Last two pieces by trekkyandy, on FlickrMy friend Paul, who cooks professionally at a local hotel, is always on the hunt for recipes that put a tasty twist on the traditional.

Last year, at Thanksgiving, he made an amazing pumpkin pie — we’ve been having a lot of fun trying to figure out how to make it even better, ever since.

What’s the result when two food-obsessed minds are put to work on one recipe?

A rich and delicious pumpkin pie for a special holiday dinner, that’s what!

Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie

Make (or buy) a single pie shell. Cook it as usual, and set it aside to cool while you prepare the pumpkin pie filling, as below:


1 ½ cups sour cream (sorry, but no — the low-fat kind won’t do!)
1 ½ cups cooked pumpkin (solid-pack canned, or homemade with liquid drained off)
3 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg (best if fresh-grated from a whole nutmeg)
¼ ground ginger (or a pinch more, if you like ginger as much as I do!)
¼ salt


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Gently heat 1 cup of the sour cream in the top part of a double boiler (over boiling water in the bottom part, obviously), stirring occasionally.

Whisk together the pumpkin, egg yolks, brown sugar, spices, salt, and the remaining ½ cup of sour cream until it’s combined — then whisk it into the hot sour cream in your double boiler. Continue to cook over simmering water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and reached 170°F. (Paul actually uses a thermometer for this step; but I just “ballpark it” at about 6 or 7 minutes of cooking time.)

Remove from heat and cool quickly — take the top of the double boiler (the pot with your pumpkin mixture in it) off the bottom pot of hot water and put it into a bowl of ice water for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Beat the egg whites in a clean glass bowl with an electric mixer, just until the point where they will hold soft peaks — don’t over do it!

Fold the beaten egg whites gently but thoroughly into the cooled pumpkin mixture. Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell, levelling out the top with a knife or spatula. Bake at 375°F about 40 or 50 minutes (this will depend on how much moisture was in your pumpkin, as that can vary) — until the filling is set, and just a bit puffed up around the edge of the pie.

You can serve this pie at room temperature — cool it on a rack for about 2 hours — or make it a day ahead and serve it chilled. If you’re going to keep it in the fridge overnight, do let it come to room temperature first, then cover the cooled pie with a piece of plastic wrap for storage.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Jamie

    No problem whatsoever! I hope you like it!

  2. domestika

    OMG!!! Jamie, you’re brilliant!!
    Necessity / invention, yes… but … talk about bold strokes of kitchen creativity!

    Definitely, the Sour-Cream Peanut-Butter Pumpkin Pie variation is going to get a try-out around here. I’ve got a lot more cooked pumpkin all ready, wating in the freezer. Thanks for not hogging this idea all selfishly to yourself and getting all famous for making some truly awesome pie that no one can quite figure out what it is that you do… Sharing. That’s what I’m saying. Sharing is as good as pie. Almost. :)

  3. Jamie

    I tried this recipe – it was a big hit. But I had a lot of pumpkin left over (I bought the big can) and not much sour cream, so I experimented … I used 1cup sour cream and 1/2cup peanut butter (Skippy Natural Creamy). I put the peanut butter in the double boiler with 1/2 the sc. The sc melts but the peanut butter starts to thicken a bit, so when I added the pumpkin mix to the double boiler I used a whisk before using the wooden spoon – this helped to mix the peanut butter in better (no lumps).
    I really wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out, but it was AWESOME! If you like peanut butter, that is.

Leave a Reply