There is a secret to delicious homemade pumpkin pie from scratch most bakers forget to mention. Today, I’m sharing my family’s favorite pumpkin pie recipe. You’ll learn the steps on how to make this delicious homemade custard dessert from scratch for your family. Also, some tips and tricks along the way. Be warned, it may become a new favorite.

slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream

Autumn is Pumpkin Season (Pie that Is.)

Every year, I watch intently as the leaves on the maple tree in our front yard slowly change to bright autumn hues of orange and red. Without a whisper, the morning turns crisp and soon my daughter will remind me of her birthday soon approaching.

Growing up in Maine, I know what is coming and I despise the frigid winter. But because I love Fall with everything in me, I choose to not focus on tomorrow but enjoy the amazing changes of God’s design today.

Our youngest daughter was born the first week of November. She’s become my biggest pumpkin pie fan. In fact, on many birthdays she has invited cousins and friends over to jump in the leaves, take a hayride with her around our property, and, of course, eat pumpkin pie. It’s become a fall tradition.


Our Family’s Favorite Pumpkin Pie

Do you have a favorite pumpkin pie recipe you look forward to baking around the holidays?

I’m excited to share with you a family recipe my mom gave me when I got married. It’s the same pumpkin pie recipe her mom used for decades. Over time, we have changed the pie crust recipe to one my uncle created, cut back the amount of sugar, and learned to roast our own pumpkins. But besides that, it’s the same.

Most bakers would agree a recipe is only as good as the quality ingredients you use. Organic sugar, pure vanilla extract, and fresh organic pumpkin (for puree) you roast yourself. You can’t compare with quality and freshness. I agree, but sometimes you have to use what you have or can afford.

While other bakers will debate, it’s all about the crust. If the crust is too hard or flavorless, pitch the whole pie.

So, do you have a secret to delicious homemade pumpkin pie? Is it the quality ingredients, a light, and buttery pie crust, or an heirloom recipe every woman in your family has used for decades?


What’s Your Go-To Pie Crust for Pumpkin Pie?

Unless you use crust shields during partial baking, pumpkin pie crust tends to become hard and very dark because of the longer cooking time.

You’ll need one pie crust for this recipe. If you are a new baker and just eager to try this pumpkin pie filling, you can purchase a store-bought pie shell. Or perhaps you are a seasoned baker and have a favorite pie crust recipe you love to use already.

Here is the pie crust recipe I use for almost every pie I bake. The buttermilk gives it a bit of elasticity, which helps the pie crust hold together very well, but it also yields a thicker crust.

Ingredients for My Homemade Pie Crust
(recipe makes two 9 inch pie crusts)

3 cups of self-rising flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened but not melted
3/4 cup of milk
1 TBS white distilled vinegar

Steps to Make a Pie Crust

Step 1. Begin by mixing the milk and vinegar together in a small bowl and set aside to make buttermilk.

Step 2. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, add shortening and butter and mix until blended.

Step 3. Add flour and mix

Step 4. Then pour buttermilk mixture into a large mixing bowl and incorporate, being careful not to over mix.

Step 5. Cover bowl with plate or plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 15 min.

Step 6. Remove from bowl and place dough on a floured surface.

Step 7. Divide dough into two balls as this recipe will make two 9 inch pie crusts.

Step 8. Roll out dough, turn, and lightly flour to avoid sticking until you have a thin sheet of pie crust.


Ingredients Needed for a Pumpkin Pie Filling from Scratch


Pumpkin Puree-1 1/2 cups

sugar-1/2 cup

brown sugar-1/2 cup

salt-1/2 tsp

cinnamon-1/2 tsp

pumpkin pie spice-2 1/2 tsp

canned milk-2 cups


fresh baked homemade pumpkin pie

Steps to Make a Homemade Pumpkin Pie 


Okay! So now we have all the pieces needed to get these pies in the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

First, I like to begin by mixing the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. This allows the egg whites to incorporate better into the pie filling. Once blended, place the remaining ingredients in the same bowl and blend preferably using a stand or hand-held mixer until ingredients are well blended.

Before placing pies in the oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees
You can use a crust shield or make one with tin foil if you don’t like a darker crust. I usually remove them 15 minutes before the pie finishes baking.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Note: if baking in a 10-inch pie pan, it will be closer to 55 min.

The pie is ready when you insert a smooth butter knife or toothpick, and it comes out clean. Place your cooked pies on a cooling rack until the pie pan is completely cool to the touch.

The Secret to Delicious Homemade Pumpkin Pie from Scratch


The next step is the most overlooked step but makes all the difference in a good pie or an amazing pumpkin pie. Once pies are completely cooled, cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator overnight. This firms up your custard by cooling all ingredients and really gives the pie spices time to season the pumpkin.

The next day, remove the pies from the refrigerator. You can leave them at room temperature if you don’t like cold pie and that is perfectly fine. Or pull out of the refrigerator a few hours prior to serving. I actually prefer it this way.

Slice, Serve and Enjoy!

This has become a Thanksgiving tradition for me to make these pumpkin pies. It’s a lot of work and it takes patience. Especially once they are baked because then you have to wait one more day! It’s well worth the
wait, I promise. 

Leave a comment and tell me about your family’s Thanksgiving traditions or fall desserts!

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