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BA’s Best Pumpkin Pie

Slices of pumpkin pie served with whipped cream on a marble countertop.
Photograph by Alex Lau
  • Active Time

    1 hour

  • Total Time

    2 hours (plus 4 hours 30 minutes for chilling)

The best pumpkin pie recipe needs to do three things to succeed. It must have a perfectly spiced creamy filling. A crust that’s flaky yet tender. And, perhaps most importantly, it should seriously tempt anyone choosing from a vast and competitive Thanksgiving dessert spread (we see you pecan tart). This recipe delivers on all fronts and then some. One commenter even declared, “I don’t think there [are] enough words in the English vocabulary to describe just how wonderful this homemade pumpkin pie is.” 

If you’re new to pie baking, check out this guide to blind-baking homemade pie crust. You can use these tips for a store-bought pie shell or frozen pie crust too, but note that premade crusts tend to bake more quickly, so check them about 5 minutes early. Don’t worry too much about your crimping style; while a classic pinch looks nice, a simpler fork crimp works just as well. 

Sweetened condensed milk adds decadence to the custard, while using individual spices (instead of a premixed “pumpkin spice” blend) lets you adjust the ratio to suit your tastes. The combination here is subtle and warming, built to highlight the flavors of the canned pumpkin (we like Libby’s). To ensure the filling stays creamy, remove the pie pan from the oven when the custard is still jiggly in the center; it will set as the pie cools. And if any cracks form, hide the fissures with a garnish of freshly whipped cream


Makes one 9" pie



Tbsp. sugar

tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt


cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for surface


Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces


Tbsp. chilled lard or vegetable shortening


Tbsp. apple cider vinegar


large egg, beaten to blend

Filling and Assembly

cup sugar


tsp. ground cinnamon


tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt


tsp. ground ginger


tsp. ground cloves


tsp. ground nutmeg


large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature, beaten to blend


cups unsweetened pumpkin purée

cup sweetened condensed milk

cup heavy cream


Tbsp. maple syrup


tsp. vanilla extract

Whipped cream (for serving)


  1. Crust

    Step 1

    Pulse 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt, and 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour in a food processor until combined. Add 5 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces, and 3 Tbsp. chilled lard or vegetable shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pieces of butter and lard visible, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With motor running, drizzle in 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and 5½ Tbsp. ice water and pulse until dough is still crumbly but just holds together when squeezed (add 1 tsp. water at a time if necessary, but be careful not to overwork dough).

    Step 2

    Turn out dough onto a work surface. Knead 1–2 times, pressing to incorporate any shaggy pieces. Flatten into a 6"-wide disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.

    Step 3

    Preheat oven to 425°. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 14" round. Transfer to a 9" pie dish. Pick up edges and allow dough to slump down into dish, letting excess dough hang over dish. Trim, leaving about a 1" overhang. Fold overhang under; pinch and crimp. Chill 30 minutes.

    Step 4

    Line dough with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving some overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is dry around the edges and just beginning to brown, 25–35 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and weights and reduce oven temperature to 350°. Brush inside of crust (not the crimped edges) with 1 large egg, beaten to blend, and continue to bake until crust is set and beginning to lightly brown in the center, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

    Do Ahead: Dough can be made 3 days ahead; keep chilled, or freeze up to 2 months. Crust can be baked 1 day ahead; tightly wrap and store at room temperature.

  2. Filling and Assembly

    Step 5

    Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk ⅓ cup (67 g) sugar, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, ¾ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, ½ tsp. ground ginger, ¼ tsp. ground cloves, and ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg in a large bowl until no clumps remain. Add 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature, beaten to blend, 2 cups unsweetened pumpkin purée, ⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk, ⅓ cup heavy cream, 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, and 2 tsp. vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Pour into cooled crust. Bake pie until edges are set and slightly puffed but center is recessed and wobbles like Jell-O, 60–75 minutes (it will continue to set after baking). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 3 hours before slicing. Serve with whipped cream.

    Do Ahead: Pie can be baked 1 day ahead; tightly wrap and chill. Serve warm or at room temperature. You can also freeze pumpkin pie up to 3 months in advance.

    Editor’s note: This recipe was first printed in November 2016 as part of BA’s Best, a collection of our essential recipes. Head this way for more of our favorite Thanksgiving desserts

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How would you rate BA’s Best Pumpkin Pie?

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  • Truly the best. I made it in January for no reason other than I was craving it after making it for Thanksgiving. I don't usually like pumpkin pie, but this is incredible. It's balanced sweetness and pumpkin, with some good complexity. My new go-to recipe. (Although I didn't make the crust here, I just used my regular crust-- the filling is incredible!)

    • Meg

    • Spokane, WA

    • 1/10/2023

  • Hmmm…not your best, BA. Followed it exactly and crust was tough, which has never happened to me with other pastry recipes. Filling was just okay. Half the folks at thanksgiving thought it was good, half felt it was meh.

