Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

By Fresh Beats, Fresh Eats
November 2, 2013
43 Comments


Author Notes: Nobody has ever, ever, raved about the crust on a pumpkin pie. That’s because the crust’s always boring as hell: crumbly, hard, flavorless. Really, the crust on your average pumpkin pie is just there to hold the rest of the pie together, or to make sure you can actually qualify the thing as pumpkin pie, instead of pumpkin pile of garbage.

That’s why we need to change the recipe. Instead of spending hours on the rest of Thanksgiving and doing the ol’ Half-Assed Shuffle through the finishing plate, take a little extra time and make this Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust and Cinnamon Whipped Cream. It’ll be better, your family might not complain as much, and most of all, you’ll be able to look yourself in the mirror that night before you go to sleep. Which…you’ll probably be able to do anyway, but at least you won’t be looking at the face of a person who made the world’s most uninteresting dessert.
Fresh Beats, Fresh Eats

Food52 Review: Fresh Beats, Fresh Eats is right. Too often, delicious pumpkin pie is delivered via a limp, soggy excuse for a crust of which no baker wants to take ownership. The solution, of course, is a snappy cookie crust that packs an additional wallop of flavor. The gingersnaps only enhance the spice of the pumpkin filling and the whipped cream is the gilded lily on top of an already decadent dessert. I ought to mention that the baking time was vastly different: I baked the pie for an additional 30 minutes! TaraT

Makes: one 9-inch pie

Ingredients

Crust

  • 8 ounces gingersnap cookies (about 32 cookies)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)

Pie, topping, and whipped cream

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (for topping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (for topping)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (for topping)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (for whipped cream)
  • 3/8 cup powdered sugar (for whipped cream)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (for whipped cream)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (for whipped cream)

Directions

Crust

  1. First, melt your butter in a small pan over medium heat. Now, this is the extra special secret trick that's going to take this crust from "good" to "I have to change my pants now, excuse me." Let the butter melt, and then keep cooking it until it starts to turn brown. If it smells kind of nutty, it's ready, and it'll make your crust taste nutty and awesome too.
  2. Crumble the gingersnap cookies into a food processor, which is WAY more painful than it sounds. Seriously, it’s like grinding tiny bits of kitchen tile into your hands. Once they’re all in there, pulse them in the processor a few times until they’re nice and broken up, add the butter, and then pulse a few more times until it’s all combined.
  3. Next, press it into a 9-inch pie pan using something flat and make sure it goes up the sides. You’re gonna have some spill-over; that’s okay. This is basically the crumbliest thing of all time. It’s a good thing.
  4. Throw the crust in your refrigerator for 20 minutes, and preheat your oven to 325° F. Once the crust is done chilling, bake it for 15 minutes, then set it on a cooling rack. Turn your oven up to 350 after you’re done with the crust.
  5. Now for the actual pie part, which you can do while the crust is chilling/baking. If you read ahead, congratulations! You can now use this tip. If you didn’t, you just spent a bunch of time staring at crust. How’s that feel?

Pie, topping, and whipped cream

  1. The pie part’s simple: Dump everything that isn’t pumpkin or cream (that’s brown sugar, eggs, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves) into a bowl. Whisk it. Then add the pumpkin and the cream. Whisk it. You now have pumpkin pie filling.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon for the topping in another small bowl.
  3. Then pour the filling into the crust, cover the crust with tin foil, and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. After half an hour, take the pie out (it will still be quite liquid-y), cover it with your topping ingredients, and bake it for another 25 minutes at 325° F.
  5. While that’s going on, make your whipped cream. This one’s easy too: put all the whipped cream ingredients in a stand mixer, whisk at medium high until peaks form.
  6. Take your pie out, put it on a cooling rack until it’s at room temperature, and stick it in the refrigerator overnight. Then put it on a plate with some whipped cream and shove it in your face.

More Great Recipes:
Make Ahead|Fall|Thanksgiving|Dessert

Reviews (43) Questions (1)

43 Comments

Miss K. November 24, 2017
I made this yesterday - well, the crust part anyway... SNARF! I used a different 'go to' filling because it works well for me. With that said, I had some excess crumb mixture left over after I pressed it into the pan. Yup, you guessed it- I tweaked it by adding crystallized ginger and minced hazelnuts to make a streusal topping. The kidling says I MUST make this again!
 
