Pumpkin Pie Cobbler

November 1, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This recipe was originally intended to be a quicker, easier version of pumpkin pie (and it is!)—but it also delightfully breaks a lot of other pie baking rules I usually depend on. Unlike pie, which pretty much always benefits from cooling before slicing, this “cobbler” is pretty amazing served warm from the oven—and is still delicious once it’s cooled, too. Because the pie crust is on the top rather than the bottom, there’s no fear of soggy bottoms, and no need to par-bake. But some things never change: You’ll likely want yours topped with a hefty dollop of whipped cream.Erin McDowell

Makes: 9x13-inch cobbler
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min

Ingredients

  • soft butter, for greasing the pan
  • 2x recipe prepared pie dough (my favorite recipe is here: https://food52.com/recipes...)
  • 6 large eggs (340 g)
  • 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (106 g) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 30 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Egg wash, as needed
  • Turbinado sugar, as needed
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch pan with soft butter.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Roll up the dough onto the pin and unfurl it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Use a pastry wheel or knife to cut the dough into random shapes. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you make the custard.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and brown sugar to combine. Whisk in the heavy cream, then the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Add the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour the custard into the prepared casserole dish. Lay the prepared pie dough strips all over the custard, overlapping slightly as needed. Egg wash the surface of the pie dough, and sprinkle evenly all over with turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake until the pie crust is deeply golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Serve warm or cool to room temperature. Serve with whipped cream.

More Great Recipes:
Pie|American|Fall|Thanksgiving|Dessert

Reviews (35) Questions (6)

35 Reviews

Theresa S. December 25, 2018
Trick is to cook about 20 minutes before laying dough. Just out of oven mine looks just like picture!
 
Darlene December 3, 2018
We made this for Thanksgiving. We have two folks who love crust so I thought this would work well for them. However, some crust got kind of crisp, but the rest just sort of sunk into the filling and was cooked, but soft. No one really liked the filling flavors saying it was too bland and not thick enough. We did it eat warm so maybe it gets better when cooled. Sadly not a keeper for us.
 
judy November 27, 2018
Well, I did this approach using my traditional pie recipe (basically that on Libby's pumpkin can plus some additional spices. I always use brown sugar. Anyway. I put the crust on top. Cut it into several pieces and laid it on top with a few open areas to let the steam escape. I was looking for a way to have a fully cooked crust with my pumpkin pie. I have been on that quest for about a decade. New pans (several: glass, metal, ceramic, in various configurations and thicknesses) to no avail. Place it in different levels of the oven, par bake, and even a few different pie crusts and flours. NONE worked. but this WORKED BEAUTIFULLY! After placing pieces on top, I brushed with milk. Baked as usual in 350 degree oven and had beautiful lightly browned FULLY BAKED flaky crust. My family raved. Will do this again and again. Thank you so much.
 
Meghan H. November 23, 2018
I made this for Thanksgiving and it did not turn out well. I followed the recipe perfectly, and it did cook as described, but the flavor of the filling was off, the texture of the filling was mealy, and the crust was too heavy for the amount of pumpkin custard. It looked pretty, but the entire pan was left hardly touched.
 
Dawn S. November 23, 2018
I made this on thanksgiving day with really pleasing results. I went with a couple minor swaps due to time and what was in hand: I used store bought crusts, 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice instead of the individual spices, then washed the crust with a bit of heavy cream and using a white sugar and cinnamon mixture to sprinkle over. It was almost exactly as pictured and tasted delicious. The texture was less silky than traditional pumpkin pie and a bit heavier. We all like it very much and it was stupendous with a still crisp crust when cold from the frig the next morning.
 
Kanna P. November 23, 2018
Your custard wasn’t thin and runny?
 
Dawn S. December 5, 2018
No it was actually quite thick and the crust sat easily on top.
 
SarahM November 22, 2018
We also followed the recipe to the letter...only to have the crust sink to the bottom. The flavor was good, but we definitely did not achieve the goal of crisp crust! It was a shame, because my niece and nephew had cut out the crust using cookie cutters, and we were looking forward to seeing the shapes baked.
 
Author Comment
Erin M. November 25, 2018
Hi Sarah - sorry you had issues! After re-making this a few times, I did find that the crust would sink if it wasn’t rolled thinly enough - so perhaps your crust was on the thicker side. Love the idea of using cookie cutters!!! Thanks for sharing and inspiring a few more tests to get the recipe better for future bakers!
 
Catherine M. November 22, 2018
Luckily, I read the others reviews.... I reduced the number of eggs to 4 which made the custard beautifully steady... no sinking of pie dough...
 
Gammy November 22, 2018
Made this afternoon and it is sitting out waiting for dinner. Looks JUST like the photo, no issues with sinking crust pieces, but had to be careful though in applying egg wash. Have not tastes, but smells amazing. Here is where I went off-recipe: I used a store-bought, rolled-up piecrust and only used one pie crust (not 2). Because of that, I decided to use a slightly smaller dish -- it was 8 something inches by about 12 inches and the pie crust pieces filled the top in pieces as shown. Secondly, I noticed that my can of Libby's pureed pumpkin was only 29 ounces, not 30 (when did they reduce the size???), don't know what difference that may have made. I also cooked about 5 minutes longer as I wanted the crust more brown in the center and I wanted to make sure the custard was completely cooked. Can't wait for dessert!
 
Gammy November 23, 2018
Tasted just as great as I had hoped and was just as good the next day for breakfast. This recipe is a definite keeper!
 
