A Completely Delicious Guide to Popular Types of Pie

Remember that show “I Dream of Jeannie?” Insert the word “pie” in place of Jeannie and that’s my M.O. Fruit pies packed with layers of thinly sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon and dotted with butter. Cream pies filled with a luscious vanilla puddin…

Remember that show “I Dream of Jeannie?” Insert the word “pie” in place of Jeannie and that’s my M.O. Fruit pies packed with layers of thinly sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon and dotted with butter. Cream pies filled with a luscious vanilla pudding and topped with a billowy torched meringue. Free-form rustic galettes layered with frangipane and sweet pears. There are so many different types of pies and pie fillings to fall in love with throughout the year.

Certain types of pie, like pecan pie and Key lime pie, are staples decade after decade. However, others have seen a resurgence in popularity. Most recently, home bakers couldn’t get enough of desperation pies (aka depression pies). This type of pie was originally born in the 1930s during the Great Depression; the idea was that bakers could use whatever inexpensive ingredients they had on hand to bake a dessert. Recipes for desperation pies called for eggs, sugar, butter, and flour, but other variations included a vinegar pie, mock apple pie, and a water pie, all of which use the ingredients in their name to make creative imitations of fruit flavors. And if you think you’re reinventing the wheel with a new filling or type of pie crust, think again. “If you think there is a pie that hasn’t been made, just look through an old farm cookbook and you’ll probably find it,” says Emily Elsen, co-founder of Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a pie shop in Brooklyn, New York.

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Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that …

The post Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding appeared first on Baking Bites.

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that calls for comfort food more than the fall and winter holiday seasons, and that means that this Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding is a perfect option for dessert during that time of year.

The bread pudding is made with pumpkin puree and a generous amount of pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice, or pumpkin pie spice, is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger that is typically included in pumpkin pies and other pumpkin desserts. You have undoubtedly had it in a pumpkin spice latte, even if you weren’t familiar with the individual spices that went into the mix in the first place! The spices add a delicious warmth to the natural sweetness of pumpkin puree, which is further enhanced in this dessert with brown sugar and vanilla.

Bread puddings are usually soft and custardy, without much texture of their own. In this recipe, I add in a generous amount of toasted pecans. The flavor of the pecans works beautifully with the pumpkin spice elements, as well as adding a nice crunch to each serving of bread pudding. Toasted pecans will give you the best results in this recipe, as they will hold up to the custard without loosing their texture. Feel free to use pecans that are both roasted and salted if you like a little extra salty-sweetness in your desserts (I do!). I like to toss a few extra on top for garnish, to hint at the flavors that are inside the bread pudding.

This recipe makes a generous batch of bread pudding and you might not have a large enough gathering to serve it all at once. Fortunately, bread pudding keeps very well and the leftovers are just as delicious as the freshly baked dessert. If you do have leftovers, store them in the fridge. You can serve them cold or reheat individual portions in the microwave for a few minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding
2 3/4 cups milk (pref. whole)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (1-15 oz can)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
9-10 cups cubed bread (pref. white bread or brioche)
1 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
topping: 2 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice until very smooth.
Place cubed bread in a large bowl, and pour pumpkin mixture over the top. Use a spatula to gently fold the bread cubes until they are well coated. Allow bread mixture to stand for 20 minutes to soak up the custard mixture.
Pour bread custard mixture into prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the bread pudding.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the pudding springs back when lightly pressed and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers should be cooled completely and stored in the refrigerator.

Serves 10-12

The post Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding appeared first on Baking Bites.

Mini Pumpkin Pies

This mini pumpkin pies recipe makes the perfect dessert! Each bite has just the right creamy filling and flaky crust. Oh hello. Here’s a perfect tiny and cute dessert for Thanksgiving: Mini Pumpkin Pies! Over here Alex and I love anything that’s miniaturized. But these pies are more than just the novelty factor! They’re half the serving of a normal piece of pie, making them a healthy dessert option. They’re also customizable for gatherings of all sizes: you can make a half recipe if you don’t want to be stuck with an entire pie after the holiday! Even better: they’re incredibly tasty. Each bite has the perfect ratio of silky smooth filling to flaky pie crust. Ready to bake up some mini desserts? Filling ingredients for mini pumpkin pies The filling for these mini pumpkin pies is so delicious, you probably won’t be able to resist reaching for another one. Ironically this combats the intention of a small serving size, but since 2 mini pies equals one standard pie piece, we won’t blame you! The filling is creamy and cozy-spiced, with just the right autumnal zing from the spices. You’ll notice that there’s none of the standard evaporated milk here. […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This mini pumpkin pies recipe makes the perfect dessert! Each bite has just the right creamy filling and flaky crust.

