Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie

© 2012

Whew!!!! It’s over. We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and are now relaxing. We are. Thanksgiving is a lot of work. Because it was Thanksgiving, Baby Lady & I have been on a cooking spree for the last 6 days. In addition to normal meals, we made 4 gallons of stock (beef and turkey), a consommé, smoked 1 turkey and made a turkey roll with the other, made zucchini bread, yeast rolls, green bean casserole, stuffed yellow squash, braised pearl onions, giblet gravy with brandy, spiced cranberry jelly and this sour cream pumpkin pie. Before you got full on all the other dishes we thought we would feed you this dessert first. 🙂

This is a wonderful dessert whether it is Thanksgiving or any other time. I found this recipe years ago to keep my kids happy. You see, I am not a real fan of pumpkin pie or sweet potato casserole. They are too dense and icky sweet for my tastes. The kids, however, had to have their pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. It was an absolute must and one year when I decided not to make a pumpkin pie you would have thought I shot Santa Claus. 😮 So, I sat down and searched through a myriad of cookbooks to find a pumpkin pie that would be different yet good and the kids would like. After all, it’s a vegetable and you have to feed the kids vegetables, right? I found this recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook, Volume II (a Christmas present from my older brother). I have been fixing this pie for the last 15+ years. It’s downright delicious. The addition of the egg whites make this very delicate and light. The sour cream provides a little bite and depth of flavor so that it isn’t overly sweet. It is the perfect ending to the food laden, over eating extravaganza called the Thanksgiving meal. While it is a little late for this year, you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to give it a try. While fresh pumpkins are still available give this recipe a try. It will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.


For the Pie Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted, frozen, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6+ Tbsp ice water

For the Custard

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (as opposed to canned pumpkin puree), recipe found here
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream, split
  • 3 eggs (large), separated yolks and whites
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt


For the Pie Dough

You have to forgive us for the lack of step by step pictures because we were really busy.

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles medium fine meal.

Dump the mix onto a work surface. We use our granite countertops. Form a well and add ice water mix together until it holds together. Be careful at this stage because too much water will make the crust tough.

Using the heel of your hand, smoosh the dough into the countertop a few times. This will form the butter layers between the flour which will help the resulting crust be flaky. Form the dough mixture into two disks and do not over-knead. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. This enables the glutens to relax to give you a nice flaky, tender crust.

Remove one disk from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; roughly 1/8 of an inch thick. Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.

Poke holes with a fork in the bottom of the pie shell. Place a parchment round on top of the shell and fill with dried beans or pie weights.

Place in a 350 F oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

© 2012

Carefully remove parchment paper and set aside.

For the Custard

Add pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup sour cream, the beaten yolks from the 3 large eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt to a mixing bowl.

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Stir to incorporate fully.

Heat one cup of sour cream in a double boiler. When hot, add the pumpkin puree mixture to the double boiler and cook, stirring constantly so as not to scramble the eggs until the custard has thickened. Pour the custard into a large mixing bowl and allow the custard to cool.

When cool, beat the 3 egg whites to soft peaks. Gently, fold the egg whites into the custard.

© 2012

Pour custard into the lightly baked pie shell.

© 2012

Place in a preheated 350 F oven and bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

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Remove from oven and allow to cool. Slice into 8 slices (6 if you want bigger slices and don’t want to share), top with Chantilly, serve & enjoy! 😀

© 2012

10 thoughts on “Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie”

  1. With all the wonderful posts on delicious food suggestions, I’m sure that your Thanksgiving was wonderful. Now that the day has passed you can just enjoy a turkey sandwich. Sorry the Cowboys didn’t win and what is it with the Longhorns and Aggies not playing on Thanksgiving day?

    1. Hi, Karen. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. As for UT vs. A&M, A&M has always been the unloved stepchild to UT. UT owned the Southwest Conference and the Big 12. A&M got jealous and decided to take it’s ball and go play in the SEC. It’s probably a good deal for them money-wise but I really don’t see that they will do any better in the SEC than in the Big 12. Sadly, the age old rivalry (one of the oldest, longstanding annual football games) came to a close. I have watched that game every year since I was a young child (50 years, more or less) and it was sad not to see it this year. Oh, well. One thing about life is that things always change and you either accept the change and move on or it will roll right over you and crush you in the process. In the meantime, I am working on a smoked turkey salad. I’m sure it will be a leftover post somewhere along the way. 🙂

  2. WOW! Sounds like you cooked a lot of delicious dishes! I am not particularly excited about regular pumpkin pie either, that’s why I make mine with mascarpone. Next time I will try beating the egg whites as well. Thanks for the tip 😉

    1. We overcooked AND overate. I still have duck sausage to make. 😮 At some point we have to go back on our diet. The kids will be here for Christmas and the current plan is a suckling pig. I may become a vegan the first of the year so I can fit back into my clothes. 😉 I will keep the mascarpone in mind the next time I do a pumpkin pie.

  3. Hi Richard, your recipe arrived while I was shopping for ingredients for my first pumpkin pie (not only the first I’ve ever made, but also the first I’ve ever eaten). I decided I wanted to make a ‘traditional’ more simpe pie first, so I’ll leave your recipe for my 2nd. Your recipe has less spices (probably a good idea as the pumpkin flavor was crowded out in mine), and more sugar that is however compensated for by the sour cream. I did use your method for making pumpkin puree, which was great!

    1. Thanks, Stefan. I’m interested to see your traditional pumpkin pie. My kids prefer the traditional pumpkin pie, as do most of my friends. I guess it’s a comfort thing inasmuch as they grew up eating “traditional” pumpkin pie. I will lay you odds that more than one ate “squash pie,” as opposed to pumpkin pie, and 1) never knew; and 2) could not discern the difference. 😉 If you want to try something similar, try a sweet potato pie. It’s a very popular pie in the Deep South and many eat that instead of pumpkin pie. They are very similar but there is a distinct taste difference. Paul Prudhomme (of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen) does a Sweet Potato Pecan Pie that is very good. I’m sure you can find that recipe online, if you are interested.

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