Karla P. November 22, 2018
I experienced the same thing as all the other reviewers mentioned...the custard too thin. I googled how to thicken a custard and I will say I was VERY successful. It is in the over and it looks exactly like the picture, nothing submerged. I would recommend bringing a sauce pan to a boil, then putting a bowl (I used a metal bowl) right on top. It was super snug, and things thickened up beautifully. I can't comment on the taste, but, the look is on point! I whisked everything via a stand up mixer, but would recommend doing all this in the metal bowl over the boiling water. Good Luck! So far, it was worth it!
 
Randi November 22, 2018
I just put this in the oven, with all pieces of pie crust fully or partially submerged in filling. Virtually impossible to apply egg wash to crust. Might be better to have applied egg wash prior to adding to filling. Hopefully it tastes better than it currently looks!
 
Jani P. November 22, 2018
I'm about to make this. How did it turn out? I wonder if there was less cream if it would be any thicker.<br />
 
Karla P. November 22, 2018
I managed to get my custard thick. Review my comment above. Hopefully it will help!
 
Jani P. November 23, 2018
I made it before you posted but next time I'll do that. I have a double boiler and will use that. I saw how thin the custard was so I added an extra can of pumpkin. Most of the pie crust pieces stayed up. Mine didn't brown much but I put on the broiler on low at the very end and it browned the pie crusts and finished the custard as well.
 
Randi November 23, 2018
This tasted delicious—would love to figure out how to make it look more appealing.
 
Jani P. November 23, 2018
I used cookie cutters which were the shape of leaves. I cut strips of dough and laid them across the custard and then set the leaves on top of the strips. The strips sank a bit but the leaves were all on top. With the broiler for a minute at the most the top crust browned nicely. It turned out very pretty.I don't think we can post photos.<br /><br />
 
Author Comment
Erin M. November 25, 2018
So sorry you had trouble! After a few more tests, I did notice that the pieces would sink if they weren’t rolled thin enough - the custard is on the thinner side, but if the crust is thin, they will stay suspended on the surface. It’s possible your crust was a bit too thick - but I love the idea of applying egg wash before you lay the pieces down - it would also help adhere the crust pieces together! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback!
 
Kanna P. November 21, 2018
I made this tonight and the dough promptly sank to the bottom. The custard mixture was very thin; I kept reading the instructions thinking I was missing something. I couldn’t egg wash/sugar sprinkle; the patches of dough still afloat were too tenuous for me to try to touch. In the oven now, hoping it’ll salvage itself somehow.
 
Author Comment
Erin M. November 25, 2018
So sorry you had trouble! I did a few more tests and noticed the crust would tend to sink a bit if it wasn’t rolled thin enough - your crust may have been a bit too thick to be supported by the custard.
 
Sheereen November 21, 2018
My crust shapes sank into the custard! Is that supposed to happen? It's still baking in the oven so....stay tuned.
 
Wendy November 21, 2018
When I made the crust I covered all the pumpkin and the dough touched the sides. Maybe this helps keep crust from sinking. Otherwise, I’d check to see if all ingredients went into pumpkin and was blended till thick.
 
Sheereen November 22, 2018
Yup. I followed the recipe exactly. Custard was thin and runny, definitely NOT thick. Most of the pie crust pieces sank into the "custard". However, the flavor is delicious! I will be working this recipe again to get the crust nice and crispy. I think maybe keeping it in one piece might just do the trick!
 
Author Comment
Erin M. November 25, 2018
So sorry you had trouble! Please see my replies to some of the earlier comments regarding this issue, and thanks so much for sharing!
 
terese November 21, 2018
Once I mixed everything together it was way more liquidy and not a custard. The pie crust mostly sunk into the liquid. Letting it cool now after bakkng for about an hour...it may thicken up more.
 
terese November 22, 2018
so even though the custard was really liquidy, and it was hard to apply egg wash without submerging pie crust pieces it still tasted great!!
 
Marie F. November 18, 2018
This is genius! So much easier and tastier than pumpkin pie!
 
Wendy November 18, 2018
I made this yesterday for a holiday office party. For some reason I did not have enough dough to cover the entire top like in the recipe photo. I ended up making another dough and instead of cutting out uneven triangles I used star cookie cutters and placed then in all the gaps. Dough did not come out with that lovely golden color, but more blonde. All in all, it tasted great and only a quarter was left at the end of the evening. The leftovers made a great next day snack!
 
Author Comment
Erin M. November 19, 2018
Hi Wendy - did you use a double batch recipe of the dough to start out with? I realize now that it could be a bit confusing, as the link I provided makes a single recipe and the recipe here calls for a double. Regardless, love the idea of using cutouts - how lovely! Thanks for sharing that great idea!
 
saramarsh November 21, 2018
I had issue with getting the color deep enough too, I feel like the broiler for 30 seconds or so must be the trick? I didn't want to over bake the rest of it waiting for a "deep golden brown".<br />
 
Author Comment
Erin M. November 25, 2018
Hi there! Did you use egg wash + turbinado sugar on the surface? Without them, the crust is unlikely to brown as beautifully/evenly.
 
Nancy M. November 13, 2018
I loathe pumpkin pie. It's the texture. Yuk. This, however, looks great. I think the fact that the pumpkin filling is a plop instead of a slab makes it more appealing. Thanks for the idea.
 
Brenda S. November 16, 2018
me too, however I do love the flavor of pumpkin. I found straining it to remove the yucky stuff leaves a beautifully silky texture that's addictive.