We are in the heart of pumpkin everything season. Are you sick of it yet? Personally I am still loving it. I really didn't get on the seasonal fall desserts bandwagon until about two weeks ago because it had been so damn hot. And nothing says fall to me like a good, homemade spiced pumpkin pie recipe. And particular recipe I have is a winner - an easy CHAI SPICED PUMPKIN PIE using canned pumpkin, that is sure to be a unique hit.
Spiced pumpkin is pretty much the quintessential flavor of homemade fall desserts, using canned pumpkin makes for easy baking. And I am never sure what is my favorite...pumpkin bundt cake or pumpkin cheesecake with a gingerbread caramel sauce or maybe a pumpkin mousse? There is literally so many to choose from, and don't forget the ever infamous pumpkin spice latte, probably the most famous spiced pumpkin recipe there ever was.
What kind of flavor is chai?
When most people here chai spice they think tea. Chai tea has become incredibly popular, especially in the United States. Chai spice itself is a mix of warm spices, many that you easily find in fall desserts. Spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. All of these spices are what you would find in a traditional pumpkin spice blend.
What is chai spice made of?
The chai spice blend that I use is big on ginger and cardamom, more than the cinnamon. It also has a touch of black pepper, just enough to make it interesting, and not overpowering. Given that pumpkin is something that sort of straddles the sweet and savory line, I think this make for the best homemade pumpkin pie recipe, I have found thus far. Spices totally complimenting the pumpkin is what it is all about.
Is a chai spiced pumpkin pie recipe different than a traditional pumpkin pie?
Fun fact about me...every fall, I set out to find my favorite spiced pumpkin pie recipe, because I actually don't have one. I like pumpkin pie, and I pretty much have never met a recipe I don't like, but none have been my favorite, so far.
When it came to thinking up something new and exciting this year, chai just jumped right to the front of the line for me. While the warm spices of chai are similar to traditional pumpkin pie spice, they are not quite the same. There is dominance is not placed on cinnamon as in so many pumpkin pie spice blends, which is what really makes it different. Less sweet? For sure, but still sweet enough to be a perfect fall dessert.
I mean, it is pretty damn easy - especially considering you will be using canned pumpkin. The rest of this recipe is the usual suspects you would find in a pumpkin pie.
Tips for success
Don't worry there is only a few.
- Brown the butter. It adds a great depth of flavor and kind of adds a nutty element to the whole pie.
- Don't overdo the spice. I tested this recipe four times before I came up with the perfect amount of chai spice to use. It is strong and you don't want to make the pie to spicy or too savory...it is about balance.
- I mean, you can use a baking pumpkin you've roasted, but using canned pumpkin is just as good, so simple and what almost all spiced pumpkin pie recipes call for, so don't stress about it.
- Don't skip the vanilla. Vanilla is like the ultimate additional compliment to chai.
This will be hard, but try not to overbake. When you see the pie is jiggly in the center, it is DONE. I don't mean almost done, I mean take that pie out and set it on the counter to rest. Baked custard pies can be tricky because they often don't look like they are cooked through the center. But they trick you, because they continue to cook out of the oven. And if you leave it in the oven until the center is totally firm, you will have an overcooked pie that might crack all over. This is single handedly the hardest thing to learn about baked custard pies, and one that I still mess up once in a while.
What do you serve with this?
A big huge spoonful of barely sweetened whipped cream will do just fine.
- pie dish
- stand or hand mixer
- Pie crust of choice pressed into a 9-inch pie plate
- 15 oz canned pumpkin
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 3 eggs
- 1 can evaporated milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Heat oven to 450 and have a rack in the middle.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer or a wire whisk, beat all the pie filling ingredients together until well blended. It should be thick and look like a rich and velvety custard.
- Pour everything into the pie shell. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325 and bake for another 40 minutes. The center should be ever so slightly set, and if it is still a bit jiggly THAT IS OK - the custard will continue to cook a bit when you pull it out.
- Cool completely on a rack before serving, to ensure the filling fully sets up.