Pumpkin Streusel Pie

  • Serves: Serves 8
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Variation: Libby's Classic Pumpkin Pie and Variations

Photos by Linda Brown, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips
This is the famous Libby's Classic Pumpkin Pie recipe, with my additions for a creamier filling! The buttery streusel on top is crunchy and makes a great counterpoint to the flaky crust and flavorful and silky-smooth filling.  


QUESTION: I would like to make Pumpkin pies in advance and freeze them. Is this possible?
SARAH SAYS: It's not a good idea to freeze a pumpkin pie; the quality of a freshly baked homemade pumpkin pie is usually higher than a frozen one -- Freeze the pumpkin pie filling separately for up to one month. Defrost the pumpkin filling, then pour it into the frozen crust (no need to thaw) and bake as usual.

I added and extra egg yolk and cornstarch to the recipe to help prevent the gritty texture that some have reported occurring with pumpkin pie fillings.

Streusel Topping:
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but not melted
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts; chop walnuts and then, measure
4 teaspoons grated orange peel or, 1/4 teaspoon orange-flavored candy oil or 1 teaspoon orange extract

Pumpkin Pie Crust and Filling:
1 recipe unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell from Sarah's Perfect Pie Dough
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can (15 oz.) or 1 3/4 cups LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin; do not use Pumpkin Pie filling
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

NOTES: Substitute 1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, ginger and cloves

Make the Streusel Topping:
1. Have all the ingredients ready. The butter should be softened, but not melted.

2. Combine the brown sugar, butter, and flour. Add the chopped walnuts and grated orange peel.

3. Use your fingertips to make sure the topping mixture is well-combined. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
SARAH SAYS: You can make this mixture a day in advance and refrigerate.

Make the pumpkin pie:
1. Position an oven shelf in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees F.

2. Beat eggs and egg yolk lightly in large bowl until just combined - do not whisk together to produce a lot of air bubbles.

3. Stir in the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.

4. Stir in the pumpkin - do not whip the ingredients together. You do not want to beat air into the ingredients.

Make sure the ingredients are well-combined.

5. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Use a rubber spatula to finish combining the ingredients.

6. Not shown in the photo. Take care not to overfill the pie shell which causes spillovers and cracking.

To do, I pour the pumpkin pie ingredients into a pitcher or ladle them right from the mixing bowl into the pie shell.
I place pie shell on a foil-lined baking sheet, pull out the oven shelf part way and place them on the oven shelf. I then pour the filling into the shell and push the shelf back into the oven.

7. Bake pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.

Apply the streusel topping to partially baked pie:
1. Remove pie from oven (after it has baked for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F and then baked for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees F) and drop the cold streusel mixture over its surface while the pie is still hot.
Do NOT turn off the oven.

Make sure topping is evenly scattered all over, keeping away from the very edge of the crust.

2. Return pie to the 350 degree F oven to finish baking, about 5 to 10 minutes.

3. The pie is done when the streusel topping has just browned.

4. Cool the baked pie thoroughly (takes about 2 hours) on a wire cake rack. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 - 4 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the filling to set before serving.

Because all custard pies are HIGHLY PERISHABLE, which includes Pumpkin Pie in the category, store well covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. If you don't want to mar its top, place the pie under an inverted bowl in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Pies don't have a long shelf life; they last a few days in the refrigerator. When in refrigerated storage, sometimes they will "weep" or water will collect in the bottom of the pie.

Do NOT freeze. In theory, baked pumpkin pies can be frozen for 1 - 2 months and then thawed in the refrigerator. But, I have found that the quality of a freshly baked homemade pumpkin pie is usually higher than a frozen one. Whenever I have frozen a baked pumpkin pie, I have never liked the results -- custard pies, which include pumpkin pies, can get watery after thawing, ruining the filling and the crust. With pumpkin pies, the texture of the filling suffers -- it loses its custard-like and delicate texture and becomes more dense and sort-of heavy and unappealing.

SARAH SAYS: If you purchase an unrefrigerated pumpkin pie, refrigerate it when you get to your destination. Keep it refrigerated.

Libby's Classic Pie and Variations

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