Pam Anderson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Our Favorite Pumpkin Pie – the correct Pam Anderson’s recipe

This pie by Pam Anderson (no not THAT Pam Anderson - is just gorgeous. Silky, beautiful and a fantastic blend of spices.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’m reposting with new photos! Years ago, my son & I were in a pretty severe accident – my then 14 year old daughter made a good portion of the Thanksgiving dinner on her own, while I talked her through – from my bed. She’s always had a great talent for cooking.

Pam Anderson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Pam Anderson’s Perfect Pumpkin Pie

A moment of confusion must have set in…when we sat down to eat the pie, one after another of us discovered a clove – a burst of flavor – as we ate. I told her to put 1/4 teaspoon of clove in the pie – she didn’t realize I meant ground! Of course, my poor daughter has suffered endless jokes about the pie ever since, all with mostly good grace.

So this isn’t that pie, nor even the standard Libby’s that I grew up with – this is a masterpiece of a pie reworked by Pam Anderson (note: there are some recipes out there for this pie on the internet that are incorrect!) that’s become our favorite recipe.

Pam Anderson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Pam Anderson Pumpkin Pie

Just a bit more work, this is a pie that solves everything that you don’t like about pumpkin pie. A gorgeous flavor, not over spiced, it lets the pumpkin flavor shine through, a beautiful, almost fluffy custard and a method that ensures the crust that stands up to the silky filling.

Here’s the recipe and a few (well a lot) of things to know to make a successful go of it. While I’ve never made the mistake my daughter did, over my many years of pumpkin pie making I’ve fallen into one pitfall or another, many times. You won’t with this pie and these hints! I know this will work well for you and I hope you have the best Holiday, ever!

Pam Anderson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Pam Anderson Pumpkin Pie

Pam Anderson's Silky Pumpkin Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 1 can (15 ounces) 100% pure pumpkin, not “pumpkin pie filling”
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
  • 1 cup canned evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 9-inch pie shell, baked, a deep dish works well
  • Whipped cream for garnish

Prebake pie crust until fully baked as directed in my post on how to Blind Bake a Pie Crust. When done, remove the crust and adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Turn oven down to 300 degrees F from 425 degrees F.

While the pie shell is baking, in a saucepan, heat pumpkin, salt and spices to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Add milks and whisk to combine.

Whisk the eggs and yolks together in a medium bowl to blend, then whisk in the pumpkin mixture, a tablespoon or so at a time at first to gently warm the eggs. After a few tablespoons, continuing to whisk, add the rest of the pumpkin mixture.

Whisk well to form a silky texture; use a spatula to make sure all the filling is lifted from the bottom and edges of bowl. (Some versions of this pie state to use a blender which I’ve found creates a rather unattractive top to the pie.)

As soon as crust is done, pour warm filling into still warm, just from the oven, shell. Bake until a thin-bladed knife inserted about half way from the center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes.

If the crust begins to get too dark, use a pie shield, instructions below to make one. Have it at the ready. Pieces of foil may be just draped over the crust, but what a hassle.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Refrigerate and after cool cover carefully with foil.

from the kitchen of

My notes:

  • Make sure to pour the warm filling into the warm crust, working quickly so that the oven is still warm when filled pie is added.
  • If you’re filling or the pie crust is not hot enough or the oven temperature reduces too much from 425 towards 300 when you add the pie, this may take significantly longer to cook.
  • Instead of measuring out spices and salt, I sometimes use a scant 2 1/2 teaspoons of my pumpkin pie spice. This makes a darker pie with a more “Libby’s” type flavor.
  • I generally bake this in a deep dish pie plate and take care to not build up the crust above the top; if using a standard, it’s a tight fit and I build the crust up over the top; there may still be some left over.
  • I generally use a “pie shield” and place it over the crust at about 17 minutes. If you don’t have one, see instructions, below.
  • You can get an idea of when to test by giving the pie a “jiggle.” There should only be a very faint movement in the very center of the pie while the rest appears quite firm. It will continue to cook after it’s removed from the oven.
  • I prefer to cool this on the counter on a rack to room temperature, then put in the refrigerator uncovered until it reaches refrigerator temperature. Then cover. This reduces the chance cracks, pulling or condensation will form, marring the perfect surface.

Notes from Pam Anderson:

  • This recipe calls for a prebaked pie shell. I prefer my own pie crust, of course but use any crust you like, even frozen. Just be sure it’s baked by the time you have the filling prepared.
  • Don’t let an insipid dessert ruin your feast. Your guests will gush over this dense, intense pie.

