Preview: This Layered Pumpkin Custard Pie is a delicate pumpkin pie recipe that bakes into distinct layers like magic. Requires only 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree.
If you can’t convince yourself to like pumpkin pie, you must try my Grandma’s Magic Pumpkin Pie. Three layers of goodness, four if your count the crust, will keep you coming back for more.
Layers starting from the top down:
- A soft and airy golden brown layer on top protects the layers underneath and keeps them a secret until the pie is opened.
- The second and usually largest layer is a delicate and mildly flavored custard-like affair. I love to use my fork to play with this layer.
- The third layer is thin. Only a couple of tablespoons of canned pumpkin gives this pie the pumpkin flavor (or use butternut squash for a milder taste).
- The fourth layer is the crust–an important component of any pie in my book. My favorite recipe is this flaky pie-crust recipe made with yogurt.
Grandma made this pie every year. We call it “Grandpa’s Favorite Pumpkin Pie.” Eating this pie may be my most-anticipated holiday tradition.
Not sure why, but…
At Thanksgiving, we always have two kinds of pumpkin pie.
RELATED POST: Pumpkin Pie Mini-Tarts
One is the traditional recipe on the back of Libby’s can of pumpkin and the other is my grandma’s magical Layered Custard Pumpkin Pie. Only a couple of spoonfuls of pumpkin are required.
FAQ about this layered Pumpkin Pie recipe:
Is this recipe a sponge pie?
It is. Technically, a sponge pie is a common name for a custard pie that separates into clearly defined layers.
Lemon sponge pies seem to be the most commonly known variety. We prefer this recipe made with pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree.
What can I substitute for the pumpkin?
This pie is known as “squash pie” in our family because of my tendency to substitute mashed butternut squash for the pumpkin. (It’s a little milder.) Although guests are sometimes put off by the name, it is full of memories and good flavors in our family, so we would rather not share anyway.
What can I do with leftover pumpkin puree?
Only 2-3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree are required. If you just made pumpkin muffins or cake and don’t know what to do with the leftover pumpkin, this is it.
On the other hand, if you just opened a can of pumpkin and now have lots of pumpkin puree leftover, check out this post about Three Things To Do with Less than 1/4 cup of Pumpkin.
Can I use any kind of milk in this pie?
Yes. I used to always make it with skim milk. BUT. To no one’s surprise, it’s much better when made with 2% or whole milk.
Do I have to pre-bake the crust?
My grandma never pre-baked the crust. However, most custard pies are better (crispier and flakier) when the crust has been partially baked beforehand. This recipe for A Flaky Pie Crust Made with Greek Yogurt is my favorite.
How to make a “Layered Pumpkin Custard Pie:”
More recipes for holiday pies:
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Hope to see you again soon!
p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.
Updated April 2020.