Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe is America’s favorite Thanksgiving pie for generations ~ should you be making it this year? I’m sharing Libby’s recipe, plus everything you need to know to make the best pumpkin pie this season.
Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe revisited
I bet Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe from the can label has been the go-to Thanksgiving dessert for most of you reading this post right now. Unless you have a super creative chef in the family most of us fall back on the this classic because, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Well, Libby’s recently released pumpkin pie 2.0, with the first changes to the beloved recipe in generations (75 years!) Luckily this traditional from-scratch pie is still as easy as ever, it’s just had a little face lift. I’ll help you sort through the changes and choose which one is right for you.
Table of contents
- Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe revisited
- Libby’s pumpkin pie ingredients
- what’s so new about the new recipe?
- the difference between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk
- can you make Libby’s pumpkin pie ahead?
- can I use a ready-made or frozen pie crust?
- should I pre-bake the crust?
- how long to cook pumpkin pie?
- how can I check my pie without sticking a knife in it?
- how long to let pumpkin pie cool before serving
- can pumpkin pie be left out on the counter overnight?
- can I freeze pumpkin pie?
- conclusion: what’s the word on the new Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe?
- more holiday dessert recipes!
Libby’s pumpkin pie ingredients
The ORIGINAL recipe
- canned pumpkin
- evaporated milk
- cinnamon, ginger, cloves
The NEW recipe:
- canned pumpkin
- evaporated milk
- sweetened condensed milk
- cinnamon, ginger, cloves
canned pumpkin notes
- Libby’s sells both canned pumpkin and canned pumpkin pie filling. You want the plain canned pumpkin for these recipes.
- Libby’s sells canned pumpkin in 15 ounce and 29 ounce sizes. For these recipes we are using the 15 ounce can size which makes one pie.
- Fun fact: canned pumpkin isn’t necessarily pumpkin! The FDA guidelines for canned pumpkin state that canned pumpkin can be made from “sound, properly matured, golden-fleshed, sweet varieties of either pumpkins and squashes.” The key requirement is that the squash used should be sweet and golden-fleshed, but not necessarily pumpkin 🙂 Who knew?
what’s so new about the new recipe?
The new recipe omits the 3/4 cup sugar from the original. Another change is that the updated recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk* in addition to the traditional evaporated milk. It increases the cloves by just a smidge. And finally, the new recipe specifies a shorter cooking time by 10 minutes.
*As many readers have mentioned, the new recipe is higher in sugar than the old one because of the addition of sweetened condensed milk which contains 21 grams of sugar.
the difference between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk
Both are examples of milk that has had some of the water removed from it so that it’s nice and thick. Evaporated milk is plain milk, just thicker, but about half. It has a slightly ‘canned’ flavor. Sweetened condensed milk is made the same way, but with added sugar so the final product is 55% sugar. It’s important to note that they are not interchangeable in recipes!
can you make Libby’s pumpkin pie ahead?
Yes, that’s just what I did. But I don’t make the whole pie and stash it in the fridge, that will create a soggy pie. Here’s how I do it:
- Make the dough for the crust and fit it into your pie pan. Wrap and refrigerate.
- Make the filling separately, cover, and refrigerate.
- You can do this up to 2 days ahead, then fill and bake on the day you want to enjoy it. Easy peasy!
can I use a ready-made or frozen pie crust?
Of course! Because the Libby’s pie is so easy, I figured I had to save face and make my own crust, but you can totally use a frozen or refrigerated crust from the supermarket. Be aware that Libby’s specifies a deep dish to accommodate the amount of filling so you’ll need a truly deep dish pie crust to avoid overflows.
If using a frozen crust, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
should I pre-bake the crust?
Libby’s does not recommend pre-baking (or blind baking) your pie crust but you certainly can. Sally’s Baking Addiction has a good tutorial for blind baking crusts. You’ll basically par bake your crust using pie weights. Then remove the weights, prick the bottom of the crust, and finish baking without the weights. You can then go ahead and add your filling and bake your pie as per your recipe.
how long to cook pumpkin pie?
- The short answer is: quite a while. Pumpkin pie filling is very thin, and if you’re using a deep dish pie, it can take over an hour to fully set, although the Libby’s can says 45-55 minutes.
- Ovens aren’t always accurate, so be sure to invest in an inexpensive oven thermometer for the baking season.
- Finally, don’t be a slave to the recipe directions…if your pie is still loose and jiggling after the specified time, keep baking. Ovens and pie plates vary greatly.