Mini pumpkin pies

Oh hello. Here’s a perfect tiny and cute dessert for Thanksgiving: Mini Pumpkin Pies! Over here Alex and I love anything that’s miniaturized. But these pies are more than just the novelty factor! They’re half the serving of a normal piece of pie, making them a healthy dessert option. They’re also customizable for gatherings of all sizes: you can make a half recipe if you don’t want to be stuck with an entire pie after the holiday! Even better: they’re incredibly tasty. Each bite has the perfect ratio of silky smooth filling to flaky pie crust. Ready to bake up some mini desserts?

Filling ingredients for mini pumpkin pies

The filling for these mini pumpkin pies is so delicious, you probably won’t be able to resist reaching for another one. Ironically this combats the intention of a small serving size, but since 2 mini pies equals one standard pie piece, we won’t blame you! The filling is creamy and cozy-spiced, with just the right autumnal zing from the spices. You’ll notice that there’s none of the standard evaporated milk here. Here’s what’s in the filling for this mini pumpkin pie recipe:

  • Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Whipping cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Light brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Spices: cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg

Whip them up in a blender, and you’re done! Easy peasy.

Mini pumpkin pies

How to make mini pumpkin pie crust: some tips!

The most involved part of making mini pumpkin pies is making the pastry crust! Here you’ll make a variation on our Homemade Pie Crust, then cut it into 4-inch circles. Here are a few notes on the technique:

  • Chill for 30 minutes while making the filling. Chilling the pie crust dough makes it easier to work with, with less risk of sticking.
  • Roll it out in an even rectangle: a pastry cloth can be helpful. It’s not required, but a pastry cloth is helpful for rolling out the pie crust. This is a canvas cloth that’s made for making pie crusts and cookies because again, it reduces sticking.
  • Use a 4-inch circular cookie cutter or glass, or free-hand it. You’ll need to make 4-inch circles in the dough. We already had a 4-inch circular biscuit cutter, but if you don’t you can use a glass that’s 4-inches in diameter. Or, you can use a ruler and approximate it free-hand!

Use a mini pie pan or muffin tin

There are two types of pans you can use for this mini pumpkin pies recipe: and both work great! Here’s what to know:

  • Mini pie pan: We used this mini pie pan. The advantage to this is that it has ridges so that the edges of the dough form into scallops as you see in the photographs. This is really only possible with this special pan!
  • Standard muffin pan: You can also use a standard muffin pan: which you likely have on hand! The edges will be straight and not crimped as you see in these photos.
Mini pumpkin pie recipe

Variation: vegan mini pumpkin pie recipe

Do you eat plant-based? No problem! You can make vegan mini pumpkin pies by following our Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe! The vegan pastry crust is made with coconut oil or butter, and for the filling you’ll use coconut milk instead of whipping cream. It’s extraordinarily delicious! It tastes so good, no one will know it’s totally plant-based.

Topping for mini pumpkin pies

Of course, mini pumpkin pies are best when topped with a dollop of whipped cream! And the best whipped cream is homemade. We promise: its light and airy texture and rich flavor will blow you away! Here’s our recipe for whipped cream, and a tasty variation you can use to take it over the top:

Mini pumpkin pie

More mini pie ideas

There are lots of mini pies you can make using this formula! In fact, just make up the filling for your favorite pie and pop it into this crust. Here are some ideas:

Mini pumpkin pie recipe

This mini pumpkin pies recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use the crust and filling from this Vegan Pumpkin Pies recipe.

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Mini pumpkin pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This mini pumpkin pies recipe makes the perfect dessert! Each bite has just the right creamy filling and flaky crust. Want a vegan variation? Bake up this Vegan Pumpkin Pie as mini pies.


Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons ice water

For the mini pumpkin pies

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and baking powder. Cut the butter into chunks, then use a pastry blender or fork to cut it into the flour mixture until a coarse meal texture is obtained. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons ice water over the flour, mixing gradually with fork until the dough sticks together. Add additional water by the tablespoon until the dough comes together with your hands, but is not sticky (add a bit more water or flour if necessary). Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate in a covered container until the filling is ready, or at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Make the filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 
  4. Roll out the crusts: After the 30 minute rest, if you have a pastry cloth, set it up and dust it with flour; otherwise, flour a clean work surface. Put on a rolling pin cover (optional) and coat the pin in flour. Roll out the dough into a thin 13” x 18” rectangle. Cut into 4” circles (using a circular cutter or ruler) and gently press into pan. Gently encourage the edges of the dough to scallop.
  5. Add filling and bake: Pour the filling into each crust, letting it slightly mound on the top (a little will remain, which you can discard). Bake the pies for 24 to 26 minutes until the filling cracks and the crust starts to brown. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a baking rack and cool 30 minutes before serving.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mini pumpkin pies

More Thanksgiving recipe ideas

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner? Here are some of our best Thanksgiving recipe ideas for this special holiday:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Here’s your perfect vegan pumpkin pie recipe! This plant based spin on the standard is (dare we say it) even more delicious than the original. What makes this pie incredible? Let us count the ways. Pumpkin pie has always been a favorite of mine: and of course, my grandma’s pie is the absolute best. So when we whipped up this Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe, Alex and I weren’t expecting to love it more than the original. But this vegan pie is so full of pumpkin-spiced sweetness and the flavors are so delightfully elevated, no one will guess it’s plant-based! We’re solidly in camp vegan pumpkin pie, so much so that we’ll be making this recipe for years to come. Here are all our secrets! What makes this the best vegan pumpkin pie? Oddly enough, coconut milk does wonders in a vegan pumpkin pie. Something about the light fruitiness of the milk goes hand in hand with bright orange pumpkin! There’s no need for evaporated milk, which is what’s used in a standard pumpkin pie. We’re happy to kick it to the curb for a more whole food plant based option! Here’s what you need for the filling of a killer […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s your perfect vegan pumpkin pie recipe! This plant based spin on the standard is (dare we say it) even more delicious than the original.

Vegan pumpkin pie

What makes this pie incredible? Let us count the ways. Pumpkin pie has always been a favorite of mine: and of course, my grandma’s pie is the absolute best. So when we whipped up this Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe, Alex and I weren’t expecting to love it more than the original. But this vegan pie is so full of pumpkin-spiced sweetness and the flavors are so delightfully elevated, no one will guess it’s plant-based! We’re solidly in camp vegan pumpkin pie, so much so that we’ll be making this recipe for years to come. Here are all our secrets!

What makes this the best vegan pumpkin pie?

Oddly enough, coconut milk does wonders in a vegan pumpkin pie. Something about the light fruitiness of the milk goes hand in hand with bright orange pumpkin! There’s no need for evaporated milk, which is what’s used in a standard pumpkin pie. We’re happy to kick it to the curb for a more whole food plant based option! Here’s what you need for the filling of a killer vegan pumpkin pie:

  • Pumpkin puree: Don’t use pumpkin pie filling: it’s pre-flavored! You’ll want the blank slate of a plain puree
  • Full fat coconut milk: The richness of a full-fat milk is absolutely necessary here; don’t substitute light coconut milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Pumpkin pie spice blend

All you have to do is mix all of the ingredients above in a blender, then pour it into the crust and bake. The filling comes out creamy and beautifully flavorful: like a larger than life version of your grandma’s pie! Does it taste like coconut? Not really! It’s difficult to even detect a coconut flavor: you mainly just taste silky, pumpkin-spiced goodness.

Vegan pumpkin pie

Making the vegan pie crust: a few tips!

The part of a vegan pumpkin pie with the most technique is the pie crust! We have a whole separate article about Vegan Pie Crust with all of our tips and tricks. But here’s a brief overview of the process you’ll follow:

  • You can us either coconut oil or vegan butter. Both of these plant-based butter substitutes yield excellent results. You might wonder whether the flavor is too heavy on the coconut when using coconut oil. But if you use refined coconut oil, you can barely detect that flavor.
  • Chill for 30 minutes while making the filling. Chilling the pie crust dough makes it easier to work with, no matter which butter substitute you’re using.
  • Roll it out in an even circle: a pastry cloth can be helpful. It’s not required, but a pastry cloth is helpful for rolling out the pie crust because it helps to reduce sticking.
  • Use a standard 9-inch pie plate: not deep dish! This vegan pumpkin pie recipe is for a standard pie: not deep dish! You won’t have enough filling for a deep dish plate.
How to make vegan pumpkin pie

How to make a pie crust shield

For this vegan pumpkin pie recipe, you’ll need to use a pie crust shield. What is it? A pie crust shield is a shield that prevents pie crust from burning in the oven. It covers just the crust, so it allows the filling to bake as normal. Here’s what to know about using a pie crust shield:

  • It’s easy to make a pie crust shield with aluminum foil! All you have to do is cut a hole in the center of a large sheet of foil that’s the diameter of your pie plate. The foil will rest on the crust but let the pie filling be uncovered. Here’s a video with instructions for more details. (We just used a knife to cut the right sized hole in our foil.)
  • You can also buy a metal pie crust shield. If you bake a lot, you might already have one! Here’s a link to buy a pie crust shield online.

