Filed Under: Dessert | Fall | Pie | Thanksgiving

Easy Pumpkin Pie

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
November 7th, 2019

Easy Pumpkin Pie made with a quick graham cracker crust, homemade spiced filling, and topped with freshly whipped cream. Quick and simple to prep ahead of time for Thanksgiving!

Yield: 9 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes

I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie.

Which is funny because I actually love pumpkin. I recently came to realize it’s a texture problem.

Pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust in a ceramic pie dish

One of my favorite pie recipes that I could literally eat every single day is my Chocolate Pudding Pie.

It’s got chocolate, so of course the flavor is good. But what I love most of all is the TEXTURE.

So I set out to make a pumpkin pie that was similar to the texture of that pudding pie. AND easier to make that traditional pumpkin pie.

That meant scratching the pastry crust in favor of a 5 minute graham cracker crust. That swap alone literally saves hours!

Quick and easy pumpkin pie in a pie dish with a slice removed

If you’re like me and want a spin on classic pumpkin pie, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

EASY Pumpkin Pie Tips & Tricks

How to make graham cracker crust for pie:

Graham cracker crumbs being pressed into the pie plate

Crush the graham crackers in the food processor with the sugar and cinnamon until finely ground then add in the melted butter and toss until the mixture looks like wet sand.

Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. I like to use the bottom of a flat measuring cup or glass to get an even crumb layer that’s compacted into the pie plate. This helps prevent the crust from crumbling a bunch when you go to cut slices.

In the recipe I included the cup measurement and weight measurements of the crumbs so you can use pre-ground crumbs if desired. You can also use gingersnap cookies or Biscoff cookies too!

Homemade pumpkin pie filling:

This filling recipe doesn’t use pre-made canned filling or evaporated milk. Instead it uses heavy cream, sour cream, and eggs so you get the best flavor and a smooth, creamy, rich texture. The texture is more like cream pie or pudding pie, which I personally prefer!

How to bake pumpkin pie (and tell when it’s done!)

Pumpkin pie can be tricky to bake. If you underbake, the center may never set and you won’t get clean slices. If you overbake, the top will crack and the texture will be dry.

You’re looking for the edges of the filling to be set and look dry but for the center to still wobble a little bit, kind of like Jell-O.

The best way to tell when a pie is done is to use an instant read thermometer and insert it into the center (but don’t allow it to touch the crust and pan). It should read 175°F when the pie is done.

If you’re worried your pie might be a little on the loose side, pop it in the fridge for a few hours before serving to ensure you get clean cuts.

Note that metal pie tins will cook quicker than glass or ceramic.

How to store pumpkin pie:

Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. The longer the pie is in the fridge the softer the crust will grow. This pie doesn’t freeze well.

Try to top the pie with the whipped cream as close to serving as possible. The cream will “weep” the longer it sits on the pie, losing its airy volume.

How to make homemade whipped cream for pie:

Combine all the whipped cream ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure the cream is cold and the bowl is totally dry. Beat with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form.

I call for a tablespoon of bourbon in the whipped cream for this recipe but you can definitely leave it out. I just love how it complements the pumpkin. You can always add more ground cinnamon to the whipped cream too!

Slice of easy pumpkin pie on a plate with a dollop of whipped cream on top

More Thanksgiving Pie Recipes:

See my other favorite Thanksgiving recipes, from side dishes to bread, here at my Thanksgiving Headquarters!

How to make
Easy Pumpkin Pie

Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Easy Pumpkin Pie made with a quick graham cracker crust, homemade spiced filling, and topped with freshly whipped cream. Quick and simple to prep ahead of time for Thanksgiving!

Ingredients

For the graham cracker crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) graham cracker crumbs (from 15 whole graham crackers)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the pumpkin filling:

  • 1 15- ounce can (425 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup (200 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional

Directions

Prepare the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter until the mixture is moistened. Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan using the bottom of a flat measuring cup or glass. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden, firm, and fragrant. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Make the pumpkin filling:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, spices, and salt for 1 minute. You can also whisk by hand, but the final texture may not be as smooth. On low speed gradually add in the cream and sour cream. Add in the eggs and 1 yolk, one at a time, and beat until just combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust. Bake at 325°F until the filling it set at the edges but still wobbly like gelatin in the center and the internal temperature is 175°F, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature or chilled. If the pie is on the gooey side, chill in the fridge to firm up.

Make the whipped cream:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Garnish each slice with whipped cream just before serving.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: thanksgiving

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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