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A slice of pumpkin chess pie topped with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Chess Pie

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  • Author: Cindy Gibbs
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: pie
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American


This delicious Pumpkin Chess Pie is a cross between a chess and pumpkin pie.  Don’t set your palate up for the taste and texture of a pumpkin pie here.  This is a chess pie with pumpkin and spices added to the mix.  The result is a true chess pie texture, with a delicious combination of both chess and pumpkin pie flavors.


Units Scale
  • 1 single-crust pie pastry for a 9-inch pie plate. Hers’s a good one…Aunt Elsie’s Flaky Pie Crust.
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)*
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Prepare the pastry:  Roll out big enough for about a 1-inch overhang and transfer to the pie dish.  Here”s a good recipe, Aunt Elsie’s Flaky Pie Crust, or use your favorite.  Fold the edges under and crimp or flute as desired. Place the pie shell in the freezer for 30 minutes. 
  3. Remove the pie shell from the freezer and prick the bottom all over with a fork. This keeps the crust from puffing up in the oven. Crumple up a large piece of parchment paper, unfold it, and line the pastry with it. Fill the pastry with either pie weights or dried beans.  I use beans.  You can save and reuse them over and over. 
  4. Partially pre-bake the pie shell: Bake at 450 degrees on a bottom oven rack for about 12 minutes.  Remove the paper and pie weights and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the crust is dried out. I like to see the top just slightly have some color change.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, mix the butter on medium-high speed until it’s light and creamy, about 45 seconds.  Add the sugar and cornmeal and mix on medium-high speed until all ingredients are combined,  about 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix for an additional 30 seconds.  Add the pumpkin, half & half, eggs, vanilla, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  Mix until well combined.
  6. Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell.  Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil, to prevent over-browning.  Carefully place the pie on the bottom oven rack.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake the pie for approximately 40 minutes and remove the foil from around the edges.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  The pie should not be jiggly when you gently shake it.  If you see cracks appearing on top, you’ve over baked it.
  7. Transfer pie to a cooling rack and allow it to cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate until chilled and wrap securely.  Don’t refrigerate the pie warm or it will sweat, causing condensation on top of the pie.


  • *Make sure you use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.  Pumpkin pie filling already has the spices added in.  Also, if you choose to use homemade pumpkin puree, make sure you drain it good before using it.
  • **  Many custard type pies call for partially pre-baking the pie crust.  If you don’t the pie shell will usually not be baked through when the pie is done, resulting in a doughy pie crust.  Using a glass pie dish and the bottom oven rack, helps the pastry to bake evenly and quicker.  I sometimes also brush my pastry with egg white before pre-baking it.  This seals the crust from the pie filling, and custard pie fillings can also result in a soggy crust.