To make your own pie shield:

With very little measuring skill, and an interest in being frugal,the easiest method I’ve found is to make the pie shield before any baking is attempted. Simply place a sheet of foil over the pie plate – the foil should hang over about two inches on all sides.

Press it down so the markings from the edges of the pie plate show, then fold over triangles of the foil so that there is a double edge and the edge hangs over the outside of the pie plate by about 1/2 inch and overlaps about a half-inch on the inside. If the original demarkation from the pie plate is not clear, repress.

Using a scissors, cut out the center, making sure to leave the 1/2 inch overhang towards the middle. Straighten the shield out and have ready. It won’t be beautiful, but it will work.

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  • It’s a good idea to think of a use for the almost 1/2 can of evaporated milk and two egg whites left over so they don’t go to waste. They can be frozen.
  • If you’re not using a deep dish there may be a little left over filling – it can be baked in small custard cups along with the pie. They’ll be done much more quickly; you’ll just have to check them frequently. 30 minutes?


I will be sharing this recipe at our very own Throwback Thursday and Fiesta Friday. Our Fiesta Friday co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale and Petra @ Food Eat Love.



39 thoughts on “Our Favorite Pumpkin Pie – the correct Pam Anderson’s recipe

  1. Abby

    I have a question that may sound silly… just warning you…
    You talk about the oven temp not coming down too much from 425,
    I guess I’m missing it …. where does it say to bake the pie at 425 degrees ?? and if I’m raising it from 300 ( after crust comes out )
    it’s going to take a few minutes —right ?
    I really appreciate any help and advise you can give me.
    Thanks, I really am looking forward to trying this yummy pie !

    • Abbey, I’m glad you caught that – pie crust is baked at 425F and since I called for a prebaked crust, with a different link on blind baking the crust, I didn’t note the temp. You’re absolutely right, it wasn’t clear at all. Hope I didn’t mess you (or anyone else) up!

  2. Great story! for years we didn’t find ground cloves here, so we used to just pop five or 6 on the top of the pie and then pick them out when it was cooked….. This sounds amazing. We use the Libby’s recipe ourselves but add nutmeg and all spice. It definitely makes it richer and tastier.

  3. Whoa– that sounds like a memorable Thanksgiving– sorry you had to spend it shouting instructions from your bed! I agree that pumpkin dishes shouldn’t be overspiced! Often you just taste the cinnamon and the delicate pumpkin flavor is lost. This looks beautiful! Hope you have a delicious Thanksgiving with your family/friends –and no accidents along the way! Thanksgiving hugs friend!

  4. How scary Mollie, I am glad you are OK. I bet you look back and always have a lot to be thankful for. That is really funny about your daughter, but it sounds like she pulled off quite a meal! The pumpkin pie looks delicious! Thank you for sharing it with us over at Fiesta Friday! I know lots of folks, including me, are looking for new pumpkin pie recipes 😀

  5. Mmmm, it’s pumpkin pie season! Yours looks wonderful. Too funny about your daughter… I bet that helped make that Thanksgiving the most memorable one ever.

  6. Beautiful seasonal spices for such a decadent pie. I too have never used condensed milk before. Love all your tips re the foil and the crust. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  7. I’m already making two different pies for turkey day, but will keep this in mind when my fam wants some pumpkin pie. I have a silicon pie shield I use, which I won in a cooking contest. I probably would have never bought one on my own since I used a foil shield prior.

  8. I remember the first time I made baked chicken, I was probably 11 or so. The recipe said to bake the chicken at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Well, for some reason I thought that meant I should bake the chicken for one hour PER PIECE. I baked that chicken into oblivion, I think for nearly 5 hours. It was blackened to a crisp- AND I had not used an oven safe pan (I didn’t know to check) so the pan the chicken was in shattered in the oven. What a mess! All great cooks have a few stories like this 🙂

    • I remember the first time I baked cookies (3rd grade) my friend Ruth and I used Baking Soda instead of Baking Powder – the cookies tasted HOT! Everyone ate them, though! Which goes to show, a bad cookie is better than no cookie!

      I’m guessing your Mom wasn’t too mad and was supportive – because you’re still cooking! 🙂

  9. Oh no she put in whole cloves, that must have been a surprise for all. I think the recipe sounds wonderful, never used sweetened condensed milk in pumpkin pie before and it sounds really good to me.

    • Yes! Each bite of pie had it’s own burst of flavor! It still wasn’t too bad, though, and I think we ate it all! Funny thing is, it would be more “frugal” to make a standard pie! I can’t begrudge an extra buck or so for this – it’s really an excellent pie.

      Oh my gosh – your Apricot tart would be so good for Thanksgiving! I still haven’t tried it – but it pops into my head!

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