Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

with bourbon & bitters

Slab pie time again, guys. I just love them so much. Forgive me if you don’t have a reason to make a pie big enough for 20 or so people, although honestly I’m sure you can think of a reason or at least cut the pie into single serving sized pieces to last you for the rest of the winter. Keep them in the freezer, individually wrapped and waiting for you after a long day of work or a midnight snack after a night of enjoying some adult beverages. Think about it. I am a huge fan of the slab because they are easy to cut (no having to wiggle out the first piece awkwardly only to have it break on you), they look impressive and you don’t have to worry about making two pies or more. It’s the perfect holiday dessert, just make sure you have room to put it out with the rest of your spread! I also recommend saving your scraps of leftover pie crust so that you can throw some fun decorations on the top of your pie. Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it. I am not particularly crafty, as even my mother said when she saw the pie, but I somehow managed to cut out some swirly things and leaves to stick on top to give my pie some holiday cheer. I brought this particular slab pie into my office and it was a big hit, not only because it was tasty but because people are always amazed at the sheer size of the thing. All hail the slab. Long live the slab. Etc. Etc.

old fashioned pumpkin slab pieFangirling the hell out at work yesterday while meeting ADAM SAVAGE! So exciting. Gahhhh!

While my favorite pumpkin pie has been well documented, I wanted to go with the same basic recipe this time around, only with the addition of some of my favorite things: bourbon and bitters. This time of year is when you put down the gin and tonics or spiked lemonades and pick up an old fashioned. It’s one of those drinks that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, just like pumpkin pie, so why not combine them? I wish I had added another teaspoon or so of bitters, but I love bitters so keep that in mind when you make this. The orange zest gives this pie an extra bit of pop, I think, but the most important ingredient, sweetened condensed milk, really makes this my favorite recipe. The filling is the right amount of sweet, perfectly thick and pumpkiny, with just cinnamon to bring it all together. I’m no fan of nutmeg or ginger or whatever else people like to gussy their pies up with. Just cinnamon for me, please. Enjoy this pumpkin pie alongside an old fashioned cocktail, maybe add some whipped cream if you’re feeling crazy, and enjoy the start of the holiday season!

old fashioned pumpkin slab pieold fashioned pumpkin slab pieIt’s pie time. Let’s do this.

old fashioned pumpkin slab pieOh yeah. That’s the stuff.

old fashioned pumpkin slab pieWhisk together the rest of your pie ingredients and set aside.

old fashioned pumpkin slab pieThen roll out your pie crust – I have shared my favorite recipe below, but anything will do, just make sure whatever you use, it’s enough for 2 regular sized pie crusts. You can see a more step-by-step process of how I make my pie crust here.

old fashioned pumpkin slab piePlace your crust in your pan and bake for 10 minutes or so, just to get it set.

old fashioned pumpkin slab pieAdd some decoration, if you like, and bake.

old fashioned pumpkin slab pieAllow the pie to cool for just a bit before slicing it.

old fashioned pumpkin slab pieServe with some whipped cream or ice cream, or honestly, just on its own. The best part of slab pie is that it can be totally handheld, for pie eating on the go. You know, for the working woman.

old fashioned pumpkin slab pieThis will keep well, covered, at room temperature, for up to 3 days.

