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Pumpkin Custard Pie

Up your pie game this Thanksgiving holiday with this pumpkin custard pie recipe. It’s a delicious twist on traditional pumpkin pie, has a buttery crust, and is filled with a creamy pumpkin spice custard with a rich, silky-smooth texture that is absolutely divine!

pumpkin custard pie with evaporated milk

What is pumpkin custard pie?

My pumpkin custard is the perfect cross between classic pumpkin pie and cooked custard-style pies. It has the same flaky, buttery crust but with a velvety pumpkin custard filling.

Unlike traditional pumpkin pie, the custard filling is cooked on the stove before baking. The result is a rich, velvety texture, super smooth consistency, and a glassy, shiny top.

The pie looks beautiful with tuffs of whipped cream and sugared cranberries. I’ll also show you how to create a sparkly sugared pie crust that makes this treat even more beautiful.

Pumpkin custard pie is the perfect dessert to finish off your tasty home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner or celebrate all fall occasions. Even pumpkin pie snobs will enjoy this one!

If you’re looking for more pies to include in your Thanksgiving line-up, try our condensed milk pecan pie, sweet potato pie, and apple pie.

Ingredients

The ingredients in this pumpkin custard pie recipe are pretty simple. You probably have most of them in your kitchen already. Check out the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Pie crust: Use a homemade pie crust or a store-bought one. You need an unbaked 9-in, deep-dish shell.
  • Pumpkin puree: Be sure to use plain pumpkin puree, rather than pumpkin pie filling. Libby’s pumpkin puree is best because it has the best pumpkin flavor and isn’t too watery.
  • Brown sugar adds sweetness to the pumpkin pie custard and subtle warmth from the molasses in brown sugar. We also need a little granulated sugar to garnish the crust, but that is optional.
  • Maple syrup adds additional sweetness, complexity, and fall flavors to the custard.
  • Evaporated milk gives the custard a wonderfully creamy and thick consistency. You could also use half-and-half or a combination of heavy cream and whole milk.
  • Eggs hold everything together and create that silky-smooth pumpkin custard. You need 3 large eggs and 2 egg yolks. Use the leftover egg whites to make sawdust pie.
  • Pumpkin pie spice is essential for that cozy fall flavor. I’ve included instructions how to make it in the recipe card below.
  • Vanilla: A splash of vanilla extract contributes to the warming, sweet flavor of the custard.
best pumpkin custard recipe

Kitchen tools

  • Measuring cups or kitchen scales to measure your ingredients.
  • Pie dish: The recipe is designed for a 9 to 10-inch, deep-dish pie pan. Alternatively, use 2 regular pie dishes.
  • Rolling pin: If working with a homemade pie crust, you’ll need a rolling pin to roll out the crust.
  • Blind bake: To blind bake the crust, you’ll need a piece of parchment paper, tin foil, and pie weights.
  • Pie shield or aluminum foil to cover the edges and prevent the crust from browning too much.
  • Medium saucepan to cook the pumpkin custard.
  • Mixing bowl to combine the ingredients.
  • Whisk to stir and mix the custard.
  • Pastry brush to brush the pie crust with egg white.
Thanksgiving custard pie

How to make pumpkin custard pie

This pumpkin custard pie recipe doesn’t take long to whip up. Most of the time is spent baking and chilling the pie. Here is the process with step-by-step pictures:

#1: Prep pie crust

  1. Preheat oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
  2. Roll out pie crust. Roll the pie dough into a 12 in / 30 cm circle on a lightly floured work surface. Turn the dough about a quarter after every few rolls and add more flour as needed to avoid sticking.
  3. Line pie dish. Carefully transfer the rolled-out dough into a 9-in / 23 cm deep-dish pie pan. Tuck it in with your fingers, ensuring it’s smooth. Trim the extra overhang with a small, sharp knife. Flute the edges with your fingers or crimp with a fork, if desired.
  4. Par-bake pie crust. Line the pie crust with a piece of parchment (baking) paper and a piece of tin foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans, evenly distributing them around the pie dish. You need 2 standard sets of pie weights. Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove the pie weights, tin foil, and parchment (baking) paper and bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Seal crust. Brush the crust with egg white to seal it. Optionally, sprinkle granulated sugar onto the edges for a frosted effect.

#2: Mix pumpkin custard filling

  1. Cook custard base. Add the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and maple syrup to a heavy-bottom saucepan. Whisking constantly, cook on medium-high heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and continue simmering for about 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the custard looks glossy.
  2. Add milk. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the evaporated milk, spices, and vanilla extract until combined. Remove from the heat.
  3. Temper eggs. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Temper the eggs by slowly pouring in 1 ladle of the pumpkin mixture while whisking vigorously. Continue adding pumpkin custard to the eggs until everything is combined.