- I had to bake the Libby’s pie a little longer than the recipe called for, but it turned out great.
how can I check my pie without sticking a knife in it?
I hate the idea of poking into my perfect creamy pie, especially when I’m going to be serving to guests, so here are a few alternative methods for checking for doneness…
- The color will be darker, the pie will be slightly puffed, and the edges will look set. The crust will be golden.
- Gently shake the pie, the sides should be set, and the center can have a slight wobble but no jiggly waves of batter.
- Remember the pie will continue to set up as it cools.
- When in doubt, let it cook a little longer, and cover with foil if the crust is browning too much. I cooked mine just until the center did not wobble, and it turned out perfect.
how long to let pumpkin pie cool before serving
- Give your pie at least 2 hours. The custard will continue to set as it cools, and your pie will slice more neatly.
- That being said, there’s no shame in digging in while it’s still warm.
can pumpkin pie be left out on the counter overnight?
- No, the FDA recommends leaving a pumpkin pie at room temperature no longer than 2 hours.
- Refrigerate your cooled pie if you won’t be eating it within 2 hours after cooling.
- Do NOT refrigerate a warm pie, you’ll get condensation on the surface.
can I freeze pumpkin pie?
- Libby’s does not recommend freezing this pie because they say the crust will separate from the filling, however most sources agree that pumpkin pies freeze beautifully, and I have done so with success.
- Let your pie cool until completely room temperature. Wrap in several layers of plastic wrap, and then wrap again in foil.
- Plan on using your frozen pie within a month for best texture.
- To thaw: remove pie to refrigerator overnight. Then bring to room temperature on the counter, and finally, unwrap.
conclusion: what’s the word on the new Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe?
- Love it! I think they actually succeeded in making this classic pie even better. Between the new and old version I prefer the new.
- The filling is generous, which I appreciate, I can’t get excited about a thin, flat pumpkin pie.
- The spicing is subtle, not overly ‘pumpkin spiced’, which is another plus.
- The pie has just the right balance of sweetness and I think the pumpkin flavor is allowed to shine. The sweetened condensed milk does the trick without overdoing.
- My only beef is that my pie took considerably longer to set. I’m a little confused as to why they lowered the baking time with this new recipe.
- I suggest using a foil collar for the edges of the crust or at the very least covering loosely with foil toward the second half of the cooking.
- Some of you regular readers might recall me mentioning how I don’t generally like pumpkin pie… but this recipe has changed my mind…I feel like the filling tastes lighter and definitely creamier than anything I remember ~ I’m a new fan!
*This is not sponsored, and I’m not affiliated with Libby’s in any way, but the pie is super yummy 🙂
Libby’s New Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
- A deep dish 9 inch pie plate
- 2 large eggs
- 15 ounces Libby's canned pumpkin (1 can)
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 single unbaked deep dish pie crust (recipe below), You can use a frozen premade deep dish pie crust if you like, but don't thaw.
- Preheat oven to 425?F.
- Whisk eggs well in a large bowl. Whisk in the pumpkin, both milks, salt, and spices. Mix until everything is completely combined.
- Pour mixture into an unbaked pie crust and place on a baking sheet to make transferring to the oven easier. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350F and bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until set around the edges and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Note: See my notes in the blog post about how to know when your pie is done. Mine took longer than Libby's states, so don't be surprised if yours does too.
- Cool on a rack for 2 hours before attempting to slice. If you aren't serving the pie after 2 hours, then refrigerate, loosely covered.
Pie crust (this recipe makes 2 crusts)
- Pulse the flour and salt a few times in a food processor to combine. Add the cold chunks of butter to the bowl and pulse about 20 times until the mixture is grainy.
- Add the ice water, a little at a time, while continuing to pulse, then run the machine briefly JUST until the dough comes together in a clump. This will take under a minute. NOTE: you may not need all of the water, but you may also need a little more, so feel free to adjust.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring it together into a ball. If there is still any remaining dry flour make sure to knead that into the dough to get it all incorporated. If your dough is too sticky, add a touch more flour.
- Cut the ball of dough in half, form two flat disks, and wrap each one in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours (or overnight) before rolling it out. You can freeze the extra disk of dough for later.
more holiday dessert recipes!
- Cranberry Pie
- Maple Frangipane Pecan Pie
- Pumpkin Caramel Tart
- The Ultimate Maple Cheesecake
- Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream