This classic Pumpkin Pie recipe is made using half and half instead of evaporated milk. It makes an incredibly creamy pumpkin custard that is perfectly spiced to bring out the delicious pumpkin flavor. I think you will agree that this truly is the best pumpkin pie recipe out there!
For a rich and creamy pie, this recipe uses half and half instead of evaporated milk for an ultra-smooth, velvety texture without being overly thick. Your fork will glide through the silky filling!
Pumpkin pie is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving dinner! I love that it is so easy to make, coming together right in one bowl and without a mixer.
Plus you can make it a day or two ahead! This version is so incredibly smooth and creamy - your friends and family are going to be asking for this recipe.
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
Pumpkin - Make sure to use pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is already sweetened and seasoned and you want plain pumpkin. You can also use 1 ¾ cup of cooked and pureed fresh pumpkin instead of canned.
Brown Sugar - Brown sugar adds rich flavor and sweetness, without it being overly sweet. An equal amount of granulated sugar can also be substituted.
Half and Half - Using half and half makes a creamy custard filling without the need for evaporated milk. If you do not have half and half then make your own by mixing half a cup of heavy cream with half a cup of whole milk, or just use 1 cup of regular milk (it will be a little less creamy, but still delicious).
For a dairy-free pie, substitute your favorite dairy-free half and half, oat milk, coconut milk, or almond milk.
Cornstarch - This thickens the custard and helps it to set properly.
Spices - This combination of spices makes a truly spectacular pie! I recommend using the individual spices but if you need to substitute pumpkin pie spice then use 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice plus ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Pie Dough - You can use a homemade pie crust, like my favorite flaky vodka pie dough recipe, or keep it easy with store-bought refrigerated pie dough.
How to Make Pumpkin Pie Without Evaporated Milk
Pies may seem daunting, but don't be intimidated! This is a really easy recipe to make and I will walk you through every step.
With my guidance, you'll make a perfect pumpkin pie on your first try. This pie makes it clear that anyone can bake up bakery-worthy results right at home!
1) Blind Bake Crust
- Blind baking the crust is a method of par-baking. It cooks the crust just enough to prevent the bottom from being soggy. Then the crust will finish cooking along with the pumpkin custard.
- Press the dough into a pie pan.
- Line the crust with parchment paper then fill it with pie weights or dry beans.
- Place the pie dish in the oven and bake at 425°F (220°C) for about 10 minutes, until the edges brown. Place the pie dish in the oven and bake at 425°F (220°C) for about 10 minutes, until the edges brown.
- Then remove the pie weights and parchment and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the bottom just starts to brown.
2) Prepare Pumpkin Filling
- Place all of the filling ingredients into a large bowl.
- Whisk until completely smooth. Be sure that the eggs are fully incorporated with the other ingredients.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell.
- Cover the edge of the crust with a pie shield or aluminum foil so that the crust does not burn.
- Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 50-60 minutes.
- Insert a table knife into the center of the pie to check doneness. If the knife comes out clean then the pie is done.
- Leave the pie to cool at room temperature for about 2 hours.
- Then cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Top each slice with whipped cream when serving.
How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree
If you want to avoid canned ingredients completely then follow these instructions to make your own pumpkin puree for a 100% from-scratch homemade pumpkin pie recipe!
You can also use your homemade puree to make these easy pumpkin cheesecake squares!
- Slice a sugar pumpkin or baking pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.
- Rub the pumpkin with oil and place the cut side down on a baking sheet.
- Bake at 275°F (140°C) for about 75 minutes. The flesh around the stem should be tender when tested with a knife or toothpick.
- Remove from the oven and cool. Then scoop out the flesh into your food processor and run it until the pumpkin is completely smooth.
- Transfer the pumpkin puree to a large sieve or colander and let sit for at least 2 hours so that the excess moisture drains off. This is an important step so that you do not have a watery pie!
- If you are using freshly prepared pumpkin then be sure to process it until it is completely smooth. Otherwise, the custard may be stringy.
- If you prefer to use an electric hand mixer, use medium speed to blend the ingredients together smoothly.
- Use a pie shield to prevent the crust from burning. Or wrap the edges of the crust with aluminum foil.
- Just like when making cheesecake it's helpful to let your pumpkin pie cool slowly, in order to prevent it from cracking. Turn the oven off when the center is still a little jiggly, open the door, and let the pie sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
- If the custard is pulling from the sides or cracking then your dish is overbaked. Remove the pie from the oven immediately to prevent further overbaking.
This pumpkin pie is delicious as-is, but you can make this pie with unique flavor twists.
- Orange Zest - Brighten up the filling with the finely grated zest of one orange. Adds a refreshing citrus note.
- Toasted Pecans - Fold one cup of chopped toasted pecans into the filling for a delicious crunch.
- Eggnog - Swap the half and half for eggnog and spike it with 2 tablespoons of rum or bourbon.
- Extra Vanilla - Enhance the vanilla flavor with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Maple - Reduce the granulated sugar to ½ cup and add ⅓ cup of maple syrup. This version is especially tasty topped with maple whipped cream.
- Heavy Cream - For an even richer pie, use heavy cream instead of half and half.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - Another easy swap is to reduce the granulated sugar to ¼ cup and replace the half-and-half with 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk.
Here are a few other classic holiday pies that I love to serve on my Thanksgiving table:
Pumpkin pie should be covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator. According to the USDA, it will keep for up to 3 days.
Yes, custard pies like pumpkin and sweet potato pie can be frozen. Cool the pie completely and then wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap. Store it in the freezer for up to one month. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight.
Yes, it's easy to make mini pies! Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray. Then cut pie dough into eighteen 4-inch circles and press them into the muffin cups. Divide the batter evenly among the pie cups. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 30-35 minutes.
More Pumpkin Recipes
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Pumpkin PieRecipe by:
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree
- 1 cup half and half (237 ml)
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar (157 grams)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 pie crust unbaked
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Press your dough into a pie plate and crimp the edges. Line with aluminum foil or a parchment paper circle and fill the pie shell with pie weights.1 pie crust
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust begin to brown. Remove the crust from the oven. then remove the liner and weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Place all of the pie ingredients (except for the crust) into a large bowl. Whisk until smooth, then pour the custard filling into the prepared pie shell.15 ounces pumpkin puree, 1 cup half and half, ¾ cup packed light brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- Bake the pie for an additional 50-60 minutes, or until the custard is set. The center may still be slightly jiggly. Insert a knife into the center of the pie to check doneness. If it is fully cooked then the knife will be clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours, then place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
- Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- The pie can also be frozen for a month.
- Dairy-free half and half or any dairy-free milk can be substituted for the half and half. You can also make your own half and half using ½ heavy cream and ½ whole milk.
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice seasoning + ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon can be used instead of the individual spices.