Pumpkin pie spices: use storebought or homemade

The easiest way to season the filling for this vegan pumpkin pie is using store-bought pumpkin pie spices! But did you know you can also make them at home? If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice but have a stocked spice collection, it’s easy to make. Here are the spices you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Add these together and it makes 1/4 cup pumpkin pie spice! Store it in a sealed jar and it lasts for up to 1 year, though of course it’s best at its freshest.

Vegan pumpkin pie

Topping for vegan pumpkin pie

What’s the best topping for vegan pumpkin pie? Most people are used to a dollop of whipped cream: which certainly makes the entire experience complete. This pie is actually very delicious without whipped cream. But if you’d like the full experience, here’s what to do:

  • Make a batch of vegan whipped cream. This Vegan Whipped Cream recipe is light and fluffy, made with…you guessed it, coconut milk!
  • Consider using vegan butter for the crust. If you’re planning to top with vegan whipped cream and you’re worried about too much coconut flavor, consider using vegan butter in the crust. Personally we don’t mind the extra fruity finish of the coconut flavor in this dessert, but it’s an option for mixing up the flavor.
Vegan pumpkin pie

More vegan Thanksgiving recipes

This vegan pumpkin pie is the crown jewel in our list of vegan Thanksgiving recipes! Here are some more favorites for the holiday:

This vegan pumpkin pie recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based.

Print
Vegan pumpkin pie

Incredible Vegan Pumpkin Pie


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s your perfect vegan pumpkin pie recipe! This plant based spin on the standard is (dare we say it) even more delicious than the original.


Ingredients

  • 1 Vegan Pie Crust
  • 2 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling; you’ll need 2 15-ounce cans)
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice blend (store-bought or homemade)
  • For serving: vegan whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Make the Vegan Pie Crust Step 1 and 2, then refrigerate it while you make the filling. 
  2. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Place the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, vanilla, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and kosher salt in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Make a pie crust shield using aluminum foil: cut a hole in the center of a large square of aluminum foil that’s the diameter of your pie plate. The foil will rest on the crust but let the pie filling be uncovered. (It will look like this.)
  5. Roll out the pie crust and add it to a standard pie plate (not deep dish), following the instructions in Vegan Pie Crust.
  6. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Fill it all the way to the rim, but don’t overfill the pie plate: you’ll have about 1/4 cup leftover that you can discard (or taste!). 
  7. Bake the pie for 55 minutes total until set, adding the foil shield for the curst at the 30 minute mark. Cool 1 hour on counter, then refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Pie

Keywords: Vegan pumpkin pie, vegan pumpkin pie recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

I Make 600 Pies Each Thanksgiving—Here’s What I’ve Learned Along the Way.

The minute peaches are elbowed out of the way by apples at the farmers’ market, my summer reverie is interrupted by thoughts of Thanksgiving. As a professional pie baker who discreetly waves goodbye to each pie as it leaves the bakery, I take my job se…

The minute peaches are elbowed out of the way by apples at the farmers’ market, my summer reverie is interrupted by thoughts of Thanksgiving. As a professional pie baker who discreetly waves goodbye to each pie as it leaves the bakery, I take my job seriously. Most years, more than 600 pies cross the baker’s bench on the day before Thanksgiving. This year, the approaching holiday season feels as upended as a tarte tatin. My guess is that pie sales will be brisk despite the uncertainty of gathering. One thing remains constant: Pie makes us feel better.

Except for July 4 (which this baker dubs Thanksgiving Junior) pie distinguishes Thanksgiving from all other holidays. According to a 2019 survey from The Harris Poll, 94 percent of Americans conclude their Thanksgiving meal with pie. No wonder even the most casual of bakers are prompted to reach for their rolling pins and dimpled pie plates. Thanksgiving has a way of sneaking up on us, long before our stash of leftover Halloween candy has been depleted.