#3: Bake + chill pie

  1. Bake pie. Pour the custard filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Bake the pumpkin pie for 50 to 60 minutes, until the custard is set around the edges, but the center is still very slightly jiggly. After 20 minutes, cover the edges of the pie with a pie shield or tin foil to protect them from burning.
  2. Chill. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature, then place it in the refrigerator to chill for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Serve. Cut the pie into wedges and serve with sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of spices. Enjoy!
best pumpkin custard pie recipe

Baking tips

  • Keep stirring: When you cook the pumpkin custard on the stove, stir continuously. Whisking prevents splatters and custard from burning to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Temper the eggs: When combining the eggs with the warm pumpkin mixture, add the custard slowly and whisk vigorously to prevent them from scrambling.
  • Strain: If you notice bits of curdled egg or clumps of spices in your custard, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove those bits. Straining ensures a perfectly smooth consistency.
  • Cover the edges:  Tenting the pie crust with a pie shield or aluminum foil reduces the chance of burnt edges. Simply fold a long piece of tin foil in half lengthwise and gently wrap it around the crust before baking.
  • Check doneness: Be careful not to overbake the pie. You can tell the pie is ready when the custard is set around the edges but still jiggles slightly in the center when you shake the pie pan.
  • Chill the pie: Pumpkin custard pie needs to spend some time in the fridge to set up. Chill it for a good 4 to 6 hours. I like to bake the pie a day ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. That way, it’s perfect the next day.
pumpkin spice custard pie

Variations & substitutions

If you want to switch up this pumpkin custard pie, you totally can! Here are a few ideas for you to try:

  • Sugar: Swap out brown sugar for granulated white sugar if that is what you have. Demerara sugar or turbinado sugar would also work.
  • Honey is a good substitute for maple syrup and imparts a rich, warm note.
  • Chai spice is a lovely alternative to pumpkin pie spice. The cardamom and allspice in chai really shine in the custard.
  • Graham cracker crust: Feel free to swap the pastry dough for a graham cracker pie crust.
  • Dairy-free: Use a mix of coconut milk and coconut cream instead of evaporated milk to make the pie lactose-free.
spiced pumpkin custard pie

Storage instructions

How to store pumpkin custard pie

Keep the Thanksgiving custard pie in an airtight container, or cover the pie pan tightly with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator and consume within 3 to 4 days.

Whipped cream can deflate after a while. If you want to make the recipe ahead of time, wait to garnish the pie right before serving, so the decorations look best.

Can you freeze pumpkin custard pie?

Yes, you can freeze the pie, but it won’t be as delicious as if it were freshly made. Still, it tastes pretty good and can save time on a busy holiday.

  • Wrap: Once the pie has cooled completely, wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap.
  • Freeze: Then freeze for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing the pie before adding the whipped cream topping.
  • Defrost: Thaw the pie overnight in the refrigerator.
pumpkin custard pie

Pumpkin Custard Pie Recipe

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 40 minutes

Up your pie game this Thanksgiving holiday with this pumpkin custard pie recipe. It's a delicious twist on traditional pumpkin pie, has a buttery crust, and is filled with a creamy pumpkin spice custard with a rich, silky-smooth texture that is absolutely divine!

Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 1 can (14 oz / 425 g) canned pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup / 130 g / 4.6 oz light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 80 g / 2.8 oz maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups / 350 ml / 12 fl oz evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 eggs yolks (reserve some egg white to brush the crust)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (see Note below)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
  2. Roll out pie crust. Roll the pie dough into a 12 in / 30 cm circle on a lightly floured work surface. Turn the dough about a quarter after every few rolls and add more flour as needed to avoid sticking.
  3. Line pie dish. Carefully transfer the rolled-out dough into a 9-in / 23 cm deep-dish pie pan. Tuck it in with your fingers, ensuring it's smooth. Trim the extra overhang with a small, sharp knife. Flute the edges with your fingers or crimp with a fork, if desired.
  4. Par-bake pie crust. Line the pie crust with a piece of parchment (baking) paper and a piece of tin foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans, evenly distributing them around the pie dish. You need 2 standard sets of pie weights. Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove the pie weights, tin foil, and parchment (baking) paper and bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Seal crust. Brush the crust with egg white to seal it. Optionally, sprinkle granulated sugar onto the edges for a frosted effect.
  6. Cook custard base. Add the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and maple syrup to a heavy-bottom saucepan. Whisking constantly, cook on medium-high heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and continue simmering for about 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the custard looks glossy.
  7. Add milk. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the evaporated milk, spices, and vanilla extract until combined. Remove from the heat.
  8. Temper eggs. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Temper the eggs by slowly pouring in 1 ladle of the pumpkin mixture while whisking vigorously. Continue adding pumpkin custard to the eggs until everything is combined.
  9. Bake pie. Pour the custard filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Bake the pumpkin pie for 50 to 60 minutes, until the custard is set around the edges, but the center is still very slightly jiggly. After 20 minutes, cover the edges of the pie with a pie shield or tin foil to protect them from burning.
  10. Chill. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature, then place it in the refrigerator to chill for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  11. Serve. Cut the pie into wedges and serve with sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of spices. Enjoy!

Notes

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin pie spice is essential for that cozy fall flavor. I like to use my homemade spice blend. You can make it by combining 1 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp ground ginger + 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg + 1/8 tsp ground cloves.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

Reasons to love this easy pumpkin custard pie recipe

  • Amazing dessert: After baking and a few hours of chilling, your spiced pumpkin custard pie is ready to be garnished with whipped cream and sugared cranberries and showcased on your Thanksgiving dessert table! This treat is the ultimate fall favorite!
  • Texture: The filling takes on a light, pudding-like quality. It’s essentially a richer, smoother version of classic pumpkin pie filling with the same flaky crust. Every bite is utterly decadent.
  • Flavors: The pie is made with pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, spices, vanilla, and extra egg yolks to create a complex yet cozy flavor profile.
  • Ease: Making stovetop pumpkin custard is easier than you think. You can make it in advance to save time during busy holiday meal prep.
easy pumpkin pie

More pumpkin dessert recipes

We love pumpkin pie and desserts in the fall! Here are few more recipes you must try!

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