    • Moe

    • 11/26/2022

  • I wanted to try a new recipe make my crust from scratch etc… I followed exactly, the crust dough came together great! I blended up all the filling ingredients, first off the crust while being blind baked became so dark on the edges I wasn’t sure even with the crust being covered could take more baking at the low temp but I did it, I poured the filling baked it didn’t appear to set up at all was pudding or loose custard not pumpkin pie. I felt the flavor was good on the filling but won’t set up and by the time it cooks the crust will be blackened. Anyway it’s a no for me, luckily someone else brought a pie from Costco! Sheesh.

    • Anonymous

    • California

    • 11/25/2022

  • Over the years I have tried so many different pumpkin pie recipes, looking for the perfect pie. I think I have finally found that pie. I usually shy away from blind baking my pie dough, but went for it with this one. The crust is amazingly crispy, and because you blind bake and then bake the custard at a lower temp, the inevitable (at least for me) split in the center of the pie is avoided. The spices perfectly compliment the pumpkin, without overpowering. My search has officially ended. I will be sticking with this recipe from here on out.

    • Lindsay

    • Portland, Or

    • 11/23/2022

  • can you use a frozen pie crust (i know - blasphemy eek!) but just curious??

    • Anonymous

    • 11/23/2022

  • I reject that there is such a thing as a perfect pumpkin pie. Any pie that is better if made with canned filling (pumpkin pie) is ineligible from having a best version of itself. Yes, I'm too afraid of the blowback from this review to put my real name.

    • Anonymous

    • 9/13/2022

  • This is the best pumpkin pie recipe I have ever made - and I have been making pumpkin pies for a very long time! I have tried many recipes and variations over the years, although I learned long ago not to veer too far from a traditional pumpkin pie or there would be loud complaints from the other diners on Thanksgiving. I believe that this will be my go-to recipe from now on and I can stop perusing the internet for new varieties. So, it will save me time in the years to come, as well!

    • Anonymous

    • Detroit, MI

    • 11/30/2021

  • This is my first year making a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and it was absolutely perfect! I followed the recipe exactly for both the crust and the filling and it did not disappoint. I was told I NEED to make this pumpkin pie every year! I would recommend this recipe to anyone looking to bake a delicious pie!

    • Kate

    • St Paul, MN

    • 11/28/2021

  • I use this recipe every year along with your "dry brined turkey" recipe. It's perfect Thank you!

    • Trigger Mortis

    • Texas

    • 11/25/2021

  • Why why do you need sugar in your pie crust the pie is sweet enough welcome to fat American. I did not use sugar and less salt just a pinch and the crust was fab

    • Kk

    • Mi

    • 11/24/2021

  • This is our 3rd year in a row making this pie for Thanksgiving! We have not had a better pumpkin pie, and we always get asked for the recipe. It's not too sweet and is relatively simple to make. This is our forever go-to!

    • Brittany

    • Mesa, AZ

    • 11/24/2021

  • I made this recipe last year and couldn't believe I didn't have a copy but so glad I found it! It is really a great recipe and I got so many compliments on it! It definitely is a keeper!!!

    • Valgal

    • Hayward, CA

    • 11/18/2021

  • This pie filling is clearly the best there is. The first time I made it I didn't bake it quite long enough, so the second time I made it I was sure to leave it in a little longer. I waited until edges puffed, just like the recipe said to do, and it was perfect. I used a crust protector to keep the edges from getting too dark. I was nervous about using this pie crust recipe, based on the reviews, but I decided to try it and see for myself. Maybe it has been edited since the negative reviews were left- because I had no problems with it at all. I wonder if people left out the water, since it is not in the ingredient list (the egg does not go in the crust, as some reviews suggested). The time and temp of the blind bake seemed just right. I filled the crust with dried beans, as the recipe said, rather than using just enough to cover the bottom, and I used a glass pie dish. In summary- definitely use this filling, and don't be afraid to use the crust if you don't have a crust recipe you already love.

    • Sammi2

    • StL

    • 1/2/2021

  • I’m shocked to see the subpar comments regarding this wonderful pie crust. This has been by the far easiest pie crust to make! I’ve never had a problem with it tearing as you place it into the pie dish, which seems to be a problem for me. Personally, my favorite part is how crunchy and sturdy it is! Who likes soggy crust?! Cannot wait to make an apple pie using this crust recipe and maybe a chocolate cream. Don’t get me started on the filing, I don’t think there’s enough words in the English vocabulary to describe just how wonderful this pumpkin pie recipe is. All around spectacular and I used to despise pumpkin pie. Make the pie. Crust and all!

    • Marissa

    • Rochester, NY

    • 12/7/2020

  • The filling of this pie is incredibly delicious, and has great depth in flavor and texture. This is not your usual hum drum pumpkin pie. It has condensed milk, heavy cream and maple syrup in it- how can it not be fantastic? After reading the negative reviews of the crust recipe, I used my favorite pie dough recipe instead and it worked out great. I’ve made this pie 3 times in the past 2 weeks. One was a test run for Thanksgiving, second was for Thanksgiving, and the third was for a family member who wanted it after the pie from Thanksgiving was gone. The filling was perfect each time. I’m probably going to make it a fourth time for a friend who likes pumpkin pie. This pie is incredible and I want to share it with everyone.

    • Anonymous

    • 11/29/2020