Amy November 24, 2017
I've just baked this and it smells amazing but looks a bit like a sand pie. The topping stayed exactly the same looking as it did when I spread it across the top - like light-brown sand. I combined brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and sprinkled all over the top. There was quite a lot so it covered the pie fully. How does it look so crumbly / carmelized in the photo? I used general soft brown sugar as recipe didn't specify a specific type.
 
Kim November 24, 2017
I agree too the topping on my pie looked like sand and not like the crumble on the photo. I used a light brown sugar because it didn't specify? The pie tasted delicious
 
Kella November 24, 2017
I made this for thanksgiving. I did not prebake the crust. I quess hat's why it was mushy, and it wouldn't come out the dish. The second problem was that the filling was too soft. Was it because I added a whole can of pumpkin filling instead of 1 cup. It tasted good.
 
Brenda A. November 23, 2017
This was hands down the BEST pumpkin pie I have ever eaten! Thank you!!
 
JayKayTee November 23, 2017
Made this last year and I had to bake it 3x as long as directions, so it wasn't pumpkin soup. Baked this 2 years ago and had to bake it longer too, but it did turn out as my comments reflect. I'm going to try a different filling, this year but won't give up the crust!
 
JayKayTee November 23, 2017
I just went through 4 other pumpkin pie recipes and the difference across all is this recipe only calls for 1 cup of puree; the other three use 15-16 oz; the liquid across all is 1 cup; eggs vary only by two added an additional yolk. So, I will give this a go again but use double the puree. Fingers are crossed.
 
fz November 23, 2017
Bon Appétit recommends using Libby's 100% pure pumpkin because it has the least amount of water content. I'd also make sure that you whip the pumpkin mixture until it becomes thicker.
 
JayKayTee November 24, 2017
used 15 oz of pumpkin puree, turned out perfectly. Well, minus the problem I have with covering it with tin foil. When I remove it I envarably mar the top . . . sigh. The brown sugar topping can be omitted for a pie that is less sweet . <br /><br />fz I did whip it to mix and again before adding mixture to the crust. The filling puffed up after the first 30" bake, hence my aluminum foil problem. but filling fell upon cooling. I'm not sure why some people can get this pie to set with 1 cup of puree and I cannot. I'll stick with 15oz of puree to alleviate my T-day anxiety :o)
 
sslater November 22, 2017
Salted or unsalted butter for the crust?
 
fz November 22, 2017
Unsalted!!! The rule of thumb is to always use unsalted butter (cooking and baking) unless otherwise called for. And don't forget to brown it!
 
fz November 16, 2017
My new go-to-recipe for pumpkin pie! Made the afternoon before a potluck, and kept in the fridge over night. Was a huge hit. <br /><br />*Crust note: I used Mel-Del gingersnap cookies from Whole Foods. <br /><br />*Filling edit: Powdered ginger spice can be a bit strong, so I cut the ginger down to a 1/4 teaspoon and upped the cinnamon to a heaping 1/2 teaspoon. For salt I used the flaky mandolin stuff, I think it works better in baking. <br /><br />*Topping edit: 1/2 brown sugar, 1/2 turbinado sugar. <br /><br />*Whipped Topping edit: I did not add anything to the whipped topping as the pie is extremely sweet and rich. The unsweetened cream was very welcome. <br /><br />Unlike other commenters, I had no issue with the pie setting in the suggested time.
 
Kim November 15, 2017
could you brûlée instead of the crumble?
 
gail November 8, 2017
I plan to make this and take it to someone's house for dinner. My question is that if I make the whipped cream at home will it still be good to use hours later when we eat dessert? Or should I just buy regular whipped cream in a can to take with me?
 
fz November 16, 2017
Whipped topping is best made fresh, but I've found it can last around 24 hours in the fridge.
 
Kim November 23, 2016
AH guys, this did not set for me. Maybe because I used all organic ingredients, but at the moment this is a phenomenally tasting pumpkin pie soup. What did I do wrong??
 
Author Comment
Fresh B. September 19, 2017
Hmm, what rack did you bake it on, top or bottom?<br />And do you have an oven thermometer to verify that your oven is the right temperature/calibrated correctly?
 
