Brandied Pumpkin Pie Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Brandied Pumpkin Pie Recipe (1)

Total Time
About 2 hours, plus 1½ hours’ chilling
Read community notes

Pumpkin pie made with canned pumpkin is all well and good, but pumpkin pie made with fresh butternut squash purée is even better. Thin-skinned and easy to cut, butternut squash turns soft and velvety if you roast it, and a quick whirl in the food processor or a blender quickly reduces to it to a luscious purée. Here we’ve kept the seasonings on the light side to best showcase the character of the squash. But feel free to amp up the cinnamon and ginger if you like a spicier slice. The brandy is optional, and if you’d rather not use it, you can leave it out or substitute another spirit; bourbon is excellent. (Don't let making your own pie crust intimidate you: our pie guide has everything you need to know.)

Featured in: The Trick to Great Pumpkin Pie

Learn: How to Make a Pie Crust

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Yield:8 servings

    For the Crust

    • cups all-purpose flour (150 grams)
    • ¼teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 10tablespoons (141 grams) unsalted butter (1¼ sticks), preferably a high-fat, European style, chilled and cubed
    • 2 to 4tablespoons ice water, as needed

    For the Filling

    • cups squash or pumpkin purée (see note)
    • 3large eggs
    • 1cup heavy cream
    • ¾cup dark brown sugar (160 grams)
    • 2tablespoons brandy
    • 2teaspoons ground ginger (4 grams)
    • teaspoons ground cinnamon (3 grams)
    • ½teaspoon kosher salt (3 grams)
    • ¼teaspoon grated nutmeg
    • Pinch ground clove

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

430 calories; 27 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 1 gram trans fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 22 grams sugars; 6 grams protein; 267 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Brandied Pumpkin Pie Recipe (2)


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  1. Step


    Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms chickpea-size pieces. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet. On a lightly floured surface, gather the dough into a ball. Flatten into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork, then chill crust for 30 minutes.

  3. Step


    While the dough chills, heat oven to 375 degrees. Line chilled crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes more. Cool on rack until needed.

  4. Step


    Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, eggs, cream, dark brown sugar, brandy, ginger, cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, the nutmeg and clove. Pour mixture into the cooled pie shell. Transfer pie to a large baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden and center jiggles just slightly when shaken, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely before serving.


  • To make butternut squash purée, peel, halve and seed a 2½ to 3-pound squash and cut flesh into 1½-inch chunks. Coat with melted butter or oil and roast at 400 degrees, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool, then purée in a food processor.



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Cooking Notes


Here's why you follow Melissa's directions to peel then cut the squash in pieces and roast: it concentrates the flavor and dries up a lot of the watery juices. I roasted with the skin on, then had to reduce the pulp on the stovetop and pick out pieces of skin because the skin was so thin that it came right off with the squash.


It's far easier to cut the squash in half, roast it, then scoop out the flesh.


Delicious!Added cardamom, extra ginger and nutmeg.

Baked left over filling in little ramekin dishes in a water bath at the same temperature- I actually loved this more than the pie with crust .
Tips for problem of retraction of the sides of the crust from the Food52 website- freeze the crust well before blind baking. I baked the crust upside down with a pie tin holding down the inside of the pie crust ( ie pie tin-crust-pie tin) for 20 mins then baked upright with top pie tin off for 5-7 mins.

Mike A.

Great recipe! I bought a pint of cream and used the leftover cup to make maple-bourbon whipped cream to top off the pie.

Maple-Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. maple syrup (grade A dark or grade B)
1/2 tbsp. bourbon
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Whip 1-2 min over ice bath.


Last year I made three pies; butternut squash, fresh "sugar" pumpkin (Baby Pam variety), and canned pumpkin. The unanimous favorite was the squash, followed by the canned pumpkin.


This pie got rave reviews at our Thanksgiving! I also found that the crust and pie itself took longer than the suggested times to bake. I subbed canned pumpkin purée and followed a Cook's Illustrated tip to simmer the sugar, pumpkin, and spices before combining with the milk, eggs and bourbon; this step helps drive off water from the pumpkin and bloom the spices to intensify the flavor.

Kathleen Stark

I grate fresh ginger instead of power, but otherwise follow this recipe. Yum. The fresh ginger is really a great discovery and I wish some of you would try it.

Shelley Dreyer-Green

A couple of tips on these very useful tips:
1) Omit crust and bake pumpkin filling in buttered ramekins. I've done this for years with extra filling, which I bake with the pie; it cooks faster, of course.
2) I prefer a toothpick rather than a knife for testing doneness as it's less likely to open a crack in your filling.


One suggestion to save energy is, instead of softening the pumpkin in a baking sheet in the oven, I steam the cut up pumpkin chunks in a pot with a steamer insert. It takes 10+ minutes only. Steaming is so much more environmental than using the oven.


