Give everyone’s favorite fall dessert an extra luscious touch with this divine maple-bourbon pumpkin pie! With the rich maple syrup and sweet bourbon, this silky, luscious pie filling shows off a deep flavor that pairs perfectly with those classic pumpkin spices. After one bite, you’ll want to put this pie on your dessert table every Thanksgiving.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Upgrade a classic fall dessert: You might think a classic pumpkin pie can’t get any more perfect. But trust me — bourbon makes everything better. And then that real maple syrup adds another layer of complexity that sugar alone can’t match.
Simple and quick: I truly believe pumpkin pie is one of the easiest desserts to make. If you can stir, you can make pumpkin pie. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to whip together the pumpkin filling.
Great for make-ahead preparation: For a perfectly chilled pie, you want to make this recipe in advance to give it refrigeration time. That means you won’t be running around at the last minute trying to take care of Thanksgiving dessert.
Pumpkin purée: Double check to ensure you get real pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling. The two are entirely different products and do not work interchangeably.
Bourbon: Don’t feel like you need to get the most expensive bourbon. That should be reserved for sipping on its own. I like to use a mid-range bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, Buffalo Trace or Elijah Craig.
Maple syrup: We want pure maple syrup here, not pancake syrup. I specifically use grade A instead of grade B maple syrup for its perfect balance of richness and sweetness.
Evaporated milk: Don’t substitute regular milk for evaporated milk, which has been heated to remove most of the water content. This results in a creamier, richer final product than regular milk. You can find this in the baking section of the grocery store, typically near the pumpkin purée.
Pumpkin pie spice: This includes a combination of ground cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, ground ginger and ground cloves.
Pie dough: You’re welcome to use a frozen pie shell, frozen pie dough or homemade pie dough. If you plan to make a homemade pie crust, I especially love this vodka pie dough. The vodka doesn’t add any flavor, but it makes for an ultra flaky texture. Plus, the dough is easier to handle than any other recipe I’ve tried.
Step 1: We start by mixing together the white sugar with the spices in a small bowl (photo 1). By first making these ingredients into one cohesive mixture, they blend more easily into the pie filling.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, we stir together the sugar and spices with the eggs and pumpkin pureé with a wooden spoon like so (photo 2).
Step 3: Now we stir the evaporated milk, maple syrup, bourbon and vanilla extract into the pumpkin mixture until it’s nice and smooth (photos 3 and 4).
Step 4: With our pumpkin pie filling ready, we pour it into a 9-inch pie plate (photo 5) and bake. For our first phase of baking, we place the pie in a 425-degree F oven for 15 minutes. After that, we turn the oven to 350 degrees F and continue baking until finished.
Note: Depending on the type of pie dough you use, you may need to first blind bake it in a pie plate with pie weights or dried beans. Or if you opt for a pre-baked pie shell, many of those call for pricking the bottom with a fork before filling. Follow the directions specified for the type of pie dough or shell you choose.
Those four easy steps are all it takes to make the best pumpkin pie you’ve ever had. Serve it with some whipped cream, and you’re in for one heavenly slice of pie.
Tip: If you want to get fancy with your whipped cream, try my maple whipped cream that I serve with my apple shortcakes.
Insert a toothpick in the center of the pie, and it’s done if it comes out clean. You’ll notice the side will puff up, and the center will be jiggly but not sloshy. I like to use pot holders to tap the side of the pie plate to test this. Expect the baking to take about 40-50 minutes.
After we let the pie cool on a wire rack for an hour, we cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap without touching the center of the filling and keep it in the refrigerator. The pie should last about three to four days.
Yes, you can use your own homemade pumpkin purée rather than canned pumpkin if you prefer. I do find that pies made from homemade pumpkin purée aren’t quite as silky in texture, but that’s a personal preference. If you want to make your own, look for pumpkins labeled “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins.”
Keep in mind that homemade purée can be wetter. If you go this route, you might need to tinker with the baking time.
A cracked pumpkin pie is a sign of overbaking, so keep an eye on the baking time. If any cracks form, don’t worry. As long as you didn’t excessively overbake the pie, it should still taste delicious, and a little whipped cream can cover any imperfections.
We just use a little bourbon to give us a noticeable flavor, but it’s certainly not like taking a big swig from the bottle. After baking, the bourbon flavor mellows, leaving you with nice bourbon undertones for a more complex flavor.
Substitute individual spices for a pumpkin spice blend: If you prefer to use a spice blend you have on hand, you can substitute the individual spices for 2 ¾ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
Use fresh spices: Spices start to lose their potency after about six months. Make sure you keep your spice cabinet up to date for the most flavorful pie filling.
Let the eggs sit at room temperature: Cold eggs don’t blend as well as room-temperature eggs. Simply leave the eggs on the countertop for 30 minutes before mixing.
Cover the pie edge if necessary: If the pie crust starts to brown too quickly, you can lightly cover the edge with foil.
Check the pie early if your oven runs hot: This helps us avoid those cracks. All ovens are different, so a hot oven might finish baking the pie in 35-38 minutes instead of 40-50 minutes.
You’ll love a bourbon barrel-aged barley wine with this holiday pie. Barley wines are big beers that come with residual sweetness to make them perfect with dessert. They also show off a caramel-like malt that’s wonderful with those warm spices and pumpkin flavor.
For a lovely wine pairing, try a tawny port. You’ll love how those dried fruit and toffee notes beautifully match the maple, bourbon and spice medley.
Or maybe you’d like a cocktail. You won’t find a more perfect drink to go with this pie than my maple bourbon sour.
For the ultimate sweet treat for your Thanksgiving dinner, I hope you try this maple-bourbon pumpkin pie recipe. You'll never go back to plain pumpkin pie again, and it's sure to make the holiday season more delicious.
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Maple-Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
- Mixing bowl
- 9-inch deep-dish pie plate
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg preferably freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 beaten eggs room temperature
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- ½ cup pure maple syrup preferably grade A
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Unbaked deep-dish pie dough
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Stir together the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, stir together the sugar-spice mixture, eggs and pumpkin purée until it becomes one cohesive mixture.
- Stir in the evaporated milk, maple syrup, bourbon and vanilla extract.
- Pour the pumpkin pie batter into a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish lined with the pie dough or a prepared pie shell (see notes). Bake for 15 minutes. Turn heat to 350 degrees F and bake until the pie is fully cooked, about 40-45 minutes. The pie is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The side will also puff up and the center is jiggly but not sloshing. Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for an hour and then refrigerate for at least four hours to chill. Enjoy!
- Depending on the type of pie dough you use, you may need to first blind bake it in a pie plate with pie weights or dried beans. Or if you opt for a pre-baked pie shell, many of those call for pricking the bottom with a fork before filling. Follow the directions specified for the type of pie dough or shell you choose.
- Cover the pie with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator. It should last three to four days.
- If you prefer to use a spice blend you have on hand, you can substitute the individual spices for 2 ¾ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
- Spices start to lose their potency after about six months. Make sure you keep your spice cabinet up to date for the most flavorful pie filling.
- If the pie crust starts to brown too quickly, you can lightly cover the edge with foil.
- Check the pie early if your oven runs hot. This helps us avoid those cracks. All ovens are different, so a hot oven might finish baking the pie in 35-38 minutes instead of 40-50 minutes.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.