Honey doesn't get enough credit in desserts and it really should. A homemade honey pumpkin pie recipe creates a richer and more luxurious pie for sure. Pumpkin is one of the most sought after fall dessert flavors, and it is no secret why. It is easy to bake with, especially using canned pumpkin (which is widely available), lends itself well to warm spices, and goes well in a variety of baked and non baked desserts.
Since pumpkin is pretty much the quintessential flavor of homemade fall desserts, and using canned pumpkin makes for easy baking, I have so many pumpkin recipes and I am never sure what is my favorite...pumpkin pie milkshakes or chai spiced pumpkin pie or maybe pumpkin gingersnap parfaits? And of course don't forget the ever-famous pumpkin spice latte, probably the most famous spiced pumpkin recipe there ever was.
What is the difference between canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling?
So when using canned pumpkin to make this honey pumpkin pie and you get to the store, you will likely see canned pumpkin right next to pumpkin pie filling - also in a can. They are absolutely NOT the same thing. Canned pumpkin is exactly what it says, pumpkin only. Canned pumpkin pie filling has sugar, and spices added to it. It is for those who don't want a true homemade pumpkin pie, as the spice mixture is already measured out and prepared for you. Any recipe that is using canned pumpkin should not be substituted with the pie filling.
What spices does pumpkin pie spice contain?
Another convenience option you might see at the grocery store is premixed pumpkin pie spice (ine the spice aisle). This is a prepared mix of traditional pumpkin pie recipe spices. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, I do not use this in this honey pumpkin pie recipe or any of my homemade pumpkin recipes.
Why use honey in a pie?
Honey replaces using sugar in this spiced pumpkin pie recipe. Using honey contributes to better caramelization and gives a better overall texture. And while having a different flavor than sugar, it also is more complex and adds a deeper flavor.
I am not going to lie, using honey in baked desserts is relatively new to me, as I was unsure if I would like the flavor it imparts. But I love it. It has floral and almost buttery notes about it, and its not refined like sugar, and you use less than you would the amount of sugar...so a teeny bit healthier.
I kept this honey pumpkin pie recipe simple with familiar warm spices everyone has come to know and love.
- Pumpkin puree. Use canned pumpkin NOT canned pie filling
- Brown sugar
- Eggs. This is a baked custard pie.
- Evaporated milk
- Heavy cream
- Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.
Tips for success
- Don't overdo the spice. A pie like this is all about balance, you don't want one thing overwhelming another.
- 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.
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.