JayKayTee November 29, 2015
I don't know if I've had GREAT pumpkin pie before...but I know I have now! The gingersnap cookie & butter crust sent this pumpkin pie into a whole new taste experience. Thank you for sharing this! Hubby, proclaimed it the best damn pumpkin pie he's ever had, I second that!<br /><br />Notes: <br />~I felt I could have used more crumbs, simply to make sure enough crumbs climbed the pie plate sides. <br />~I'd try making this pie in a 10" cast iron pan (make sure there's enough room in the frig for the pan).<br />~I thought the topping might kick the pie into the sweetness stratosphere, but it didn't<br />~I didn't make the whipped cream, but served with high-quality vanilla ice cream in a shallow bowl - amazing <br />~~Ice Cream idea: I mixed in some chunks of left-over gingersnaps (that I lightly soaked in Frangelico liqueur - just to soften them) to the ice cream. Help me! :o)<br />~I heated a piece pie before eating it - it changed the texture and lessened the eating experience. This pie is definitely better room temp or from the refrigerator<br />~Mis-read the instructions and covered the entire pie. All turned out fine, though adding the topping with the center of the pie without a surface "crust" let the topping incorporate into the mixture instead of staying on top. Taste buds did not register this as a problem.
 
Kyra November 26, 2015
Really really amazing recipe!! although I left out the third egg yolk- still turned out fantastic though!!! Best recipe I've tried :)
 
Amy November 24, 2014
The directions say to cover the crust with foil -- not the whole pie. Does the author mean to make a foil ring and just cover the edges?
 
Author Comment
Fresh B. February 12, 2015
Yup! It's called "tenting".
 
Author Comment
Fresh B. November 26, 2015
OK, just learned (from my mom) that tenting is actually covering the whole thing with foil. Whoops. Just cover the crust, not the whole pie.
 
bibi November 20, 2014
Hello - I'm planning to make this for thanksgiving and just had a couple of questions please. Given the comments on the baking time what should the consistency be before the topping goes on? And also should it be served cold or room temperature? And has anyone tried making it 2 days ahead? Is it ok??
 
Author Comment
Fresh B. February 12, 2015
Sorry I just saw this! The consistency should be thick but a little runny, almost like a custard. And either cold or room temperature is good, but I prefer it room temp. Also 2 days ahead should work.
 
Hayley November 13, 2014
I made this a few days ago and somehow forgot to add the eggs, so I had the same consistency problem as Paula V and it was super rich but edible. Yesterday I mixed some of the pie with store-bought vanilla ice cream and refroze it. It was so incredible I can't stop thinking about it, so tonight I'm going to make a homemade base so that I have pumpkin pie ice cream from scratch.
 
Paula V. October 16, 2014
However, I liked the spices, I thought it was the right amount and also the ginger cookie crust was fantastic.
 
Author Comment
Fresh B. October 18, 2014
Thanks! I'm sorry it came out like that, I've never ran into that problem...I'm unsure why it would be too sweet, but did you try to bake it on a lower rack? That might cause the second problem.
 
Paula V. November 7, 2014
I baked it on a middle rack, maybe that's why it took longer ...
 
Paula V. October 16, 2014
I am not sure what went wrong but I had to bake this pie an hour longer than the recipe said and still the consistency was not what I would expect it to be. It also came out very sweet, too sweet.
 
Kristin G. November 29, 2013
My family could not get enough of this pie on Thursday! It's the best pumpkin pie I've ever had and incredibly easy to make. This is going into the rotation for future Thanksgivings, so glad I stumbled upon it!
 
Author Comment
Fresh B. June 11, 2014
Glad to hear it!
 
Gabbie T. November 29, 2013
At 22 years old I've never had pumpkin pie, let alone homemade pumpkin pie, let alone pumpkin pie from a pumpkin, but I decided to introduce it to my family for dessert yesterday. AMAZING recipe! I was kind of against using a canned pie so I made my own pumpkin puree, and after realizing how easy it is to do I don't think there should ever be any reason to use canned pumpkin goop ever again! I found instructions for pumpkin puree here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/10/make-your-own-pumpkin-puree/ <br /> Thank you for sharing such a great recipe and making my first pumpkin pie experience (trying and tasting) a glorious one!
 
Author Comment
Fresh B. June 11, 2014
You're welcome! And screw that canned nonsense, you're right. Fight the power.
 
Kristin G. November 26, 2013
So excited to make this for Thursday! Quick question, if you don't mind. Should the foil around the crust stay on for both rounds of cooking or just the first 30 mins? Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Fresh B. November 28, 2013
You want it on for the whole time you're baking once the filling's in there. So any time there's filling and it's in the oven: foil.