Pumpkin Custard Pie

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Today’s recipe for Pumpkin Custard Pie is an ode to my grandmother. She passed away just over two years ago, about a month after my husband and I got married. Now, whenever I think about pumpkin pie, I think of the pumpkin custard that she made every year for Thanksgiving. Most of the people in our family went for the regular pumpkin pie, but I always looked forward to the delicious, creamy pumpkin custard pies she made. Don’t get me wrong; I love pumpkin pie, too. But this custard was always an extra special treat.

Mind you, I don’t have Mamaw’s exact recipe. I knew she used a lot of eggs, evaporated milk, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree from a can, and a little bit of flour. So, I went from there. It’s worth noting that she used pre-made pie crusts, but I didn’t want to go out and buy one, so I just made a graham cracker crust.

Today, I made it two ways: with and without a crust. I had a wee bit of overfill from the recipe that I poured into a flan dish and it turned out great as a crust-less version.

To make 8 servings, you will need:

For the crust:

  • 1.5c crushed graham crackers (or gingersnaps)
  • 6 tbs salted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar

For the pumpkin custard:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4c brown sugar
  • 1/2c white sugar
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the whipped cream topping (optional):

  • 1c heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4c confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F.

To make the crust, mix the butter, graham cracker crumbs, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Butter a pie dish.

Pat the crust out into the dish with your hands. Use the bottom of a glass to smooth it out if you need.

Now, there is some debate as to which milk is best for pies, custards, etc. I think most people gravitate to whatever milk their grandmother used, etc, and I’m no different. When I was a kid, I stayed with my grandma a large part of the time, and I can still remember her making me Cocoa Wheats with evaporated milk. She used evaporated milk everywhere it was applicable, and the unique flavor of the milk lends a richness to the custard here.

To make the pumpkin custard, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth and fully incorporated.

Pour the custard into the prepared pie crust.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until the edges are set with a very very faint jiggle in the center.

To make the whipped cream: Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla on high until soft peaks form.

As I mentioned earlier,  there was a little of the custard left over, so I baked it in this ^ flan dish with no crust. You could also use ramekins to make individual custards.

Note that if you use a shallow dish like the flan dish I used for a crustless version, reduce the baking time to about 30 minutes. Same rules apply – the custard is done when the edges are set with a very very faint jiggle in the center.

Mmm. Hello, there.

Whooooops. How did that happen?

Remove from oven and cool for about an hour before serving. Serve with the whipped cream if you wish..

To me, the flavor was best at room temperature about an hour after it came out of the oven. It was also good cold, though.

I hope you give this custard pie a try during the holidays, and enjoy it as much as I do!

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11 thoughts on “Pumpkin Custard Pie

  1. Thank you for the recipe. This is a really old recipe that my grandmommy (whom I stayed with a large part of my childhood) used. However, the only variation is that hers called for preheating the oven to 400, after placing the pie in the oven for 15 minutes, the temp was reduced to 325 for the remainder of cooking time.

    I had lost the recipe and was quite distraught, so I put in pumpkin custard pie and shazam! here it is.

    Thanks again!


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