Why Does My Pumpkin Pie Pull Away From The Crust?

The sweet smell of pumpkin pie baking is a sign that the holiday season is here. But what happens when that pie comes out of the oven with a little hiccup, and you ask yourself, “Why did my pumpkin pie pull away from the crust?”  The number one reason is overbaking. We get busy with other things, and the time has flown by and past our baking time. But there are a few others we need to watch out for as well.  Let’s find out what they are.

Why Does My Pumpkin Pie Pull Away From The Crust?

Baking a pumpkin pie can be a little tricky, where a few mistakes can cause your pumpkin pie to pull away from the crust, making those unsightly gaps.  The few mistakes?  Overbaking is the big one.  But there are a few more, such as cooling your pie too quickly, Using the wrong amount of ingredients, and pre-baking your pie crust too long. 


pumpkin pie pull away from the crust?

Everyone gets busy, especially during the holidays.  You have a million and one things going on at the same time. Time gets away from you, and before you know it, it is past the time that you should have taken that pie out of the oven. It happens to everyone, me included.  

When you overbake the pie, the filling puffs up too much and then will collapse as it cools.  This causes the filling to pull away from the crust, and yep, you guessed it.  The gaps!

But not only can you overbake a pie by leaving it in the oven too long but by having your oven temperature too high during baking.  Most pie recipes recommend the first 15 minutes of baking, set your oven to 425 or 450 degrees Fahrenheit then turn the oven down to 350 degrees for the rest of the baking time.  

This high heat at the beginning helps the crust to get its flakiness. The fat in the dough will melt and create steam. But if you are like me, sometimes we forget to turn the oven down.

However, not all ovens are created equal. Some ovens may have varying temperatures, so it’s important to use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is heating to the correct temperature.

Incorrect Ingredient Amounts

Using the wrong amounts of ingredients when making pumpkin pie can stir up a little trouble.  That’s where following the recipe to a T is important.  Remembering that baking is a science and that every ingredient has a certain role to play is important.

Eggs help the filling set and become firm, the sugar adds sweetness and also affects the texture, and the pumpkin provides flavor and moisture.

Using too many eggs, the pie might become too hard and not stick to the crust.  On the other hand, if we don’t use enough, the filling will be soft and again will not stick to the crust.

The same goes for sugar. Too much, and not only will your pie be too sweet, but the filling will be runny and pull away from the crust when it cools.  But if we don’t use enough, the filling will not set up right and separate from the crust.

It’s all about balance and using the right amounts of ingredients.  Read the recipe once before you start, and read it again while doing each step. I can count on 10 fingers, toes, and then some more how many times I have misread a recipe.

Cooling Too Fast

We all get in a hurry.  The pie is done, and we need to cool it down so that we can take it to Grandma’s. So what do we do?  Put it in the fridge right away.  A big no-no.  This fast cooling will cause the filling to shrink and, yep, it pull away from the crust.

Let the pie cool down slowly at room temperature.  This will give it lots of time to relax and allow the filling to set up.


Pre-baking or “Blind baking”  the pie crust can be a little tricky. Some do this step to prevent a soggy pie. But again, balance plays a role. It needs to be “just right”. 

 If we pre-bake too long, we will end up with a crust that is just a tad too crispy or hard.  This will prevent the filling from “sticking” and will pull away as it cools and sets, creating a gap. 

To be honest, I have never pre-baked my pumpkin pie crust, and I have never had a soggy pumpkin pie.  Maybe I have just been lucky.  Who knows?

With these tips, your pumpkin pie will have a great chance of turning out beautifully, with the filling and crust staying perfectly together in every slice!

🥧 Savory Tips to Keep Your Pumpkin Pie Perfect! 🥧

1. Just-Right Baking Ensure the pie is baked at the correct temperature and time to avoid overbaking.
2. Incorrect Ingredient Amounts Accurately measure ingredients to ensure the filling sets and tastes just right.
3. Gentle Cooling Allow the pie to cool slowly in the oven with the door slightly ajar.
4. Careful Pre-Baking Pre-bake the crust cautiously to avoid it from becoming too hard or too soft.
Brought to You by wearebaking.com 🍪

Every pie needs a great crust. And when making a pie crust, have you ever wondered what flour is best?

Final Thoughts

Baking a pumpkin pie can be tricky.  But by avoiding overbaking, making sure that we don’t use the wrong amount of ingredients, cooling our pie too fast, and carefully pre-baking the crust, we will have a beautiful pumpkin pie with no gaps to serve to our family and friends

I hope this article has helped you in your pumpkin pie-baking adventure.  My favorite pumpkin pie recipe has never failed me. What is your favorite pumpkin pie recipe?  Please leave me a comment below.

And As Always

Keep On Baking!


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FAQ Section: Perfecting Your Pumpkin Pie

Encountering issues with your pumpkin pie can be quite perplexing, especially if your pie crust separates from the filling. Many bakers face similar challenges, each one an opportunity to perfect the art of pie-making. To help you in overcoming these common obstacles, we’ve compiled a FAQ list that addresses typical pie-related queries. With these insights, you’ll be well on your way to making a pumpkin pie that’s as delightful to behold as it is to taste.

Q: Why does my pie crust fall apart when I try to pick it up? A: Pie crusts can fall apart for a few reasons. It might be too dry, which means the dough needs more moisture—usually a bit more water. On the other hand, if it’s overworked, the gluten in the flour can make the dough tough and crumbly. Ensure to add water gradually and handle the dough as little as possible for the best results.

Q: How do you keep the bottom crust of a pumpkin pie crispy? A: A soggy bottom can be quite a disappointment in a pumpkin pie. To prevent this, you can blind bake the crust before adding the filling. This means partially baking the crust so it starts to crisp up. Additionally, brushing the bottom of the pie crust with egg white before pouring in the filling can create a barrier that helps keep it crisp.

Q: Can you overcook pumpkin pie? A: Yes, overcooking pumpkin pie is possible and can result in cracking and a compromised texture. Pumpkin pie is done when the edges are set, but the center is still slightly jiggly. It will continue to cook and set after being removed from the oven. Use a thermometer to check; the pie should reach an internal temperature of 175°F to 180°F.

Q: Why won’t my pie crust stay together? A: If your pie crust won’t stay together, it could be because it’s too crumbly and needs more fat, or it hasn’t been chilled long enough, causing the fat to melt too quickly in the oven. Make sure you’re using cold ingredients and letting the dough chill in the refrigerator before rolling it out.

Q: Should I poke holes in the bottom of my pumpkin pie crust? A: Poking holes, or docking, the bottom of the pie crust is a common technique when blind baking. It prevents the dough from puffing up. However, for pumpkin pie, since you’re adding a wet filling, this isn’t usually necessary or recommended as it can cause the filling to seep through and make the crust soggy.

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