Pumpkin pie is always on my menu during the fall. The custard pie, loaded with pumpkin, brown sugar and spices, tastes like the holidays in each and every bite. I am always up for a new variation on pumpkin pie, and this Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie is a simple twist on a classic that is well worth making.
Sour cream has a creamy texture and a delightful tanginess that make it a great addition to all kinds of cakes and cookies. Sour cream helps to create a tender crumb and contrasts well with the sweetness of other ingredients that might be in a recipe. In this recipe, the sour cream helps make the filling of the pumpkin pie even more velvety than usual and brings a very subtle tang to the mixture of spices and brown sugar. The finished pie feels both richer and smoother than pumpkin pie, but it is still light and custardy (and doesn’t venture into cheesecake territory.
Substituting sour cream into a pie filling in place of other dairy – typically milk or sweetened condensed milk are featured in pumpkin pie recipes – may not seem like a big change, but it makes an impact and is a nice change of pace for pumpkin pie fans. It’s also a great way to use up some leftover sour cream, if you happen to have a container already open in your fridge.
I love a homemade graham cracker crust for this pie recipe, as it really adds a nice additional flavor to the pie. Store-bought crusts can be used, but I find that they are often a bit smaller/shallower than homemade pie crusts. If you’re using a store-bought crust, you may have some filling leftover. You shouldn’t fill the crust to the point it overflows, simply because the finished pie won’t look nearly as pretty. You can turn that into mini pumpkin pies or other desserts, instead.
I garnished my pie with a little dollop of lightly sweetened sour cream (a few tablespoons of sour cream and a few tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar, no exact recipe), which went very well with the pie. Whipped cream will work, too, of course. And feel free to substitute pumpkin pie spice for the spice mixture that I used in the pie filling.
Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree)
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup sour cream
9-inch graham cracker crust
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt until smooth. Whisk in milk. Pour mixture through a fine strainer and into the prepared pie shell.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400F. Lower oven temperature to 350F and, without opening the oven door, bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, until pie is set and jiggles only slightly when pan is gently tapped.
Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Pie can be served at room temperature or chilled.