Gallery: Step-by-Step: How to Make a Foolproof Pumpkin Pie

Extra Pumpkin-y Pie
Extra Pumpkin-y Pie

The secret to our Extra Smooth Pumpkin Pie is cream cheese in the custard base, which helps it stay smooth while adding extra flavor.

Step 1: Combine Sugar and Spices
Step 1: Combine Sugar and Spices

Combine 6 ounces of granulated sugar (that's about 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons), 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse it a few times to mix.

Step 2: Add Cream Cheese
Step 2: Add Cream Cheese

Add 8 ounces of room-temperature cream cheese to the food processor and pulse until a homogenous paste is formed.

Step 3: Add Pumpkin
Step 3: Add Pumpkin

Add 15 ounces of canned or homemade pumpkin purée, along with 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, and process for a full 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and repeat until the mixture is completely smooth.

Step 4: Add Eggs
Step 4: Add Eggs

Add 3 eggs and process until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Smooth Purée
Smooth Purée

Your purée should be quite smooth, with a few specks here and there from the spices. If you want it even smoother, press the purée through a fine-mesh strainer or a chinois using the back of a ladle.

Step 5: Blind-Bake Pie Crust
Step 5: Blind-Bake Pie Crust

Blind-bake a pie crust and allow it to cool completely. (See our step-by-step guide to homemade pie crust and our guide to blind baking.) Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position, place a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on top of it, and heat the oven to 350°F.

Step 6: Add Filling
Step 6: Add Filling

Pour the filling into the baked and cooled pie shell, then smooth the top over with a rubber spatula.

Step 7: Remove Air Bubbles
Step 7: Remove Air Bubbles

Rap the pie firmly against the counter a few times in order to release any air bubbles trapped in the filling.

Step 8: Bake
Step 8: Bake

Place the pie on the preheated baking sheet in the oven and bake until the center is slightly puffed and jiggles just a bit when you shake it, 30 to 35 minutes (rotate the pie halfway through baking). Allow the pie to cool at room temperature for at least an hour before serving, or loosely cover and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Step 9: Serve
Step 9: Serve

Slice the pie and serve. This pie is rich and flavorful enough to be served as is on its own, though a little whipped cream can't hurt.