Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie


Difficulty level Easy

It's hard to imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without the requisite piece of pumpkin pie. Every family has their own traditions regarding side dishes, but everybody seems to serve that pie. There are many different recipes out there for this harvest treat, but this is the one I have been using for years. You can use fresh pumpkin puree or if you are pressed for time go ahead and use canned pumpkin. Just be sure you buy pumpkin puree and not pie filling.

When I make this I actually cut out the leaf patterns in excess pastry dough just like in the picture. I know it seems twee, but it really does look pretty.


One 12‑inch circle of pastry
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or one 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
Basic Pie Crust
2/12 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 ‑ 1/2 cup ice water
(recipe follows)


  1. Cut the pumpkin into large chunks, removing the seeds. Steam over boiling water in a heavy saucepan for 25 to 30 minutes, until fork tender. Drain and let the pumpkin cool slightly. Using a sharp spoon, scrape the cooked pumpkin from the skin and put it in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth. If there are any lumps or fibres, then press it through a sieve.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Line an 8-inch pie plate with the rolled out pastry and trim it even with the edge of the pie plate. Cut as many leaf shapes from the excess pastry as possible, and make vein markings in each leaf with the back of a knife. With a little water, attach the pastry leaves to the edge of the pie crust so that the leaves fall over the edge of the pie plate. Keep well chilled until ready to use.
  4. Combine with puree with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well blended,. Pour into the prepared pastry and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and the custard set. Let cool before serving

Basic Pie Crust

  1. Put the flour, and salt into the bowl of a food processor. All ingredients should be cold. Add the pieces of butter and process for approximately 10 seconds or just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (To mix by hand combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two table knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal)
  2. Add ice water, drop by drop, through the feed tube with the machine running, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky; do not process more than 30 seconds. Test the dough at this point by squeezing a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add a bit more water.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Follow the directions of the recipe above from step 3 to the end.

    From Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts (1992, Random House)

This recipe appears in: Fall

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