Humble Pumpkin Pie Recipe

“Oh, my goodness, your pie crust is amazing!” I lavishly complimented my fit, thin and beautiful girlfriend/hostess.

“Well, thanks,” she grinned, “I just love making pies.”

“What recipe did you use,” I naively asked, “ I’ve never had much luck with pie crusts.”

“Oh, it’s ever so simple! I just used Crisco and a quick fork to bring it together,” she gestured.


Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me! Why do I always think that THIS time will be different? Why did I fall for that crumby line again?!

Well, I’ve never been daunted by a challenge, but pie crusts… well they strike a cold dagger of fear into my heart. But not this Thanksgiving! I was determined not to let my past failed attempts deter my plans!

“This time I will not fail!” I declared to the empty kitchen, “This time I will triumph and produce a pie crust so perfectly shaped and lightly golden brown that everyone reading my blog will be amazed!”

That crusty old pie crust and I would start anew. Yes, a fresh start was all we needed.

One box of Crisco later and over 15 minutes of rolling, cursing, re-rolling and cursing, then patching…I finally heaved the whole mess into the oven and slammed the door shut.

By now you’ve guessed. That flakey crust shrank until there almost wasn’t a crust left to be seen. The edges baked to a crispy, splendiferous black-brown with thin, crumbly bits on one side.

Well, at that point the best one could hope for was that the custard held up its’ end of the deal. (And it did… thanks to the Rose Beranbaum Pie and Pastry Bible)

I know, I know, pie crust making usually takes a few tries. But I fear that there just aren’t enough days in the gym to make up for all the pies I’d have to bake in order to reach perfection.

I’m sure I’ve told you my Gran and my mother are Master pie crust bakers. While I’m certain that we can inherit all sorts of gifts and talents, clearly this wasn’t one of mine. And I am more than content to acknowledge that my dear friend is definitely the Queen of Pies… it’s a fitting title, I’ve seen and tasted enough pie in my life… hers are the best (sorry to all the master pastry chefs out there, but you’ve got nothin’ on hers!)

So this Thanksgiving I will solemnly bury the knife and each slice will be laid to rest under a fluffy white mound of sweetly whipped cream. No one will complain, my brother will probably try to be nice then start laughing at me like he always does and my sister-in-law will try to explain where I went wrong… and I bet I still won’t get it!

Pie crusts and I, well, we just don’t see eye to eye.

Here’s a photo in all it’s glory, just keepin’ it real!

The “Not So” Great Pumpkin Pie

Here it is.. a Humble Pumpkin Pie Recipe..

Humble Pumpkin Pie

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Humble Pumpkin Pie


1 9 inch unbaked pie crust

1 cup finely crushed gingersnap cookies

1 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup milk

2/3 cup heavy cream

3 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

whipped cream for topping

maple syrup (optional)


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Sprinkle the gingersnap crumbs over the bottom and up the sides of the unbaked pie crust. Press gently in.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, you’ll see the color start to change. Then remove from heat and cool slightly.

Scrape pumpkin mixture into food processor. Put the lid on and while gently pulsing, add the milk and cream. Add eggs one at a time, but only blend for about 5 seconds each time. Add the vanilla with the last egg. Scrape down the sides.

Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust.

Bake in the oven for about 50 – 60 minutes, until a knife poked into the center comes out “wet” looking, but clean and the filling cracks somewhat. You may wish to cover the edges of the pie crust with foil for the last few minutes to prevent excessive browning.

(If you’ve baked leaves to decorate the top, bake them separately and place on after baking the pie.)

Top with whipped cream and drizzle lightly with maple syrup.



  • Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - October 10, 2011 - 11:11 am

    Rose is a baking goddess. I swear by her Bread Bible. This came out great and it’s not so humble… oh duh nevermind carry on!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 10, 2011 - 11:15 am

      Hahaha, thanks! My niece’s boyfriend said that his friends wouldn’t have noticed the crust, or said “Wow, this is homemade!”. Yah, I’m not giving up yet… I decided to keep trying!ReplyCancel

  • ceciliag - October 10, 2011 - 11:19 am

    You will overcome.. Or design yourself a fantastic pie that has no crust! or is that called baked custard! cReplyCancel

  • monikutesem - October 10, 2011 - 11:27 am

    It looks so delicious that I’m printing the recipe right now and tomorrow I am baking it. I hope it will taste even better than it looks.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 10, 2011 - 4:54 pm

      There’s no question you will love it! Good luck with the pie crust:)ReplyCancel

  • frugalfeeding - October 10, 2011 - 12:20 pm

    Not so humble, it looks fantastic.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 10, 2011 - 4:56 pm

      Hahaha, well, I’m now humbled by the beautiful pie crusts I see on other blogs. I will have to keep trying:)ReplyCancel

  • glutenfreezen - October 10, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    I’m thinking that maybe you were just simply meant to make gluten free pie crust. ;) Simple, simple, simple. The only secret to flaky pie crust that I have found is not to touch it too much. With that said, I still think your pie turned out absolutely beautiful! I don’t think it turned out too dark, and as far as the homemade look, that’s what we’re going for when we bake, isn’t it? The rustic, “I rolled up my sleeves and did this myself kind of baking.” Gorgeous.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 10, 2011 - 1:07 pm

      You’re so sweet, I have never tried gluten free pie crust… maybe that’s where I’m going wrong:) Is there one on your site??ReplyCancel

  • Kay aka Babygirl - October 10, 2011 - 3:03 pm

    Hey this actually came out look wonderful. You didn’t do a bad job at all. I’m actually getting hungry looking at it lolReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 10, 2011 - 4:55 pm

      Well, it sure tasted better than it looks… had a piece for breakfast today:) I think it was the maple syrup..ReplyCancel

  • Janis - October 10, 2011 - 4:49 pm

    Looks yummy to me! :) ReplyCancel

  • kathryningrid - October 10, 2011 - 8:47 pm

    It’s *beautiful*–and I’m not just buttering you up. I LOVE the look of a rustic pie, which promises in my mind deliciousness that is not inherently implied by any super-fancy looking pie. Doesn’t hurt that the recipe with the gingersnaps *sounds* luscious as well.

