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Whole brown butter pumpkin pie with pie crust leaf cutouts for a border.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie

  • Author: Adapted from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 3 hours (includes chilling time)
  • Yield: 9-inch pie 1x
  • Category: Pies


Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie is a traditional fall recipe that is enhanced with a rich flavor.  It’s made with an all-butter pie crust and filled with creamy pumpkin custard.  Make this pie the star of your holiday dessert table.



For the crust

For the pumpkin filling

  • 86 g (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 165g (3/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 55 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 28 g (2 tablespoons) water
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 4 g (1 teaspoon) pure vanilla extract
  • 100 g (2 large) eggs
  • 40 g (2 large) egg yolks
  • 400 g (1 2/3 cups) pumpkin puree
  • 1.6 g (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 g (1/2 teaspoon) ground ginger
  • 0.7 g (1/2 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • 0.5 g (1/4 teaspoon) ground cloves
  • 2.8 g (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 7 g (1 teaspoon) molasses
  • 160 g (2/3 cup) whole milk
  • 80 g (1/3 cup) carrot juice


For the crust

  1. Remove your dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.  Lightly flour work surface and begin to roll the dough from the center out.  After each roll, rotate the dough 90°.  Lightly add flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.  Roll the dough until it is 1/8 – 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Line a pie dish with the crust and crimp the edges.  Refrigerate the crust uncovered for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
  4. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and line with a piece of parchment paper and pie weights, dried beans, or rice.
  5. Bake the pie crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Remove pie from the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper and weights. Using a fork, prick holes all around the bottom crust and then return the pie crust to the oven.
  6. Bake for an additional 7-8 minutes or until the bottom is just beginning to brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool while preparing the filling.

For the pumpkin filling

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/204°C.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Continue to heat, while occasionally stirring, until the butter has brown specks throughout.  Careful not to burn the butter.
  3. Whisk in both sugars and then add the water and combine.  Bring the butter mixture to a boil and cook until it reaches 225°F/107°C.  Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream (the mixture will bubble up).  Add the vanilla and mix.  Allow the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes.
  4. In the small bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks together.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and molasses until combined.  Add the butter mixture and continue to whisk together.  Add the eggs, milk, and carrot juice and whisk until smooth.
  6. Place the pie crust on a baking sheet pan. Pour the filling into it and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F/177°C and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes or until the center slightly jiggles. Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack.


Make-Ahead:  The all-butter pie crust can be made up to 3 days in advance. Once the pie is completely cooled, you can refrigerate covered for up to 2 days.

Freezing: Pumpkin pie freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. The dough also freezes well for up to 3 months. You can freeze pre-shaped in a freezer-safe pie plate or as a dough disc.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using it.

Spices:  You can substitute all the spices with 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.

Pie Crust Leaves: If using decorative pie crust leaves, make a full recipe of the pie dough.  On a floured work surface, roll out one half of the chilled dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Using small leaf cookie cutters, cut out the shapes. Brush lightly with an egg wash. Place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet pan and bake at 350°F/177°C for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow leaves to cool to room temperature before decorating the pie.

Keywords: pumpkin pie, fall pie, Thanksgiving desserts, pumpkin dessert, custard pie