Pumpkin Crumb Pie

Making Butter Crumbs

Making Butter Crumbs

I’m going to let you in on a secret… I’ve never been much of a fan of Pumpkin pie. I’ve found it to be dry (needs whipped cream), kind of flat - no zing… and often just kind of drab looking. Once I opened my pie shop I HAD to make pumpkin pie and I had to become a fan so I could actually sell it with the confidence of knowing it was actually a really good pie.

I came up with a few twists that for me turned the flat tasting, drap looking, no zing pie into something I could not only sell with confidence, I could eat with gusto.

My secrets are two:

1 - I add lemon zest to the pie - since lemon is like the salt of the fruit / sweet world, I thought why not and voila, it did what I wanted and picked up the earthy flavor of the pumpkin and made it bright and zesty.

2 - My next secret added two elements to the pie - A crumb topping, turned the drab flat looking pie into one that not only had texture, it looks so darn pretty AND it also added a warm salty cinnamon-y taste to dull tasting pumpkin.

So having said all that, my two recipes are below - one for Pumpkin pie and one for Butter crumbs.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Pumpkin Crumb Pie                                                        Makes 1 - 10-inch pie


15 ounces pumpkin puree

½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons lemon zest


1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.   Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well with a whisk to combine. (For best flavor, cover and refrigerate the filling overnight before baking.)  Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pan, gently crumble the crumb topping over the pumpkin mixture and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is set 2" in from the edge. The center should still be wobbly. Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a rack; the center will finish cooking through as the pie sits.

3.   This pie will slice perfectly if served after it has completely cooled to room temperature.

Butter Crumbs                           Makes enough to top 2 -  10-inch pies


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ stick unsalted butter, (softened but still firm)


1.    Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Add butter into dry mixture and mix on slowly until only small chunks of butter remain and crumbs are soft and moist.  Set aside.

Cheryl PerryComment