    As for the whole feeling of crust-making inadequacy, I can completely relate to it–I, too, have a mother and sister known (justly) as supreme goddesses of pie-making, in no small measure because of their outstanding magic with crusts, and I (alas) do not carry the gene. But I’m pretty darned good at pleasing people with the fillings, so I get no complaints if I tuck those into either crumb crusts of various kinds or (NO! SAY IT ISN’T SO!) store-bought pie crust dough with a little dazzle of sugar, spice, wash or whatever.

    You, however, look like you’re well on your way to overthrowing the family throne. Your pie is great.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 11, 2011 - 6:11 am

      I just love how you write… I never thought about “gingersnaps” and their sound:)
      Sounds like you have such similar experiences as well! Maybe my crown awaits, lol!ReplyCancel

  • Aimee@clevermuffin - October 11, 2011 - 2:31 am

    I’ve never tried pastry, too scared, but I think yours looks just fine. I tried pumpkin pie for the first time EVER last year while in the states and this Halloween wanted to make it for my Australian friends. Do you think it’ll matter that I’d use real pumpkin instead of the canned stuff – they don’t sell it here.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 11, 2011 - 6:12 am

      Wow, I thought pumpkin puree was everywhere, who knew? I found this awesome website that goes into great detail about just what you’re asking… photos and everything:
      That should help. I believe it tastes even better when you make pumpkin puree from scratch, so let me know how it goes!ReplyCancel

  • Androgoth - October 11, 2011 - 3:58 pm

    I could just eat some of that right now :)
    Thank you for offering your Pumpkin Pie


  • teaandscones - October 11, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    My crusts usually turn out tasting good, but looking good, that’s a whole different story!! I like to hide my crusts with cut-outs. Works every time. Have to try this pie. Looks tasty!!ReplyCancel

  • spicegirlfla - October 12, 2011 - 6:31 am

    Being more like your mother’s age (not your Grannys!) I do have my pie crust down pat. BUT you just shared a great tip on the crumbled ginger snaps!! Wow, I love that idea….AND the drizzle of maple syrup! You rock!! And you bet I’m going to be following those tips on my very next pumpkin pie!!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 12, 2011 - 8:19 am

      I’m going to have a look at your blog then, do you have a pie crust recipe? You’re defs not my mom’s age.. probably closer to mine:)ReplyCancel

  • spree - October 12, 2011 - 6:56 am

    Echoing the opinions of others, you’ve done your pastry proud! My humble pie is a galette, intentionally rustic because I’m still unconvinced that I can do other than that, no matter how pretty my intentions. But, like you, I am NOT giving up! (my mom too, a creator of heavenly pies). Looking through your blog, beautiful photography, enticing recipes, lovely prose and poetry. happy I found you.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 12, 2011 - 8:19 am

      I just love the look of galettes, that’s on my list of recipes so I shall take a look for one on your blog:)ReplyCancel

  • thecompletecookbook - October 12, 2011 - 8:36 am

    You have an awesome blog, thanks for stopping by my little spot in the blogosphere, I am looking forward to reading more about your wonderful recipes.
    Have a super day.
    :-) MandyReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 12, 2011 - 4:54 pm

      You’re welcome, it’s always so great to find lovely other bloggers:)ReplyCancel

  • whatdidyouhavefordinnerlastnight - October 12, 2011 - 3:01 pm

    I’m amazed. ;) ReplyCancel

  • Stef - October 14, 2011 - 5:57 am

    Hi! I found you via; and like you, I loathe trying to make pie crusts. (And anything that requires ‘cutting butter into’ something else.) However, another blogger that I follow made a pie crust that he ‘claims’ is easy. If you dare give it another shot, here it is: Good luck! :) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 14, 2011 - 6:57 am

      Thank you! I do follow Greg and Katherine’s blog and should have tried their crust first! Now I need to go visit yours:) Thanks for stopping in!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - October 16, 2011 - 6:38 am

    I’m commenting here because 1) I can’t stop thinking about pumpkin pie – need to make one soon!, and 2) I think your pumpkin pie (crust and all) is gorgeous. It’s supposed to be rustic! Thank you so much for your awesome comment, I’m so flattered – considring you have a beautiful blog with stunning photos!

    BTW, I’ve done the canned pumpkin versus the fresh pumpkin pie ‘test’ – three times, and no one can tell the difference. I was floored, but it does make life easier by way of pumpkin puree in a can ;) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - October 16, 2011 - 7:13 pm

      Lol, well, it was rustic that’s for sure! Glad to know puree is just as good. That surprises me too. I assumed the real deal is always better. I’m glad for that, opening a can is so much quicker:)ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Chan - October 25, 2011 - 5:42 pm

    What are you talking about it looks amazing!! With Halloween around the corner it’s perfect timing for pumpkin pie too.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - October 29, 2011 - 10:29 am

    Pastry and I are also not good friends, but I am kind to myself and allow myself store-bought, ready-rolled. I am impressed I think your pie looks great!ReplyCancel

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