Tips on How To Make a Great Homemade Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Make Pie for This Thanksgiving or Christmas

Mmmm! Scrumptious Homemade Pumpkin Pie!
Mmmm! Scrumptious Homemade Pumpkin Pie!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie, Mmmm!

Making a pumpkin pie? It used to take all day, and still does if you use fresh pumpkins to make it. But today, what with all our new technology and canned goods, you can make a pie in under an hour, excluding cooking time.

Here’s some helpful tips that should help ensure your pie turns out perfect every time. It’s so easy, even an inexperienced cook can turn out a great pie.

When you go to select the can of pumpkin you want to use, don’t be intimidated by the labels. Pumpkin solid pack, pumpkin puree and pure pumpkin are all the same thing. Just make sure the label says 100% pure pumpkin and you’re set.

There’s usually two sizes of canned pumpkin. Which one you need depends on the size of the pie you’re making. Use the pie plate as your guide: A deep-dish 9 inch pie will take a 29oz can, and other pies will use one to two of the 15oz cans.

  • A 15oz can yields 1 ¾ cups pumpkin.
  • A 29oz can yields 3 ½ cups pumpkin.

Some cooks can even squeeze two pies out of a 29oz can.

If you have some pie filling left over, a good way to store it is to freeze it. Or, if you want to make the filling ahead of time, it can be stored in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month.

The crust can also be made ahead and frozen. Just thaw the crust and the filling at the same time and follow your recipe‘s directions for baking.

Never Freeze a Baked Pumpkin Pie

If you freeze and already baked pumpkin (or any kind of custard) pie, it won’t thaw properly. It will separate and be gross, so freezing an already baked pumpkin pie is not recommended.

Do not use fresh milk in your recipe. Fresh milk is thin and is more prone to curdling. Use evaporated milk for a creamy rich pie filling that tastes good.

If more than one pie is being made, bake only one at a time to make sure of even heating and cooking.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie is Done

It’s easy to tell when the pie is done. Insert a butter knife halfway between the center and the edge of the pie plate. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done. If it doesn’t come out clean, put the pie back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes and check it again.

If the center of the pie is still loose and jiggly, it’s okay. The pie will finish cooking in the center as it sits out to cool. The edges will cool first and the center will be done nicely when it’s cooled.

If your pie looks as though the filling has begun to separate from the crust around the edges, that’s a sign it’s been overcooked. For your next pie, take away 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time and it should be okay.

Another over-cooked sign is if there’s little bubbles around the edge of the filling. If this happens to you, remove the pie from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool. Adjust the time accordingly for the next pies.

Why bake the pie on high temperature and then lower it? Because, the high temperature cooking makes sure the pie’s crust is set and baked, then turning down the oven allows the delicate custard to cook evenly without cooking too fast.

The top of a baked and cooled pumpkin pie will often have a little ‘water’ on it, but it’s perfectly normal. Just blot the water with a paper towel before presenting and it’ll look and taste great.

Method of Cooling the Pumpkin Pie is Important


If your finished pie and it looks cracked, it’s likely that you cooled it too fast. Some pie fillings may actually sweat, bringing little drops of water to the surface. Setting the pie in a draft or outside will often cool it too fast. Put it on a wire cooling rack and let it cool at it’s own pace (usually about 2 hours), so you’ll have a nice looking pie that people want to eat.

A well cooked and cooled pie may develop a ‘water’ on the top of it. That’s normal. Remove it by simply blotting the water off with a paper towel.

Gather all your utensils and ingredients before you start, so your pie-making time can be stress-free and fun. Do a good job and take your time so it’ll be a rewarding experience in the end.

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