There’s always the ‘to-Christmas-or-not-to-Christmas’ debate in November. I am strict to adhere to the ‘no Christmas before Thanksgiving’ rule. That said, there are some desserts that span the gap between holidays really nicely. One is my Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake. The other is this Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie!
This Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie has a classic pumpkin pie filling inside a gingerbread crust! Topped with spiced whipped cream, this pie would be perfect for all your holiday festivities!
Making your Gingerbread Pie Crust
While the filling of this pie is traditional, the crust adds a little twist that I love! The gingerbread crust with spices and molasses complements the filling, and hints at the in-between place that we find ourselves with the holidays.
I do mention a few tools in the recipe that you might not have in your kitchen. They definitely aren’t required, but they do make the crust come together quicker and easier:
- A pastry blender isn’t necessary to cut in the shortening, but it certainly is easier and more efficient with one! If you’d like to add a pastry blender to your kitchen, you can find one here.
- I like using a bowl scraper to work the dough because it’s flexible shape makes the job much easier, and keeps your hands from warming the dough as it comes together. They’re easy to store and easy on the wallet! If you’d like to buy one for yourself, you can find one here.
You Can Make your Own Pumpkin Puree!
The filling of this Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie is traditional, with pumpkin, spices, and juuuust enough sweetness from the sweetened condensed milk. It is so, so easy to grab a can of pumpkin purée off the shelf at the grocery store, but making your own isn’t much harder! And, as with most things, what you make in your kitchen will be fresher and more delicious than what you find at the grocery store!
If you’re interested in making your own pumpkin purée, here’s what you need to do:
- Get yourself a pie pumpkin (also called a sugar pumpkin) from the farmer’s market or grocery store. Pie pumpkins aren’t as stringy, contain less water, and are slightly sweeter than regular carving pumpkins, so that’s definitely what you want to go with!
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. (Keep the seeds for roasting later!) Place pumpkin halves cut-side down on a baking sheet. I lined mine with a silpat for easier cleanup later.
- Roast the pumpkin for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin. The pumpkin will be tender enough to be pierced with a fork, and the skin will be golden and starting to pull away from the flesh.
- After allowing the pumpkin to cool enough that you can handle it, remove the skins. You can just mash the pumpkin with a potato masher, but I like to use my food processor for a smoother purée. If it seems dry, you can add a tablespoon or two of water.
- You can use the purée immediately, or freeze it to use later. For reference, a 15 oz. can of pumpkin contains just a bit under 2 cups of purée.
How to Keep your Pumpkin Pie from Cracking
You plan, and you prep, and you work, and you make a glorious pumpkin pie…only to have a giant crack in the top after it’s baked! The worst!
Now, whipped cream is a wonderful (and beautiful, and delicious) way to mask any imperfections in the top of your pie. That said, there are ways to ensure it doesn’t happen in the first place!
To help keep your pumpkin pie from cracking:
- Make sure your oven is appropriately preheated. This means that you should wait at least 20 minutes after the oven says that it’s preheated before baking your pie! If you haven’t checked your oven temperature for accuracy, an oven thermometer is a great investment in making sure your oven is at the appropriate temperature!
- Bake your pie near the bottom of the oven. This will help your crust to brown without overcooking your filling.
- Take the pie out of the oven before it’s fully set. You want the center to jiggle a little, as the pie will still cook a bit after it’s out of the oven.
- Let the pie cool slowly. Once the pie is done (with just a little wiggle to the center), I let the pie rest on the oven door (as pictured above) to come slowly to room temperature. The residual heat of the oven will keep your pie warm for awhile without baking it further, and this slow cooling helps ensure a beautiful pie
Making Spiced Whipped Cream
Vanilla bean paste is one of my favorite ingredients ever, so of course I had to add some to the whipped cream! The flavor and those little black flecks it leaves make me sooo happy. If you’d like to get some for yourself, you can find some here.
I also added the same spices to the whipped cream to reinforce those same flavors that are in the pumpkin filling and the gingerbread crust.
I think this is the yummiest, coziest pumpkin pie that you’ll ever taste! I really love the little added touches of spice that make this pie a total eye-rolling flavor bomb. It’s totally appropriate for Thanksgiving or Christmas–so make it for both! 😉
Other posts you may like:
Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch cloves
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, diced
- 2 Tbsp molasses (unsulphured)
- 3 Tbsp milk, at room temperature
- 15 oz pumpkin purée (see note)
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and spices. Add diced shortening and cut into flour mixture with a fork or pastry blender (see note) until pieces of shortening are pea-sized and smaller.
- Add molasses and milk to mixture, and stir or use bowl scraper (see note) to combine. If mixture seems dry, add milk by the tablespoonful until the dough comes together.
- Form dough into a disc, wrap, and chill 20 minutes.
- After the dough has chilled, roll the dough out large enough to line a 9" pie pan. Place the crust in the pan, taking care not to stretch the dough (as this may cause it to shrink while baking). Place the crust in the refrigerator until filling is ready.
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Pour filling into prepared crust. Place pie pan on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 350° F and bake an additional 35-40 minutes, or until filling is nearly set (only jiggles in the center). Place pie on a wire rack and allow to come to cool completely (see notes on keeping your pie from cracking).
For Whipped Cream:
- Place all whipped cream ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start the mixer on low speed, and gradually increase the speed to high. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate the spices, if necessary. Whip until the cream thickens and forms peaks.
- You can pipe or dollop the whipped cream on top of the entire pie, or serve the whipped cream on the side. Store in the refrigerator.Enjoy!