Perfect Pumpkin Pies

BY Karlynn Johnston

Pumpkin Pies
A Modern Baker's Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts
Karlynn Johnston


In my family, when it comes to baking pies, we rarely make one at a time. Madness, I know! But most pies freeze very well for up to several months and pumpkin pie is no exception.

I never saw either of my grandmas make just one pie, as there were always a large number of people to feed at their tables. In my family’s humble opinion, pumpkin pies always need to be made in twos, at a minimum. Even at a small holiday gathering of four or five people, there will be guests wanting a second slice of pie. Like my husband, Mike. Plus he has no qualms about eating cold pumpkin pie out of his hand, like pizza. One day his metabolism is going to catch up with him, but until that happens, I’ll just fume about how he manages to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast and stay slim.

My perfect pumpkin pie recipe uses one large can of pumpkin puree, split between two pies—this is the perfect amount to avoid the pies from overflowing. I’m also giving away a family secret here: we use both evaporated and condensed milk, so that you use up the entire cans at once and get the best of both worlds in terms of taste and texture.

For a truly traditional flavor, use pumpkin pie spice, as it includes allspice, which is often left out of pumpkin pie recipes yet makes all the difference taste-wise.

Preparation 10 mins
Cooking 1 hr, 5 mins
9-inch pies


  • Single crusts for two 9-inch pies
  • 1 (28 fl. ounce/796 ml) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12 ½ fl. ounce/370 ml) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (10 ½ ounce/300 ml) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place the oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Lay a crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Repeat with the second crust and pie plate.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, evaporated milk, condensed milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until smooth. Evenly divide between the two prepared crusts.
  4. Place the pies in the oven, leaving plenty of space for air to circulate between them. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for another 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of a pie comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To freeze, wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap, followed by tinfoil, and place in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.
Full-time professional blogger, baker, and recipe maker KARLYNN JOHNSTON can usually be found fluffing her culinary feathers on her award-winning... Read More