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How to bake pumpkin pie without a crust

I'm a crust guy over a filling guy when it comes to pie, and love a good flaky, buttery, salty crust. My mom makes a good one and I'm working on getting to down, but I'd also like to know how I can bake pumpkin pie filling (preferably in a round dish with straight sides) without a crust. Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. When I was a kid, my mom would do this for me. She'd just take some of the custard and put it in a separate small oven safe dish. Then she'd bake it alongside the actual pie at the same temperature. We'd know when it was done when you could poke the center with a knife and it would come out clean.

    1. A pumpkin pie without a crust is simply a pumpkin custard.
      The custard doesn't care whether it's baked in a ramekin or a pie dish.


      1. Exactly, its just a pumpkin custard. You might want to make sure the pumpkin pie filling recipe has enough egg yolk and creme in it so that it will not come out shapeless from its baking container.

        Also, definitely make sure to butter the baking dish very well.

        1. Yup, as previously replies state, pumpkin custard can easily stand on its own! I usually bake it in a water bath like any other custard, to let it set gently and stay tender (whereas a pie needs a higher temp to get the crust baked and toasty).

          1. You could subsitute pumpkin bread/muffins for bread in any bread pudding recipe, just cutting back on the sugar by half. This would give the custard more substance.

            1 Reply
            1. re: greygarious

              I'm with 'another adam.' Using a water bath and gently cooking the custard will make it stay moist. I have made a souffle of sorts by separating the eggs, beating the whites and folding them into the rest of the mixture (which includes the egg yolks) then cooking it as one would any other custard in a water bath. It was really good. I used the pumpkin pie recipe from the back of the libbys can altering it as described.

            2. I'm not a pumpkin pie fan, but my SIL is. After a couple of years I realized she was very sneakily eating the filling and tossing the crust. So I just started filling the pie pan with the filling, baked it just like normal. now that I read the replies, I have no doubt the water bath would make a more consistent filling, but it turns out fine (especially in a pyrex dish) without.

              good luck.

              1. Yep, just yesterday I made way too much pumpkin filling for the crust I had prepared. Now I'm baking off the rest as a custard. Don't forget, you can easily put a creme-brulee style topping on top of the pumpkin custard.

                1. I used to do the pumpkin custard thing (neither my partner or I like crust with pumpkin pie), but then found some recipes for pumpkin flan, which has all the flavor and texture of the pumpkin custard but with a few added benefits:

                  1. It unmolds and stands up beautifully
                  2. it comes off as doing something fancy and non traditional, as opposed to just giving in to whiners who don't like crust
                  3. (this is the biggie) it adds a delicious caramel sauce!

                  Also remember removing the crust removes a lot of the calories. My mom used to make pumpkin custard, cut the sugar in half, and serve it as breakfast, it was the only way my brother and I would eat yellow vegetables!

                  I am not sure where I got my pumpkin flan recipe, there are a few online, but I can look it up and report back if you are interested.

                  1. In addition to the ideas above, I'd do it in a springform pan, wrapped in foil, set in a water bath, as petitgateau suggested. That will make unmolding easy. Just make sure it sets up firm before removing the edge.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chowser

                      I have also made a true pumpkin brulee. I used brown sugar for the crust instead of white sugar.

                    2. Pumpkin panna cotta is also a great alternative for those that don't want a pie. Very yummy.