BEST homemade pumpkin pie recipe! With fresh or canned pumpkin purée, cream, brown and white sugar, eggs, and pumpkin spice
The single most requested dessert at our Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie. (The second being apple pie.) In fact, pumpkin pie is so synonymous with the holidays that during this time you can find “pumpkin spiced” everything, from lattes to donuts.
HOMEMADE VS CANNED PUMPKIN PIE
When making a pumpkin pie from scratch, you have a choice. You can either use pumpkin purée from a can, or make your own pumpkin purée by cooking a sugar pumpkin.
Canned pumpkin purée will give you a consistently good result in your pumpkin pie. Making your own purée by roasting a sugar pumpkin (or other flavorful winter squash like kabocha or butternut) can give you a deeper, more interesting flavor.
Which one tastes better
My friend Suzanne and I performed an experiment with her family to find out which pie tasted better, the one with canned pumpkin or the one made with puréed roasted sugar pumpkin.
Each of us received two slices, one from each pie, without knowing which was which. The winner?
The adults clearly preferred the pie made from roasted pumpkin—it had a richer flavor. One child preferred the pie made from the canned purée, the other two had no preference. Needless to say, everyone finished both of their slices, and the whipped cream too!
PUMPKIN PIE SPICES
When people think of Pumpkin Spice, they’re really thinking about the spices in a pumpkin pie, which are cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves and/or allspice. Cloves and allspice taste a lot alike, so typically you wouldn’t need both of them in your mix.
In our pumpkin pie recipe, we add a small amount of ground cardamom to our pumpkin spice mix. An 1/8 of a teaspoon isn’t much, but it’s enough to give the pie a sparkle it wouldn’t otherwise have.
Pumpkin pie is one of those pies you can easily make a day or two ahead. You can make both the crust and the filling in advance and then bake them the day of. Or you can make the pie, loosely wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator for up to two days.
You can even easily freeze pumpkin pie, for storage up to a month. To freeze, let the pie cool completely to room temperature. Then wrap it with a few layers of plastic wrap, and then a layer or two of aluminum foil. Wrap it tightly so that the air touching the pie is minimal.
To defrost, let the pie defrost slowly, for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.