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Libby’s Just Changed Their Pumpkin Pie Recipe for the First Time in 69 Years

Picture a classic Thanksgiving meal, all set for dinner with candles aglow. Center stage, a glistening roast turkey. A bowl of jiggly cranberry sauce crowds the extra space next to a pitcher of gravy, a deep dish of pillowy mashed potatoes, and a platt…

Picture a classic Thanksgiving meal, all set for dinner with candles aglow. Center stage, a glistening roast turkey. A bowl of jiggly cranberry sauce crowds the extra space next to a pitcher of gravy, a deep dish of pillowy mashed potatoes, and a platter of stuffing, crowned with crispy cubes of butter-soaked bread. Competing for your attention are the scents of onion and sage, and the comforting, yeasty fragrance of just-baked dinner rolls.

But you’re not really here for any of that. You—like many people on Thanksgiving—are waiting for the main event: the pumpkin pie.

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Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

This is absolutely the BEST homemade pumpkin pie recipe! Make it with canned or fresh pumpkin puree and up to several days ahead. Also freezes well! Thanksgiving pie never looked so good or so easy. Continue reading “Old Fashioned Pumpkin P…

This is absolutely the BEST homemade pumpkin pie recipe! Make it with canned or fresh pumpkin puree and up to several days ahead. Also freezes well! Thanksgiving pie never looked so good or so easy.

Continue reading "Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie" »

How to Make Pumpkin Pie Spice at Home

Picture this: It’s the weekend and you’re baking a pie, not because you have company coming over, but just for fun. You’re wearing a thick sweater, thicker socks, and you turn on the oven. While that heats up, you gather ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs…

Picture this: It’s the weekend and you’re baking a pie, not because you have company coming over, but just for fun. You’re wearing a thick sweater, thicker socks, and you turn on the oven. While that heats up, you gather ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, pumpkin purée, and—oh no. You’re out of pumpkin pie spice. But don’t worry: We can fix this! You can easily make DIY pumpkin pie spice at home using other basic spice staples like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Ahead, we’re sharing a few pumpkin pie spice recipes for when you find yourself in a pinch.


What Is Pumpkin Pie Spice?

Pumpkin pie spice is a cozy, earthy, mildly kicky American spice blend (that, just to be clear, contains absolutely no pumpkin). Even though it isn’t made with pumpkin, it’s a popular ingredient in pumpkin-based recipes like pies, loaves, cheesecake, and more. It’s sold in small jars in the grocery store in the spice aisle, and while it has its moment in the spotlight during fall, you should be able to pretty easily find pumpkin pie spice year-round. So what is in pumpkin pie spice? Odds are, several of the components are already in your pantry. The ingredient list leans heavily on baking spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, but the specifics depend on the brand. Let’s review a few for inspiration:

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Pumpkin Cobbler Is Like Pumpkin Pie, Only 10x Easier

I’ve never been a big pumpkin pie person. I like it okay. I definitely eat my once-annual slice around Thanksgiving, but you’ll never find me making it voluntarily unless it’s November. That’s because so many pumpkin pies can be disappointing, largely …

I’ve never been a big pumpkin pie person. I like it okay. I definitely eat my once-annual slice around Thanksgiving, but you’ll never find me making it voluntarily unless it’s November. That’s because so many pumpkin pies can be disappointing, largely due to the reason I’ve been harping about on this site since way back in 2014: the soggy bottom crust.

Yup, I’m team Mary Berry all the way, and pretty much blame this one faux-pie (see what I did there?) for every slice of pumpkin I’ve passed on since. When pumpkin pie is good: a crisp, flaky crust encasing a silky-smooth spiced custard, it is nutso-crazy good. But when it’s orange mush sitting on top of a thin layer of uncooked pastry, it’s something else entirely.

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Sister Pie’s Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s… Read more »

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
― Anne Lamott

 

I think I need this year to feel different. Because it is different.

For the first time Grandma won’t be the one bringing the pumpkin pie to the Thanksgiving table. She won’t walk through the door with a bag of Lay’s potato chips and her 9×13 glass Pyrex dish that houses a perfect pie. I won’t hear her insist the crust didn’t bake right or listen to her tell me how I could have done so much better. She’s wrong. Try as I might my pumpkin pie is never as good as Grandma’s even though I use her crust recipe; the one with no butter but lots of oil and a splash of milk. I even buy the can of Libby’s pumpkin pureé and follow the recipe off of the can because that is what Grandma does.

Did. I can’t seem to get used to that damn past tense.

This year is different. We knew someday it would be but what surprises me is that I’m finding myself wanting to lean into the difference. That was Grandma’s pumpkin pie and when I recreate it something is missing. Some recipes, perhaps, are best to live in memory. Maybe next year I’ll be ready to make her pie again but this year it still feels like it belongs to her.

