Meta Given's Pumpkin Pie

By • November 21, 2011 • 106 Comments

1,578 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Author Notes: Caramelizing the pumpkin puree means that this is a pie with guts, one that won't just sit there phoning in the pumpkin flavor, burying it under lots of spice. But its genius is much more than that. You don't have to blind bake the crust. You use real milk and cream instead of evaporated milk, with predictably better results. And because you blast it at 400 degrees the whole time, it bakes in 25 minutes -- less than half the time of your average back-of-the-can recipe. From Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking, an underrated gem of a cookbook.Genius Recipes

Serves 6

  • 1 3/4 cups canned or fresh cooked pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Unbaked, unpricked, chilled 9-inch pie shell (we like lapadia's simple Himalayan Blackberry Pie crust, also on FOOD52)
  1. Turn pumpkin into saucepan and stir over direct heat for 10 minutes until somewhat dry and slightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Remove from heat but keep hot.
  2. Mix thoroughly together the sugar, salt, and spices, and stir into hot pumpkin.
  3. Beat eggs, add cream and milk, and beat into pumpkin mixture until smooth.
  4. Pour immediately into unpricked pastry-lined pie pan and bake in a moderately hot oven (400° F) for 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and only an inch circle in the center of the filling remains liquid. Cool thoroughly on cake rack before cutting.
  5. Note: Perfectly baked pumpkin pie has no cracks on its surface. Baking hot filling in a chilled crust at 400° F for 25 to 30 minutes produces a smooth, shiny good textured custard and a well-baked crust free from soaking. But if your pie dish is thicker glass or ceramic instead of metal, or you loathe underdone bottom crust, you might still want to blind bake it a little. Here's what we'd recommend: Blind bake at 350 F lined with parchment and filled with baking beans/weights until sides are dry and firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove weights, then bake until completely dry and firm (including bottom crust) and starting to turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool thoroughly. Then watch the pie closely as it bakes -- it might be done early, since the cold raw crust isn't there to protect it. And if the edges are starting to look wrinkled while the middle is very jiggly, turn the heat down to 350.
Jump to Comments (106)

Comments (106) Questions (12)


about 15 hours ago Kristy Morrill

My pie took quite a bit longer to firm up and the top got browned a lot. But it looks like it is fine...anyone else have a long time cooking and getting too brown?


2 days ago tiana von radics

I still have my pie in the oven. I have done everything according to the recipe. The filling is just not firming up. It has been in for almost an hour. Will it set up if I remove it and let it cool?


3 days ago Monica8866

I have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled it successfully. I made this pie this weekend and it is GONE! I love this recipe! It does take a little longer to bake in my experience.


3 days ago sunkisst22

Can this be doubled?


about 1 month ago nancy

The mixture was VERY liquid-y, more so than other recipes I've used. It took a long time to bake, probably double what was called for, and the top cracked. I just took it out of the oven, since the top seemed like it might burn, but it's still jiggly. Hoping that it sets! Still, I'm guessing how bad could it be?


about 1 month ago Rachel

Made this with the recommended pie crust and stuck it in the freezer with a decorative trim before blind baking as recommended. I was a little worried about an underdone filling after reading the comments, so I pre-cooked the custard a little on the stove (with the eggs and all mixed in) to thicken it a bit before filling the shell. I only cooked it a couple of minutes while waiting for my oven to finish preheating - and this resulted in about 25 minutes in the oven to set. Absolutely delicious and a huge hit. Thanks!


11 months ago Amy Ghiz

Wow, I made this and it's fantastic. It's exactly the same recipe as my Mom's, except using milk and cream instead of evaporated. It was exactly enough filling for one Pyrex deep dish pie plate (my usual recipe makes two), and I blind baked for 25 minutes. Outstanding. Thank you!


12 months ago PRST

Geez, spell check got me again- sorry. I meant to say substitute ras el hanout…..


12 months ago PRST

The caramelizing of the pumpkin is truly amazing along with substituting ras el hanout (1-1.5 tsp) and cinnamon (1/2 tsp) for the cinnamon and ginger in this recipe. However it might depend on the quality of your ras el hangout. My pie was OUTSTANDING, especially a day or two after baking.


12 months ago Rogan

Okay, butchered this pie ten ways to monday and it was STILL amazing. My roasted whole pumpkin was kinda chunky and my caramelization did not pan out. Then, working with a cranky, old food processor, I managed to WHIP my pie crust. Devastating! Yet, I just soldiered on and froze it bit and formed it (quickly) into a crust shape, dumped in my mix and popped it in the oven and waited for tragedy to strike. It did take a bit longer to cook then indicated above, but when it came out it was as if all mistakes has been cooked out of it. It looked and smelled like…PIE. Redemption. Will make again at Christmas and try to follow recipe to a T. It must be a heavenly piece of pie if my bastard version was seriously awesome.


12 months ago Mulzee

This was a wonderful pie! I should have blind baked it a bit before adding the filling but overall it was delicious and was enjoyed by all. I used a butternut squash instead of pumpkin but the flavour worked well in the pie. Will be making this again for sure!! Thanks!


12 months ago Kayo

had no trouble with crust burning (used the lapadia crust recommended), took about 10 more minutes than estimated. This is a wonderful custardy pie.


12 months ago ccrfood

Anyone having problems with the crust burning after 10 minutes in the oven? Starting from square one.


12 months ago i. cristina

if your crust is burning too soon, it's helpful to cut a big ring of foil to cover the crust while the rest of pie continues to cook! (think of making a paper valentine - fold a piece of foil in half and half again, then make a C shape twice)


12 months ago lorie brand

I am baking another one today! the local store was out of libby pumpkin puree which is much darker and richer tasting than the generic "kroger/western family". fyi. you can always use the extra puree to make pumpkin chia breakfast pudding!


about 1 year ago Zachary Conrad

Thought the custard is too sweet, reduced sugar to 120g. "You don't have to blind bake the crust" should include the caveat: if you don't mind a gummy, under-done crust. With these adjustments, was great! Like that there's no need for cans of anything.


about 1 year ago Annella Jo Anderson

I didn't know anyone else valued Meta Givens Encyclopedia of Cooking at all these days.
I am 75 years old and it was my first cook book as a girl of 9. I loved it then and I love it now. Thanks for featuring it. Jo Anderson


about 1 year ago lorie brand

This was the weekend dessert. I used the lapadia pie crust recipe subbing in the vodka from the cooks illustrated for the chilled water. (I chilled the vodka). Carmelizing the pumpkin really adds an amazing flavor. I also had extra custard which went into a ramekin. I baked a 9" pie and had to add 8 additional minutes to reach done.


about 1 year ago Susan McIntosh Cohen

doing a test run with a commercial crust, and there was too much filling for the crust... so I had to eat the custard unbaked -- what a hardship!!!!! ;-)