven really only takes about 35 minutes.
You can tell the pie is done when a toothpick or knife that's stuck in it comes out clean.

Step 4: Cool and Eat (bonus: Whipped Cream)

Picture of Cool and Eat (bonus: Whipped Cream)
You'll want to cool your pie before eating it. At least, I always do, I prefer my pumpkin pies cold, with whipped cream.
Perhaps you like whipped cream too, but don't want your average Cool Whip to go with your not so average pie.

Well, to make whipped cream from scratch, all you need is:

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • rum, mead, bourbon, or other flavor booster. (non-alcoholics can use 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • a nice big bowl
  • an electric mixer, or a whisk and a lot of muscle.
To make the whipped cream, just pour the 2 cups whipping cream into the bowl and start whipping. If you have an electric mixer, this is so easy you'll want to do it all day. If you don't, your arm will probably get tired pretty quick.

Once the cream has fluffed up a bit but isn't forming peaks, mix in about a tablespoon of the confectioners sugar and a tablespoon of flavor booster, and keep whipping. I find that the amount of sugar and alcohol varies depending on taste, so use slightly more or less depending on how sweet you like it. You don't need much, I think the most I ever added was about 2 tablespoons of each.
Since it's to taste, you can make more or less whipped cream by just using less cream and adjusting the sugar and alcohol.

Your whipped cream is done when it's about halfway between the soft peaks and hard peaks stage. Some people say not to go all the way to the hard peaks stage, but I've never noticed a difference so I tend to go as far as medium peaks. A soft peak is when you pull the spoon out and the peak left behind slowly falls over, a hard peak is when it hardly falls over at all.

Serve a nice big slice of pie with a dollop of your homemade whipped cream and watch it disappear.


quader4 (author)2015-11-26

Wow! WOW! This recipe is da bomb!

I made this pie for Thanksgiving, and everyone LOVED IT!

I also made the homemade whipped cream, and even though I hate the taste of Reddi Whip, I actually like this homemade stuff!

Oh, and running the pie filling through a blender first was PURE GENIUS. It got way smoother and more well mixed than I ever could have gotten it with a hand mixer.

First the pumpkin-baking instructable and now this. What more can I say except, thank you culinary god!

sshipway (author)2013-11-24

425degF == 210degC
It would be helpful for recipies to give metric measurements for non-US people. Especially with measurements in 'sticks' and 'cups' where outside the US we use grams or millilitres.

JackieN5 (author)sshipway2015-11-24

I can't believe how rude people were to you. I wish we used metric like the rest of the world. I think that it is a fair request to be more inclusive.

CadeW1 (author)2015-11-24

okay i now this may be wierd but i think you could just downlaod it and then translate


Waterlily02 (author)2014-11-26

Hi just wondering, Can I use other types of pumpkins or something like acorn squash? I haven't made a pumpkin pie before so I am not sure. Thank you.

WithoutAMitch made it! (author)2014-11-26

This was first time making a pumpkin pie and I am so thankful for these straight forward and easy to follow directions. I didn't have evaporated milk, so I substituted it with whole milk mixed with cooking cream and it turned out fine. I also added chopped walnuts on top of the filling and cocoa to the crust :)

sshipway (author)2014-11-25

Oops, hit enter too fast and didn't check the first line.

2 cups (1lb, 450g) cooked, mashed pumpkin.

sshipway (author)2014-11-17

Well, of course non-Americans can look up the conversion, and calculate it themselves if necessary. However, sometimes it is more friendly to be inclusive, and to realise that not everyone does things in your way. Otherwise, you risk giving the impression that you do not care about inconveniencing people if they do not live in your own country.

Pamela Litsinger (author)2014-10-24

What can you use to replace evaporated milk for lactose intolerant people?

You can use coconut creme. It come in a can. They carry it at trader joes

Momoffive1975 (author)2014-10-30

Pamela, I read that you can evaporate your non-dairy milk (soy, coconut, etc) by letting it simmer until 2/3 of it is evaporated. For example, you can evaporate 3 cups down to 1 cup. Just be careful not to scald it. I hope this helps!

SkylerM (author)2014-10-18

So easy, thank for the recipe, I tryed 3 other sites, this one was the easiest, I will always remember this site, thanks who ever posted the recipe

jadekikyo (author)2014-10-05

I had printed this recipe out 4 years ago and recently misplaced it so I had to find you in my favorites. Somehow I guess I never left a comment on this. So I'll do so now. Thank you so much for this and the other instructible. I have made this pie from scratch every year for the past 4 years and people look forward to "my pumpkin pie" all year long. Thank you for sharing it with the world. You've made the world a tastier place to live by doing so. :-)

jadekikyo (author)jadekikyo2014-10-05

Oh sorry I should note I change 2 things in the recipe. I use honey instead of white sugar and fresh ground ginger instead of powdered.

neoseren1 (author)2013-11-20

Thanks for this great instructable. It was perfect. My father-in-law loved it especially since he doesn't want any spices in his pie.

samthor (author)2013-10-21

just made this recipe with pumpkins i grew myself. very satisfying. thanks.

