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The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe for All Your Holidays

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Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a slice of pumpkin pie. It’s the quintessential addition to any dessert table that makes the holiday complete. This pumpkin pie is the tried and true recipe I’ve been making for my family for years. Plus, it’s an effortless holiday dessert that just works, every time.

Top view of a slice of pumpkin pie with freshly whipped cream on a white plate.

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It’s pumpkin pie season. And for many of us, that season begins in August and goes right on through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Year’s celebrations.

So much of the holidays are about tradition. And while we like to tweak those traditions from time to time — this is one that I never, ever change.

RELATED: More Thanksgiving Recipes >

I did that one year. Changed that Thanksgiving tradition of Libby’s Pumpkin Pie. And to this day… I hear about it.

Thanksgiving Tradition: Libby's Pumpkin Pie | 31Daily.com

Feeling inspired and innovative, I came across a recipe for a Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pie. In fact, it was on the cover of my favorite culinary magazine.

I thought it would be a treat. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

No one in my family would try that ill-fated Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pie. No one, that is, but my then fiance. And that was with a grimace.

Since then… our pumpkin pie tradition does not change… ever.

Why improve on tradition when tradition is the best there is?

Even Costco recognizes the beauty of this pie. A baker there once confided to me that the recipe they use in their stores is very similar to this one.

Simple Pumpkin Pie Recipe Ingredients

You will find the exact ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here is all you’ll need to make this classic and simple pumpkin pie recipe!

  • Pie crust: While you can definitely make your own (I love the crust I use in Strawberry Rhubarb Pie) but you can also use a ready-made pie crust as well.
  • Canned pure pumpkin: be sure you’re not using a pumpkin pie mix as it already contains spices.
  • Evaporated milk for creaminess
  • Granulated sugar to sweeten the pie
  • Spices: ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt
  • Large eggs for stability

How to Make Pumpkin Pie

One of the simplest pies you can make is a pumpkin pie. And I would argue it’s also one of the most delicious pies you can make!

Easy step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here is a quick overview:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉. If using refrigerated pie crusts, roll and fit into a 9-inch pie plate, flute the edges, and set it on a baking sheet.
  2. Combine the sugar and spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light, and stir in the pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Once combined, gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  4. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Without opening the door, reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for 40 to 50 minutes more or until the knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature but not more than 2 hours.

3 Ways to Tell When Pumpkin Pie is Done

Here are three surefire tests for telling when pumpkin pie is done. If your test determines an undercooked pumpkin pie, be sure to return it to the oven and bake for a few minutes longer before testing again.

1. The Knife Test

The classic knife test is the easiest and most foolproof way to determine if your pumpkin pie is done. Insert a knife near the center of the pie and if it comes out clean, your pie is done.

While this is an easy test, it will leave a crack where the knife is inserted. If this bothers you, there are ways you can easily camouflage the crack.

  • Add a dollop of whipped cream over the crack just before serving.
  • Using a cookie cutter, make leaf shapes out of leftover pastry (or buy extra for this purpose), bake on a cookie sheet, and then add the decorative touch before serving. I love adding this embellishment to holiday pies as I’ve done in my Sweet Potato Pie Recipe.

2. The Instant-Read Thermometer Test

You can test the doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the filling to see if your pie has fully cooked. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the internal temperature of pumpkin pie should be at least 180°F at its coolest point.

3. The Jiggle Test

Finally, there is the “Jiggle Test,” which prevents both a crack and a hole in the center of your pie. To do this, gently shake the pie. When it is done, it will jiggle only slightly in the center. Be sure the pie is not liquidy in any way.

More Ways to Avoid Cracks in Your Pumpkin Pie

While the jiggle test may help avoid cracking when testing for doneness, sometimes cracks are caused by other issues.

According to the experts at Libby’s Pumpkin, if you bake the pie too close to the oven’s top heating element, the filling can create a “skin” that may crack as it bakes. For the best results, bake the pie in the lower third of the oven.

Pumpkin Pie Questions and FAQs

How long should pumpkin pie cool?

According to the FDA, pumpkin pie needs to be refrigerated within 2 hours after baking.

How do you store pumpkin pie?

Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator to 2 to 3 days.

More Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes to Try!

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Thanksgiving Tradition: Libby's Pumpkin Pie | 31Daily.com
Thanksgiving Tradition: Libby's Pumpkin Pie | 31Daily.com

Thanksgiving Tradition: Libby’s Pumpkin Pie

A time-honored tradition, this recipe is inspired by Libby's 1950s Pumpkin Pie recipe and is the only one I make for the family every year. Simple to make and utterly delicious!
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 ounce can pure pumpkin (like LIBBY'S)
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 9-inch ready-made pie crust (deep dish shell is preferred)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425℉. If using refrigerated pie crusts, roll and fit into a 9-inch pie plate, flute the edges, and set it on a baking sheet.
  • Combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl until light and foamy. Stir in the pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Then gradually stir in evaporated milk until the mixture is fully combined..
  • Pour the filling to the prepared crust and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350°F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes more or until the knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature but not more than 2 hours.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 280mg | Fiber: 1g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Libby’s Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

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