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Brown Sugar & Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields one 9-inch pie.

Servings: 8-12


For the pie dough:

  • 5 oz. (1 cup plus 2 Tbs.) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 oz. (7 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 oz. (1-1/2 Tbs.) cold vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. ice-cold water

For the pumpkin filling:

  • 15-oz. can (about 1-3/4 cups) pure solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch table salt
  • Pinch ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbs. brandy
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

For the brown sugar whipped cream:

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbs. light brown sugar


Make the pie dough:

  • Whisk the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl. In the stand mixer (use the paddle attachment and gradually increase from low to medium speed) or in the bowl by hand with a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the butter starts breaking into smaller pieces. Cut in the shortening until the biggest pieces of both fats are the size of peas. With the mixer running, sprinkle in the water and mix until the dough just holds together. There should be some visible bits of butter. Pat the dough into a flat disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Take the dough from the refrigerator and let it warm up until pliable, about 15 minutes. Unwrap the dough and set it on a lightly floured work surface. With as few passes of the rolling pin as possible, roll the disk into an 11- to 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. After every few passes of the rolling pin, run a bench scraper under the dough to be sure it isn’t sticking (to prevent tearing), scatter a little more flour under it, and continue rolling. Drape the dough into a 9-inch pie pan, gently fitting it to the contours of the pan. Let the dough rest for 1 to 2 minutes (this will help keep the crust from shrinking during baking) and then trim the edge, leaving about 1/2 inch hanging over the rim of the pan. Tuck the overhang under to make a tall edge that rests on the rim of the pan. Crimp the edge decoratively. If freezing, see the make ahead instructions below.

Make the pumpkin filling:

  • Put the pumpkin purée in a medium bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, white pepper, and brandy. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks. In a small bowl, whisk in the half-and-half with the sour cream until very smooth, add this to the pumpkin mixture, and whisk well. If freezing, see the make ahead instructions below.

Bake the pie:

  • Position an oven rack on the bottom rung. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with foil and set it on the rack. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line the pie shell with parchment, fill with dried beans or pie weights, and bake on the heated baking sheet until golden brown, about 45 min (begin checking at 30 min.).
  • Carefully remove the parchment and weights from the shell. Turn the oven down to 325°F. Whisk the custard and pour it into the shell. Bake the pie on the baking sheet until the custard is just set but still slightly jiggly in the center, 30 to 45 min. If the edges start to get too dark, loosely drape foil around the sides or cover the edges with a pie guard. Let cool completely a rack.

Make the whipped cream and serve:

  • Combine the whipping cream and sour cream in a medium bowl (preferably a chilled metal bowl).  Whip on high speed with a hand mixer until it starts to thicken. Add the brown sugar and continue to whip until the cream holds soft peaks.  Serve the pie with a couple of dollops of the whipped cream

Make Ahead Tips

This recipe was developed to be made ahead and frozen for up to six weeks. Wrap the formed, unbaked pie shell well in plastic (if freezing for more than a week, add a second layer of foil). Put the pumpkin filling in an airtight container. Store both the shell and filling in the coldest part of the freezer (generally the top). The day before baking, move the custard from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. The next day, blind-bake the crust as directed above (baking time will be about 1 hour). Meanwhile, empty the custard into a bowl. It will probably still be partially frozen. Use a whisk to break up the custard and then whisk occasionallly to finish thawing while the shell bakes. Carefully remove the parchment and weights from the shell. Turn the oven down to 325°F. Whisk the custard so that no icy bits remain and pour it into the shell. Bake the pie on the baking sheet until the custard is just set but still slightly jiggly in the center, 45 to 50 minutes. Make the whipped cream as directed above and serve.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • son_of_brooklyn | 10/25/2014

    We think it needs more flavor so we'll increase sugar and spices on next attempt. Great filling texture, loved the crust.

  • shanc | 11/24/2011

    I made this as a trial run prior to thanksgiving and thought it was rather bland.

  • BetseyB | 10/16/2010

    We love this pie - my husband will no longer eat any other pumpkin pie. I've made it all at once and followed the make-ahead directions, and it's perfect every time. Even better with homemade pumpkin puree from our CSA share sugar pumpkins!

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