Pumpkin pie is a natural go to for Thanksgiving dessert – and what’s not to love?
The sweetness of the sugar and pumpkin and the fall spices coupled with a crumbly delicious crust just makes me think of Thanksgiving.
And even the smell of cinnamon alone at any time of the year makes me think of pumpkin pie and spending Thanksgiving when I was a kid with my Aunt in Miami.
I’m a huge fan of combining smokiness subtly into desserts, and when I first tried out a pumpkin pie in the smoker, I fell in love. Now it’s the only way I prepare it.
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What you’ll need to make smoked pumpkin pie
I’m going to show you a cheats version using a store-bought crust that is quick, simple but still absolutely delicious. What’s more, you can cook this on any smoker with a hood or lid with the ability to cook it over indirect heat.
What you’ll need:
- Ingredients as listed below
- Smoker or BBQ capable of cooking over indirect heat
- Pecan smoking wood – or any fruit or nut wood
- Instant read thermometer
- Food processor or blender
Making your pumpkin puree
Firstly, navigating the minefield of pumpkins – you want to look for signs that say ‘sugar pumpkins’ or ‘pie pumpkins’.
Over here in Australia, I could find neither, so I went for a small kent pumpkin, which works just as well.
You’re going to want to turn that pumpkin into puree – you’ll need about 2 1/2 – 3 cups worth.
There are several methods that will work so depending on how much time you have follow one of the following methods:
Smoking the pumpkin
For maximum smoke flavor, you can smoke the pumpkin. This will ensure maximum smoke flavor throughout your pie, if that’s what you like.
Simply cut in half, or quarters if your pumpkin is a bit larger and smoke using a light wood – I love pecan – for around 1 1/2 hours at 250°F or until tender.
Leave the seeds in until after you’ve cooked it – they’ll be super simple to remove.
Scoop out the flesh and puree in a blender.
Steam or boil the pumpkin
I find this yields the least flavor, but is the quickest method if you’re in a rush! Your pie will still take on smoke flavor as we are going to cook in the smoker too, but you’ll lose some of that sweet nuttiness that you get with roasting.
Simply peel and cut your pumpkin up into 1″ chunks, and boil until tender (around 15 mins or so).
Once tender – you can check by inserting the tip of a knife into it (there should be no resistance) – place into a blender and puree.
Making your pumpkin pie filling
Once you’ve made your pumpkin puree, you want to mix 2 1/2 – 3 cups together with 3 large eggs (I used duck eggs for this recipe which just add some delicious creamy flavor, but chicken eggs are fine), 1/3 cup light brown sugar, 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp of allspice and 1/2 tsp salt.
This mixture will be quite liquid, but dont worry, this will firm up just fine when cooked.
Forming your pie
As I said earlier, I’m cheating and using a store bought crust, but you can make your own if you wish – I’ve included a great recipe below.
Once you’ve got your pie crust ready, or after you’ve blind baked your own, it’s time to fill it with your pumpkin filling, but first, set your smoker or BBQ for 400°F.
I used Pecan wood here as a perfect wood to pair.
Fill your pie crust, taking care not to overfill.
You’ll also want to make sure that your smoker is flat and stable too – the filling will be fairly liquid, and if your smoker is not stable to a flat surface, your pie will have a deep end and a shallow end!
Smoking your pumpkin pie
Place your pie in the smoker and cook for around 15 mins and allow the temp to reduce to about 350°F and cook for a further 45 mins.
Your pie should have a glossy surface, and will still have a little ‘wobble’ – don’t worry, once it’s cooled it will have set.
The best way to be sure is I like to use an instant-read thermometer like a Thermapen to check the internal temperature. If it’s at 175°F, I know it will set properly once cooled.
Cool your pie slowly to stop it from cracking, and then place it in the fridge to chill until it’s ready to set.
Slice, and serve with whipped cream, and I also used a dusting of Lanes Apple Pie seasoning.
A good mulled cider goes excellently with this.
There you have it, a perfect Thanksgiving smoked dessert.
Smoked Pumpkin Pie
- 2 ½ – 3 cups pumpkin puree, from 1 small pumpkin
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp salt
- store bought pie crust
- Roast quartered pumpkin in the oven or smoker for 1 ½ – 2 hours at 250°F until tender.
- Puree pumpkin in a food processor or blender.
- Add pumpkin puree to all other ingredients and mix together well.
- Smoke at 400°F for 15 minutes, then slowly bring down to 350°F and smoke for a further 45 minutes.
- Cover the pie, and cool gently to avoid cracking.
- Serve sliced with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon or Lanes Apple Pie seasoning, and a glass of mulled cider.