I have several recipes that call for booze (i.e. vodka pasta sauce) Go to a real liquor store and buy the teeny bottles with only an ounce or so in them. Much cheaper & no waste!


Can anyone comment on whether skipping the brandy makes a big difference? I really don't want to buy a whole bottle of brandy because I think it would take me years to use it up.


The filling was delicious (I used canned organic pumpkin). BUT, this is the first time I ever screwed up a pie crust. I followed the directions to a T, but the sides of the crust slouched down during the pre-bake. I think 10 tbsp of butter in the crust is two tbsp too many. Every crust recipe I've ever made calls for one stick, and they always come out perfectly.


A pound of butter has 32 tablespoons.
A pound of butter has four 1/4 pound "sticks".
A "stick" of butter has eight tablespoons.
According to the butter package a tablespoon of butter weighs 14 grams.
10 tablespoons of butter would be one "stick" plus a quarter of another "stick" of butter. Remember that a "stick" of butter has 8 tablespoons of butter.

Kathi Hellerbach, Berlin Germany.

One way of avoiding a soggy crust...Make a Pudding. Bake the Filling without the crust in a water-bath.


I'll have to try this--but my addition to pumpkin pie is applejack (apple brandy). Family tradition.


Good recipe, but if you’re giving infinitesimal gram measurements for the spices why not do the same for the pumpkin, rather than cups? It’s 340 grams. You’re welcome!


You can sub bourbon for brandy, use more ginger and nutmeg. Cook for 1hr. And 15min


This was my first pumpkin pie and it was stellar. Great recipe.


This pie filling is a silky, complex, beautiful, "adult" rendition of the typical pumpkin pie. I reduced the sugar to a heaping half a cup, and used a healthy splash of cognac instead of regular brandy (probably 4 or 5 tbsps in all), which only made it more sophisticated. The flavor is more nuanced and the cognac flavor more pronounced the day after, so I definitely recommend making a day ahead. I can't speak for the crust because I used a different recipe but the filling is 5 stars for me.


Tried Cooks I’ll tip by another reader to simmer pumpkin, sugar and spices to reduce water from the pumpkin, before adding eggs, cream etc.


I always roast a couple of sugar pumpkins, puree the pumpkin in the food processor, then freeze it in 1 and 2 cup bags for curries, chili and pies. It's much more flavorful than canned pumpkin. I like butternut squash, but then it's not a "pumpkin" pie!First time making this recipe, and we loved it. I didn't have brandy, so I substituted honey bourbon (which is very sweet) and cut back on the brown sugar a couple of tablespoons. We loved the extra ginger--next time I'll use fresh.


The filling was delicious, but the crust was heavy and hard to work with when rolling. I followed the instructions to a T, and the bottom still turned out soggy. I’ll use my regular crust recipe in the future.


Add a little molasses, used bourbon and fresh ginger. Very good. Used risk from cooks illustrated.


My pie was excellent. I used butternut squash and prepped/cooked it exactly the way Melissa does in the video-super easy. I made the pie crust dough and roasted the squash the day before I made the pie. My pie crust took 10 minutes longer to pre-bake than the recipe instructions, and my pie took 1 hour, 15 minutes to completely bake, but it was perfect. I used Bulleit Bourbon instead of brandy because that's what I had and it was delicious. This is a keeper recipe.


I found this a little over spiced. I’d use a bit less ground ginger. Was a little under baked at 60 min in my oven. Next time would try adding another 5-10 min. (FYI I accidentally used half and half instead of heavy cream. Filling was still very rich, but I wonder if the extra fat would have helped balance out the spice.)


We really loved this recipe. We followed the recipe exactly except for using canned pumpkin and a store-bought pie crust. We thought the brandy and spices we perfect for us and had nice depth of flavor. I will definitely make it again, though next time I will try it with a walnut crust


This pumpkin pie was best we've ever made. Complex flavors, not your everyday pie. To make it easy, we used canned organic pumpkin.


Amazing pie. Used roasted butternut puree. Crust shrinks lots so be sure to leave a big overhang. Even with freezing the crust before baking, it kind of melted during the pre-bake. Next time I think I'll stick with a 1/2 c of butter.


I made the squash puree but steamed it instead of roasting and it came out great! Had extra squash and saving it to mash as a turkey side tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!


I like this pie a lot - have made a few times. Strongly suggest putting the pie shell on a pizza pan for the pre-baking stage. The butter leaches out and burns on the floor of the oven (smoke alarm level). Also, when pulling it from the oven after 20 minutes to remove the foil, the fragile crust disintegrated slightly where I handled it which would not have happened if I could have grabbed the pizza pan instead of the pie plate.

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Brandied Pumpkin Pie Recipe (2024)
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