The last time I saw her I held her hand and fingered her silver hair as she gasped her few final breaths. She was never very good at receiving praise so I took the opportunity I could to tell her how much I love her and how proud I am to be her granddaughter. She still felt like she was fighting. Her breathing, peaceful at times and then she’d dig deep for a breath. Wanting to release her I leaned in and whispered, “It’s okay Grandma, I’ll bake the pie now.”

It’s nearly Thanksgiving and while I want to honor that promise, making her pie feels like too great a task. I can’t bear for it to not be the same as it has been my entire life.

Last month, while in New Orleans, Joy and I spent a good bit of time flipping through the pages of the Sister Pie cookbook. Together she and I baked the Apple Pie with the Gruyere Crust but I took a quick photo on my phone of the Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie with the buckwheat streusel. The same day I made that beloved Collard Greens Melt I baked up this pie to see if it could be a possible contender for the holiday table.

It’s familiar, which for this holiday I do believe is essential, and yet different enough that I didn’t find myself comparing it to the one I’ve had for the last 36 years. There’s a subtle tang that intrigues and a warming crunch as you bite into the buttery spiced crumble. It’s a soft nod to tradition while gentling reminding us that life evolves. In our purest moments we are present because we know it won’t always be that way. We’re continuing to build new memories while still honoring those of the past.

Even if my pumpkin pie is not her’s I know she is still so very proud.

 

Sister Pie’s Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie

Yield 8 Servings

This recipe comes directly from the book. It’s a beauty. Loaded with inventive recipes and unique twists on the classes. Also, pie dough cookies! 

Ingredients

1 recipe single crust pie dough (I’m partial to my latest recipe in Let’s Stay In or you could use this one)

Buckwheat Pepita Streusel Topping

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4 cup buckwheat flour

1⁄4 cup pepitas, toasted in a dry skillet

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar

1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, straight from the fridge

Pumpkin Pie Filling

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

3⁄4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup

2 tablespoons (1⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal

3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 large egg, beaten

Instructions

Blind Bake:

Roll out your chilled pie dough into a large rough circle. Roll the dough around your rolling pin, then lay over your pie dough. Cut any excess dough off then fold in the edges and crimp the dough between your fingers. Place in the freezer and chill for 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 450°F with the rack on the lowest level. Remove the pie crust from the freezer, tear off a square of parchment that is slightly larger than the pie shell, and gently fit it into the frozen crust. Fill the crust with sugar (yes, sugar, this is a genius tip I learned from Stella Parks from Bravetart. Read more about it here.) and place the pie pan on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 25 to 27 minutes. Check for doneness by peeling up a piece of parchment—the crimps should be light golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. After 6 minutes, carefully remove the foil and beans. You did it! You are now ready to fill the pie.

PUMPKIN PIE

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make the streusel topping: In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose and buckwheat flours, pepitas, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. Place the butter in the bowl and coat on all sides with the flour mixture. Take a bench scraper and cut the butter into 1⁄2-inch cubes directly into the flour mixture in the bowl. Work to break up the cubes with your hands until they are lightly coated with the flour mixture. Continue to use the bench scraper to cut the cubes into smaller pieces—the idea is that you are cutting each cube in half.

Switch to a pastry blender and begin to cut in the butter with one hand while turning the bowl with the other. It’s important not to aim for the same spot at the bottom of the bowl with each movement, but to actually slice through butter every time. You’ll need to clean out the pastry blender every few turns of the bowl. Once most of the butter is incorporated, use your fingers to fully break down the butter until it is no longer visible. Be careful not to overwork the mixture at this point. Scatter the streusel over one of the parchment-lined baking sheets, distributing it evenly, and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, gently tossing the mixture with a spatula about halfway through. When the streusel is evenly browned and does not appear wet anymore, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the filling: In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, buttermilk, eggs, syrup, melted butter, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger and whisk until well blended.

Place the blind-baked shell on the other parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the crimped edge with the beaten egg. Pour the buttermilk-pumpkin filling into the pie shell until it reaches the bottom of the crimps. Transfer the baking sheet with the pie on it to the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the edges are puffed and the center jiggles only slightly when shaken.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the pie to a wire rack. Let cool for 15 minutes, then cover the pie with the streusel topping. Allow the pie to fully cool and set for another 4 to 6 hours. When the pie is at room temperature, slice it into 6 to 8 pieces and serve.

Store leftover pie, well wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.