Brown Butter and Honeyed Pumpkin Pie

November 2021–with thanks to Terry Kelzer, Farm Table Instructor

Homemade Pumpkin Pie for Thanksigiving Ready to Eat


For two 9-inch pie shells

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup cold butter (1stick), cubed
  • ¼ cup cold water or milk
Other possible additions:

• 1 teaspoon vinegar—acid in vinegar helps tenderize crust
• ¼ teaspoon baking powder—this can keep the crust from shrinking
• 1 beaten egg white brushed on partially baked shell can add an extra barrier to the filling to keep your crust crisp

For a double crust plus 2 singles:

This amount is what I would use to make 1 apple pie (double crust), 1 pecan pie (single) and 1 pumpkin pie (single). 

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/3 to 2/3 cup cold water
  1. Combine flour, salt, and sugar. Cut cold butter in cubes and work into flour until crumbly. With a fork, gradually add liquid, tossing lightly until combined into a dough.
  2. Divide dough in ½. Roll out dough on lightly floured board adding a little flour as needed. Put into 9-inch pie pan, smooth bottom and press against sides and turn under dough at the top of the pan and crimp it. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  3. To prebake or ½ bake: line pie shell with light aluminum foil; add pie weights or rice/beans; put into 400º F oven for 20 minutes. 

Brown Butter and Honeyed Pumpkin Pie

1 – 9-inch pie pan—I like to use a deep pie pan (1 ½ to 2” is good).

Step 1. Make your crust and use blind bake technique at 400º F—at the ¾’s done stage take out of oven, remove foil, and paint with an egg wash (1 egg white mixed with a whisk). Turn oven down to 325º and return to oven and bake until nicely browned. Remove and let cool while you make your filling. This first step gives you a crispy crust and then the egg wash further seals it so it will stay nice and crispy even for a couple of days.

  • 1-16 ounce can of pumpkin or equal amount of fresh pumpkin (2 cups).*
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

*Note if using fresh pumpkin add 2 tablespoons of flour to the brown sugar–spice mixture. Fresh pumpkin usually contains more water.

Step 2. Make the filling:

  1. In a bowl mix together pumpkin and eggs, mix the brown sugar with the spices and add it to the pumpkin–egg mixture. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan add butter and cook slowly until it just browns and then add ¼ cup honey and continue cooking until it is boiling. Boil for a minute and then carefully add the ¾ cup heavy cream (watching for spattering).
  3. Then pour butter, honey, and cream mixture into the pumpkin, egg, and sugar and spice mixture; mix well and pour into your shell.
  4. Bake at 325º F for 1 hour or until just set with a slight center wobble. Turn off oven and leave it rest in the oven for another hour.

Terry Kelzer, local culinary and cultural expert, brings more than 50 years of cooking and baking experience, as well as a delightful sense of humor, to all her classes. After 12 years working in restaurants and bakeries in the Twin Cities, she and her husband and young family moved to a small farm near Amery where they raised dairy goats, chickens, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Terry says that is when her education in the basics of real food began, along with a deep appreciation for her ancestors as she had to learn to prepare, process, and preserve everything produced on the farm on an old wood cookstove. During this time, she also cooked and baked ‘from scratch’ for Head Start for 26 years. Terry’s great joy is sharing with others all the things she has learned along the way. Join us and experience both her knowledge and her joy.