A silky smooth, boldly spiced, and super flavorful pumpkin filling and sweet and spicy gingersnap cookie crust combine to make this gingersnap pumpkin pie recipe the very best. It’s sure to become a holiday favorite for your family too!
Many years ago, my Aunt Jane, then a teenager, was tasked with preparing the grand finale of the family Thanksgiving meal: the pumpkin pie. She followed the classic Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe, the one from the side of the can, but made a small mistake, accidentally substituting sweetened condensed milk for the evaporated milk called for in the recipe.
Well the pie turned out so creamy and indulgent that the mistake stuck, and since then, Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without her pumpkin pie, still made the “wrong way,” each and every year.
This pie starts with Jane’s tried-and-true version of Libby’s recipe, but… I fiddled with it a bit, as I’m generally wont to do.
Our family is very traditionalist when it comes to our fourth Thursday in November feast: (Overly large) turkey, oyster dressing, cornbread, sausage and apple dressing, candied yams, creamy mashed potatoes and my Grandma’s (and now Dad’s) out-of-this-world homemade turkey gravy, cranberry sauce and jelly, some sort of green vegetable side dish, an olive and celery plate, and Mom’s famous pumpkin bread… Everyone overeats, but still leaves room for a slice of, you guessed it, pumpkin pie, with big dollops of whipped cream.
While we don’t really deviate much from this annual menu, I think there’s always room for a small amount of tinkering with the recipes themselves.
I knew one thing for sure – the boring, plain old pie crust that accompanies almost every pumpkin pie ever, had to go. First thing. Instead, the pumpkin pie I imagined called for a fabulous, spiced gingersnap cookie crust, the perfect complement to the sweet pumpkin custard filling.
Next, cooking the pumpkin purée with the sugar and spices prior to baking evaporates some of the natural liquid in the pumpkin, but more importantly, thickens and slightly caramelizes the custard base, deepening and intensifying the flavors of the pie.
Making this gingersnap pumpkin pie
Many pumpkin pie recipes call for heavy cream, but I kept the sweetened condensed milk for nostalgia’s sake (while cutting back the sugar a bit), and added an extra egg yolk for creaminess.
I should add, that while the recipe, as written below, is designed for a 9-inch pie pan, on a whim, I baked these in two shallow, 7-1/2-inch tart pans. I just love those fluted edges. So tart or pie, you decide…
And. This. Pie.
It took no less than eight iterations to get this just right, but oh, was it worth it. My final recipe has all the classic, nostalgic flavors I’ve come to expect from a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie (Jane’s original version). It’s super silky, gingery, indulgently creamy pumpkin pie perfection, and destined to become another family-favorite.
If you make this pumpkin pie, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked them! Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, LauraPrint