Pumpkin Custard Pie

Everyone in our family has been trying to get the recipe for Mom’s pumpkin custard pie. Everyone says it’s the best pumpkin pie they ever tasted, that’s because it’s pumpkin custard pie, not just pumpkin pie. I managed to get ahold of her original recipe, so I scanned it and put it up for the whole world to try.


Note that there are two recipes on this page, the leftmost column is a multiplied recipe for 3 pies, although there is some dispute as to whether this actually makes 4 pies. There is also considerable dispute over the quantity of pumpkin, the recipe calls for 2 one pound cans of pumpkin. But nowadays, pumpkin comes in small 15 oz cans and big 1lb 13 oz cans. Mom insists she uses 2 of the big cans, but we made it with just two small cans and it came out fine, although we used two 9 inch pie shells, not the 12 inch as called for in the recipe. My sister was a professional baker and she says that 12 inch shells take the same amount of filling as 9 inch shells, it just makes a thinner pie, so it shouldn’t make any difference.

For clarity, I’ll type out the basic recipe here.

Pumpkin Custard Pie

6 eggs

2 one pound cans pumpkin

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1 1/2 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

Pour into two 12 inch pie crusts, bake at 350 for 75 minutes.

15 thoughts on “Pumpkin Custard Pie”

  1. I have been trying to make pumpkin custard pies for years. I just can’t get the layer of milky custard to appear on the bottom of my pies. This receipe sounds wonderful, and if it works everyone will be happy. Is the baking time the same in a smaller pie dish, or because it is thicker should it bake longer. I ususally test for doneness with a knife in the middle, if it comes out clean….its done.
    [This pie doesn’t separate into layers, it’s one layer of pumpkin custard. I’ve never heard of a pumpkin pie that has a milky custard layer on the bottom. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying. Anyway, I don’t know how thickness of the pie dish would affect cooking time, but the knife test is what I use too. –Charles]
    Update, Thanksgiving 2015: I thought this comment deserved an update. I just made this pie recipe today using the 9 inch pie dish. Yes, it does take more time to bake, since it is a deeper dish. I baked the pies for 95 minutes and the filling was just firm enough, and passed the knife test. The pie puffed up an inch above the pie crust, it looked like a soufflĂ©. But it subsided when it cooled off. –Charles

  2. My PA Dutch Grandmother made a pumpkin custard pie for 92 years and her custard was always on the bottom of and the pumpkin on top and this recipe looks exactly the same as hers and the entire family watched her for years and she mixed it all together and the custard would go to the bottom and no one in our family can do it – I hope this one works!
    [I’ve made this pie several times, it’s delicious, but it’s always been one layer of pumpkin custard, not two layers. Even when my Mom made this recipe, her pies didn’t turn out in two layers. There must be some trick to getting the layers to separate, but I have no idea what it could be. –Charles]

  3. This recipe looks awesome, but I have one question. Does your Mom beat the egg whites til there stiff or does she just add the whole eggs together with the other ingredients at the same time. Thank You, Debbie
    [Just add the whole eggs, that’s how I made it and it turned out great. I think if you whipped the whites, you’d end up with some sort of pumpkin meringue pie, which is intriguing idea, but not what this recipe is about. –Charles]

  4. My wife’s grandma grew up Amish, and instead of there being a custard on the bottom, it was on the top. She past away a couple of months ago, quite suddenly, and no one has been able to reproduce the pie. Any suggestions?

  5. I sure hope this does the trick. Just last year i was in Honolulu and tasted the best pumpkin-custard pie and from then have been searching for such a recipe. I hope this ends my search.

  6. Thank you for sharing this. My mother just told me she prefers the custard to the more dense pie and misses the way her mother used to make it. I’m looking forward to trying it.

  7. Oh my gosh, Charles THANK YOU so much for posting this recipe! It is exactly what I was remembering having when I was little…it will be the only pumpkin pie I will make from now on! It is wonderful!!!

  8. My grandmother’s pumpkin pie has always been a family favorite and is very similar to your recipe. It sometimes has a separate custard layer on top and sometimes doesn’t. We keep trying to figure out how not to get the separate layer. Her recipe calls to separate the eggs and add the beaten egg whites after everything else is mixed. I’ve never seen a discussion about this before or a similar recipe!
    [When I have made this recipe, it never separates. If you figure out the secret of separate layers, let us know. You can see everyone is dying to know the secret! –Charles]

  9. 1t Ginger – is raw ginger perferred or is there such thing as powered/ground ginger?
    [Definitely do NOT use raw ginger. You can buy powdered ginger in most places that sell spices. –Charles}

  10. As a child I remember asking my grandmother why her pumpkin pies were so good, everyone raved about them. She said because you use 4eggs and 1 quart of milk for 2 pies. I have looked for this recipe but have not found it, she was Irish.

  11. I’m thinking if you use “whole” milk instead of 2% (like I did) with cornstarch instead of flour this may help to separate the layers. I’ve been trying to figure this “trick” out all month. Hope this helps if not I’ll post another comment til I solve the puzzle. 🙂

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