How to Make Pumpkin Pie

The key to crowd-pleasing pumpkin pie starts with the perfect crust: buttery and flaky. Find out how to pull off the quintessential American dessert by following these simple instructions from Food Network Kitchen.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

How to Make America's Classic Autumnal Dessert

This Thanksgiving, there's a lot to be thankful for — for one, the sweet-spicy aroma of warm pumpkin pie, a telltale sign that Thanksgiving is upon us. The beauty of this classic dessert is in its simplicity. Start with a basic pie crust (you can make yours by hand or in the food processor) and you can't go wrong. Make the perfect pie with these easy instructions from Food Network Kitchen.

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Pie

Make the Dough by Hand

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow cornmeal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter. (If the flour-butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.)

Or in a Food Processor

With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow cornmeal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter, about 10 times. Don't let the dough form into a ball in the machine.  

Add the Egg

Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.

Bring the Dough Together

Remove the dough from the bowl (or food processor, depending upon which method you choose), and bring the dough together by hand.

Wrap and Refrigerate

Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

Roll Out the Dough

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick.

Trim, Tuck, Flute and Freeze

Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges, leaving about an extra inch hanging over the edge. Then, tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge that is even with the rim. Once you flute the edge as desired, freeze the pie shell for 30 minutes.

Use Dried Beans as Pie Weights

Set separate racks in the center and lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Put a piece of parchment paper or foil over the pie shell and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake on a baking sheet on the center rack until the dough is set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and lift sides of the parchment paper to remove the beans.

Bake Until Golden

Continue baking the pie shell for about 10 more minutes. Once the shell appears golden brown, remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Make the Filling

While the pie shell is cooling, make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, half-and-half, spices and salt until smooth.

Add the Filling

Return the pie shell to the baking sheet and pour in the filling. Then, bake on the lower oven rack until the edges of the filling are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 50 to 60 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil.)  

Cool, Cut and Serve

Remove the set pie from the oven and cool on a rack until you're ready to serve. You can cut the pie at room temperature or slightly warm.