Classic Pumpkin Pie

Sunday November 13, 2016

Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie. A tradition. I used to think heavy cream too rich an addition to the custard, having grown up on using the old Libby’s recipe calling for evaporated milk, but the cream stabilizes the custard perfectly for freezing. There is nothing quite like the perfume of spicy pumpkin pies while they are baking. It signals the beginning of the Thanksgiving season.



  • 2 frozen prepared 9-inch pie crusts, unthawed, or homemade 9-inch single pie                   crusts, frozen
  • 3 1/2 cups canned pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons cognac, Grand Marnier, or Calvados


Preheat the oven to 425º.  In a large bowl use a wire whisk or electric mixer on medium speed to combine all of the ingredients; beat well 1 minute. Divide between the two pie shells, pouring up to the rim of the fluted edge; rather than overfill, pour any extra filling into a small baking dish and bake as custard. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350º. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, depending on the depth of the pie plate, or until the filling is set, puffed, and the center no longer jiggles when gently shaken. Cool completely to room temperature on a rack.

Wrap each pie in plastic wrap and then in heavy aluminum foil, pressing the foil down on the pie. Freeze up to 1 month. Defrost the wrapped pie at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 6 hours. Uncover the pie and warm in a preheated 300º oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold from the refrigerator. Makes 2 pies, each serving 8.  Pie keeps for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic.

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