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Classic Spiced Maple Pumpkin Pie Wendy Goodfriend
Classic Spiced Maple Pumpkin Pie (Wendy Goodfriend)

Thanksgiving Dessert: Classic Spiced Maple Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Dessert: Classic Spiced Maple Pumpkin Pie

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For me, no Thanksgiving feast is complete without a big ol' slice of pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream. No matter where I spend Thanksgiving, I always make this pie. (Even when I’ve spent Thanksgiving in Scotland where no one understands the holiday and my awesome in-laws humor me by hosting a Thanksgiving dinner on the following Saturday. I still make this pie with my can of pumpkin that I’ve carried thousands of miles just for this treat.)

This particular recipe is the one I’ve tweaked and finessed for what seems like my entire life. It has a nice balance of spices which I add individually rather than using “pumpkin pie spice” mix. That way, I can amp up the ginger and forgo the cloves (I'm not a fan.) I also always make it with canned pumpkin because I find that it's less watery and more consistent in texture than using a fresh pumpkin (see Note below if you want to make your own puree). Just don’t grab the can that is labeled “pumpkin pie filling” as that is pre-spiced.

I always make homemade pie dough—for this and any pie I’m going to take the time and effort to bake—and I urge you to do the same. It’s not as hard as you think, and you can make it up to 3 months in advance and freeze it (just thaw it out overnight and then roll it out.) It makes a world of difference in your finished pie.

NOTE: If you do want to use fresh pumpkin puree, just find a small Sugar Pie pumpkin, cut it into wedges, scoop out the seeds, and roast it on a baking sheet at 375F until it is very tender. Scoop out the soft pumpkin flesh, puree it in a food processor and measure out just less than 2 cups puree.

Don’t forget the whipped cream!

Classic Spiced Maple Pumpkin Pie
Classic Spiced Maple Pumpkin Pie (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Classic Spiced Maple Pumpkin Pie

Makes 8 servings



Flaky Pie Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 7 tbsp very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 6–7 tbsp very cold water

Spiced Maple Pumpkin Filling

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Whipped cream, for serving


    1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
    2. Prepare the pie dough: In the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar, if using. Sprinkle the butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds, or just until the butter is slightly broken up into the flour but still in visible pieces. Evenly sprinkle 6 tablespoons water over the flour mixture, then process just until the mixture starts to come together (if it still seems dry add an additional tablespoon). Dump the dough into a large lock-top plastic bag, and press into a flat disk. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 1 month.

    1. Roll out the dough disk into a round about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8-inch thick. Line a 9-inch pie pan or dish; trim the dough to leave a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang underneath itself, and flute the dough edge. Place the lined pie dish into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.

    1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line the pie shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the dough starts to look dry, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake until the crust is very lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

    1. In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, maple syrup, milk, cream eggs, flour, spices, and salt until smooth.

    1. Pour the filling into the partially baked crust (depending on how deep your pie shell is, you may or may not be able to pour all of the filling into the shell, just fill as much as possible without overflowing). Bake until the filling is set but still jiggles slightly in the center when nudged, about 45 minutes.
Pour the filling into the partially baked crust.
Pour the filling into the partially baked crust. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    1. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving. Once cooled to room temperature you can refrigerate the pie for up to 2 days before serving.
Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.
Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  1. Serve with plenty of whipped cream.

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