Hikeaddict (author)2013-10-06

Thanks so much for this recipe and the How to Bake a Pumpkin one as well! I had never used fresh pumpkin but now I don't think I would ever use a can again! This is absolutely delicious. My husband, who doesn't really like pumpkin pie, may just polish off the whole thing!

jessetb (author)2011-10-28

I have to say that this recipe is pretty darn good! My daughter went on her first field trip in Kindergarten to a pumpkin patch and brought home a pumpkin; so I followed your recipe and it turned out great. Heck, I had so much fun I made three pies. Oh, by the way this was my first time baking anything. Thanks!

RetroNeS (author)2010-10-23

THANK YOU!!! I did your recipe and this is the best pie I have ever ate. I recommend this to everyone. But be prepared this takes time! Its really true the best things in life take time. Thank You again for posting this.

zoundsPadang (author)2010-10-10

I used this recipe with this crust ( and it turned out WONDERFULLY. I garnished with Irish whipped cream and shaved chocolate. While the whipped cream was the biggest hit among my friends, the balance of the spices was really perfect. As always, I'd suggest grinding all your spices fresh if you can.

beadydani (author)2010-03-05

 I will probably have mine with custard, I don't cream too high in fat. Besides I prefer custard in my pies - always have!! My family calls me 'custard girl', LOL.

ninja doom25 (author)2009-11-26

my family LOVES this recipie they even signed me up for the pumpkin pie this year (but i did not know untillthe day before =) !)  but the first time i made it the crust i made was to thick so it ended up being mostly un cooked crust (didnt bother my mom though she stood over it later with a spoon later said it was THE BEST PUMPKIN PIE SHE EVER HAD -the crust=) )           thank you so much for posting this recipie!

ReCreate (author)2009-09-27

We made a Pumpkin Pie a while ago, expect we didn't have any crust(or anything to make crust out of), it was more like Pumpkin Pudding XD

soundinnovation (author)ReCreate2009-11-09

Try dipping gingersnaps in it! A friend has a tasty recipe for pumpkin dip and that's what he serves it with! 

ReCreate (author)soundinnovation2009-11-09

gingersnaps? What is that?

soundinnovation (author)ReCreate2009-11-09

Like gingerbread, but in a crunchy cookie form.

ReCreate (author)soundinnovation2009-11-10

Ah I see. :D

deadpieface (author)2009-11-08

followed the recipe and it turned out awesome!  Thank you so much!  we used your instructable for fresh pumpkin cooking too which help out too.  i have one question about that though.  i had a big pumpkin, carving size, and cooked it up too.  i have it stored in fridge but was wondering if it would be worth making pies out of it?

i have just a few comments:

the whipped cream is best using an electric mixer.  i don't think i would be able to get it firm enough with my arm.  i put it in tupperware after a while and started shaking it until it was a little firmer.  but still tastes good.

with the directions and ingredient amounts given, we were able to fill two store bought pie crusts with it.  and it seemed a little bit soupy, but that could be due to inaccuracies in measurement.  next time i will add a little more than two cups of pumkin, probably 2 1/4 cups.

and i used ready crust, although it tastes fine, it looks as though the crusts are a little burnt and crispy.  all in all i think this is a good recipe! 

Yes, I would totally use an electric mixer if I had one. Lacking that, manual mode it is for me. =P

The mixture might seem soupy, but it should solidify nicely after cooking. It's done when you stick a knife in the middle and it comes out clean.

I too use ready made crusts - and with further experimenting I've found that either lowering the temperature a bit or putting a bit of tin foil around the edges of the crust helps prevent them from getting too toasty.

Hope this helps & glad you liked the recipe!

hybridracers (author)2009-02-19

Isnt there some crazy steps to getting the pumpkin flesh out of the gord and softening it up? I think that would make a good part to include considering you have a solid pumpkin shown on the intro.

Yeah, if you read the intro to this Instructable there's a link to my other instructable which goes step by step on baking and mashing the pumpkin. I put it in a separate one since I'm also planning on making a 3rd instructable, which will be about making pumpkin bread.

sounds great, cant wait to see how that pans out.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a metalsmith and jeweler and I run my own small jewelry business. I work primarily in sterling silver, copper, brass, enamel, and occasionally ... More »
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