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 recently changed their famous pie recipe on the can label, and it was the first change to America’s favorite pie in 75 years! Today I’m comparing Libby’s ‘New Fashioned’ pumpkin pie with Libby’s original pie recipe so you can decide which one is right for your Thanksgiving menu.
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. Luckily this traditional from scratch pie is still as easy as ever.
Spoiler alert: I loved it!
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
pumpkin pie ingredient notes
- Libby’s sells both canned pumpkin and canned pumpkin pie filling. You want the plain canned pumpkin for these recipes.
- They also sell their cans in 15 ounce and 29 ounce sizes. For these recipes we are using the 15 ounce can size.
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!
It’s funny that this is the first pumpkin pie recipe on the blog, even though I adore pumpkin and have about a gazillion pumpkin recipes in the archives. I’m glad I started out with the classic, but this one has got me inspired to try more variations.
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.
TIP: If you use a frozen crust, don’t thaw it, use it straight from frozen.
can 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 wiggling 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.
pie crust (this recipe makes 2 crusts)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup ice water
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- 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.
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
- 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
- 1 unbaked deep dish pie shell
Questions and Reviews
I love pumpkin pie but I don’t care for the recipe on the Libby’s can. I prefer Costco ‘s pumpkin pie. I’ll try this recipe & do a taste test.
Now my secret is out lol.I’ve been using sweetened condensed milk for years . Makes a lot of difference.
I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year for separate family gatherings. FYI – if you use the traditional frozen crust (NOT deep dish) it makes 2 pies! Sooo easy and it baked in the amount of time the recipe called for. I did the deep dish crust also and didn’t care for it as much.. it was a little too much crust for me. But it’s all preference! Either way, this recipe is delish and I highly recommend!
Can you use pumpkin pie spice instead of the cloves, cinnamon, and ginger separately? If so, how much for the recipe?
Yes, absolutely. I never use the premixed spice so I’m not familiar with how strong it is, but I would say 1 1/2 tsp.
I made another one of these pies today. Afterwards I did my usual thing of figuring out the calories per serving in the recipe. I was alarmed to realize that the 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk has 1717 calories, compared to 580 calories in the 3/4 cup of sugar that it was replacing. That’s an extra 1,137 calories. Now I don’t think I want to switch recipes, if it means an extra 142 calories in a normal 1/8th slice. The new recipe makes a terrific pie, but the old recipe did too, without the extra calories.
Wow! That’s quite a difference in calories. I love the old method. They key is not to overbake it in my opinion. Bake until just set.
What you can do is just use the original recipe but double the cloves. It’ll have thata little bit of extra flavor but the same nutrion. Best of both worlds!
Still waiting for this to come out of the oven but after speaking with my mother she pointed out it says condensed milk OR evaporated milk.
Perhaps why the comments say it is more airy. I am hopeful it will be just find because the comments are still so positive. May try to make again with one or the other.
I looked at the can again and I think your mother made an incorrect assumption. The recipe does indeed call for both evaporated milk and sweetened condensed, not one or the other. I’m very interested in this because the substitution of sweetened condensed milk for sugar sounds like a good thing on the surface, but actually adds a whopping 1,137 calories to the recipe.
I always look at the sugar content of recipes.
If my calculations are correct, sweetened milk contains 215g sugar/14 oz.
3/4C sugar called for in the original recipe = 168g sugar.
It’s deceptive to think there is less sugar in this “new Libby’s recipe” or to somehow think it’s more healthy as I feel the post implies.
This is much lighter – and it went down really well this year! Agreed – pie crust was super easy (I always put mine in the freezer so they dont fall in the oven). I also substituted coconut evaporated milk & coconut sweetened condensed milk and they both worked great too!
Best pumpkin pie ever!
We baked this pie for Thanksgiving and wholeheartedly recommend it. The filling was very creamy but not airy, and the flavor was excellent. This will be our new standard pumpkin pie recipe. I think you were confused about the baking time, though. The new recipe definitely calls for a longer baking time than the original recipe, not shorter as you stated in the article. 50 to 60 minutes after the initial 15, whereas the old recipe says 40 to 50 minutes.
I’m amending my comment above because I made another one of these pies today and discovered that the substitution of sweetened condensed milk for the sugar results in adding 1,137 calories to the pie. I can’t in good conscience recommend that.
Why do you keep posting complaints about this pie here? You also voiced these same complaints on verybestbaking.com. I suspect you have done this on other sites as well. We get it, you don’t like the additional amount of sugar in the new recipe….SMH
Ours is baking away as I type this and my family and i are thrilled with how simple it was. The pie crust is incredible! I love that it only makes one DEEP dish pie. We are looking forward to tasting and sharing with extended family later today. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for sharing this 🙂
Have a wonderful day Camella <3