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!
- 2 – 2-1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs ¹
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted ¹
Pumpkin Custard Filling
- Make the gingersnap crust: Preheat the oven to 350℉. In a food processor, pulse together the gingersnap cookies and brown sugar until you have a coarse crumb. Add the ginger and cinnamon and pulse once or twice to combine. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until combined.
- Spoon the crumbs into a ungreased 9-inch pie pan, or two 7-1/2-inch tart pans (with removable bottoms) and use your fingers to gently divide the mixture into an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pan. Follow with the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass to firmly pack the crust into the pan.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pumpkin filling: Heat the pumpkin, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and spices in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-heat, until the mixture begins to sputter. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until smooth and glossy.
- Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the condensed milk, whisking until completely combined. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, whisking until completely combined after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the edges of the filling are just starting to set. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F, and bake for another 25-35 minutes, until the filling is mostly set (the center will still be slightly jiggly). Cover just the crust with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield, as needed, if the crust starts to brown too quickly. The filling may bubble and puff up slightly as it cooks – that’s okay, it will settle as it cools.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 2-3 hours until completely set. The pie filling will continue cooking through residual heat. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and serve chilled or at room-temperature. Best eaten the day of, but can be made in advance and will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
¹ Graham cracker/cookie crusts are a challenge to write recipes for, and I’ve gotten many questions over the years about this. There are a lot of variables – the brand of cookie, how finely you crush/crumble them, how firmly you pack the crumbs into the measuring cup, the density/sugar/moisture contents of your cookies, heck even the humidity in your kitchen probably comes into play. All these different factors demand different amounts of butter to moisten/hold together the crumbs without becoming greasy. This recipe was originally tested with MI-DEL gingersnaps (12oz or about 45-50 cookies), but I’ve used other brands with success. This is the ratio that works for me, but use your best judgment.
A few tips: the cookies should be crumbled to the point of resembling coarse sand. You don’t want to pulverize them completely into powder. Pulsing in a food processor works well. Don’t worry if there are a few larger bits of cookie here and there. You’ll end up with about 2 to 2-1/2 cups of crumbs.
Because there are so many different brands of gingersnap cookies, use your judgment when it comes to the butter/crushed cookie ratio. 1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter may be more than you need depending on the particular gingersnaps you use. Start by adding about 6 Tbsp of the melted butter to the crumbs. If they aren’t coming together or don’t seem damp enough, add a little more butter. If they seem excessively buttery, add more crumbs, and so on. You want a crumbly, moist crumb that can easily press into the tart pan.
Bake the crust(s) on top of a rimmed sheet pan to catch any butter drips. This is especially important if you’re using tart pans with removable bottoms. Depending on the cookies you use (and your oven), the crust may take more or less time to pre-bake. Crispier cookies may bake (and potentially burn) faster than softer varieties. If in doubt, err on the side of less time in the oven. The crust will continue to bake when you add the filling. Cover the pie (or just the crust) with aluminum foil if it seems like it is browning too quickly.
If your gingersnaps are very sweet, you can reduce or omit the brown sugar in the crust.
² Make this pie gluten free by using GF gingersnaps – I (and several readers) have used the GF cookies from Trader Joe’s with great results.
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