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Slab Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20-25
A 9x13-inch pumpkin pie made with bourbon, bitters and orange zest.
For the Crust (I recommend chilling the dough overnight, but you must chill it for at least 3 hours):
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⅓ cup unsalted butter, COLD (NOT room temperature), cubed
  • 1⅓ cup shortening, COLD (NOT room temperature)
  • ⅔ cup ice water, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons vodka or distilled white vinegar
For the Pumpkin Pie Filling:
  • 2 15-ounce cans pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 teaspoons Angostura bitters
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (for the crust)
  • raw sugar or sanding sugar, for sprinkling
For your Pie Crust:
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add in the chopped pieces of cold butter and the cold shortening. Blend together with your hands (or, alternatively, a food processor) until you have coarse crumbs (it doesn’t have to be perfect). You can use a pastry cutter, too, but I find that a clean pair of hands work best. Place the dough back into the fridge for 15 minutes or so, so it stays cold.
  2. Mix together the water and vinegar in a small bowl. When ready, slowly drizzle it over the dough, a tablespoon or so at a time, gently stirring the mixture with a fork or pulsing with your processor, until fully incorporated and the dough forms into a nice ball. You may not need all of the water. It might seem a bit too wet at this point, but it will dry up while it sits in the fridge.
  3. Form the dough gently into 1 loose ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. Note: if you want to have enough dough left over to do some decoration on the top like I did, I recommend doubling this recipe. You'll have an extra ball of dough, but you can freeze it and use it later for a regular sized pie, which is what I did!
For the Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk together your pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, bourbon, cinnamon, bitters and orange zest. Set aside.
  2. Butter your 13x18-inch baking sheet well. Roll out your pie crust on a lightly floured surface. It does not have to be perfect. Fold the dough over on itself, place it in the baking sheet, and unfold it (that's the easiest way I've found to move this much dough). Crimp the edges if you can, remembering that they will shrink a bit when baked, then poke the surface with a fork a few times to keep it from bubbling too much when baking, and place the pie crust in the freezer for 10 minutes, if you can (I didn't, but I recommend doing this).
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper in your pie crust and weigh it down with some pie weights (I used dried beans). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until sort of puffy, and just lightly golden, not brown, then pull the crust out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust and brush the crust with your beaten egg. If you like, add some decoration to your pie with extra pie dough and sprinkle with decorating or raw sugar. Place the pie in the oven, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pumpkin pie filling is set and the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving. If you like, you can brûlée the top of the pie by sprinkling sugar over the top and torching with a culinary torch (I like to do this for fun but it's totally optional).


20 Responses

  1. ileana says:

    What a gorgeous pie! Love the addition of bourbon and bitters. :)

  2. This is the most gorgeous slab pie I’ve ever seen. Bravo Sydney! And love the addition of bitters here. Never would have thought to do that!

  3. Emily says:

    What a great idea! I love the beautiful decorations on top.

  4. Matea says:

    Yum! Can I leave out the vodka in the crust–minor over here :)

  5. ning says:

    hey sydney! i was wondering if you would recommend using a metal baking pan over a glass one for this pie? looks fab! can’t wait to make it x

    • Sydney says:

      Hi Ning – I’ve never seen a cookie sheet made of glass, but go for it! I don’t think it matters too much. Just make sure that it’s 13×18 for a slab pie otherwise you’ll have a lot of dough and filling!

      • Mona says:

        You say here it’s 13×18 but in the recipe you said to butter the 9×13 baking sheet. What’s the right size?

        • Tara says:

          Hi Mona,

          One year later, I’ve just discovered this lovely recipe and would like to make it for our Canadian Thanksgiving this upcoming weekend. Like you, I am confused as to the ideal pan size. 9 x 13 or 13 x 18? There’s a sizable difference here, and am nervous about running out of crust and filling —or having my filling flow over in the oven:)

  6. […] going a little overboard with the slab pie posts as of late. and yes, i realize i am not the only slab pie-obsessive out there. and, no, i will not reiterate all of the slab pie’s amazing traits, as i have […]

  7. […] Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon & Bitters from The Crepes of Wrath […]

  8. […] anna, and so many other things that made me feel full for a week afterwards. My brother made this pumpkin pie with bourbon and bitters. And the next day I threw some of that skin searing cranberry sauce into some baked french toast […]

  9. brent says:

    i will only use real pumpkin so much better than that can stuff my dad says when 1 day old we could pick it up to eat

  10. Cheryl says:

    I am also confused on the pan size. After reading the ingredients, I believe a 9×13 pan would be too small. It is using to cans of pumpkin and condensed sweetened milk.

    • Sydney says:

      Hi Cheryl – a 13×18-inch baking sheet is the appropriate size, which is the standard cookie sheet size, if that makes sense?

  11. Toni says:

    Can I replace the shortening with coconut oil?

  12. […] pie like this one, or are merely looking for a less pie crust heavy decoration for your pie, Crepes of Wrath has you covered. These dainty leaves and vines made from pie dough are just the right […]

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