Ancho Chile Pumpkin Pie

Ancho chile powder gives ordinary pumpkin pie spicy-sweet flavor with just a kiss of heat. Zesty lime whipped cream is tart and cooling, and complements the pie’s peppery flavor.

If you’re looking for a new spin on pumpkin pie – and if you love Mexican cuisine – this pie is for you! For those unfamiliar, ancho chiles are poblano peppers (of chile rellano fame) that have been ripened and dried. Peppers that are allowed to ripen from green to deep red are sweeter, which gives them an affinity for all kinds of desserts.

The use of ancho in this pie reveals earthiness without covering any of the pumpkin flavor. It’s just different enough to surprise and delight your guests at the end of Thanksgiving dinner.

The pie crust is blind baked, which means you’ll need to fit the pie crust in the pie pan, top the crust with a sheet of aluminum foil, and then fill it 2/3 full with weights.

For all of my baking gizmos and gadgets, I’ve never invested in any pie weights. Dry rice works just fine and I always have it on hand. The weights will help the pie crust hold its shape as it bakes.  After a short time in the oven, the weights and foil are removed and in goes the pumpkin pie filling! Then the pie bakes until just jiggly (hehe).

I made some pie crust cookies with a pine cone plunger cutter, but they remind me a little of agave plants with the leaves removed (is it just me?). The cutter is part of a set that I use regularly for pie-making, and you can find it for purchase here.

The pie will bake for at least 45 minutes at 350F, but in my oven it took 1 hour.  I recommend using a pie crust shield or strips of foil to cover the pie crust edges if your pie needs additional bake time. This will keep the crust from burning.

This is a lovely departure from the usual pumpkin pie without breaking too much with tradition. There’s no mistaking it for anything other than a rich, creamy pumpkin pie, with a little something-something extra-special. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Ancho powder is available at most grocery stores and online.

Ancho Chile Pumpkin Pie with Zesty Lime Whipped Cream

Heather Baird
This pie requires a single pie crust. If you’d like to make the decorative cut-outs as I did, you’ll need two crusts. You can use two refrigerated pie crusts, or find my favorite butter pie crust at this link. Bake the cut-outs on a parchment lined sheet at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. After they cool, use them to decorate the pie.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 23 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10


  • 9 inch pie pan


  • 1 pie crust purchased or homemade
  • 15 ounce can 425g canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1 2/3 cups 450ml heavy whipping cream
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup 110g light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 1 cup 240ml heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup 25g powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Zest of one lime


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Press the pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan so that it conforms to the shape of the pan. Flute the edges. Line the pastry with aluminum foil and fill 2/3 full with pie weights or dry rice.
  • Bake the pie crust for 18 minutes, or until the edges are light golden. Remove the weights and foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the pumpkin, cream, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground ancho, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Beat on medium-low until smooth. Pour the pumpkin filing into the pie crust and bake for 45 minutes, or until the center barely jiggles when shaken (my pie baked for 1 hour total). Allow the pie to cool to room temperature or refrigerate to set.
  • For the whipped cream, place the chilled heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat until the cream slightly thickens, and then gradually add in the sugar. When the cream is thick and fluffy, gradually add the lime juice and lime zest. Beat well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • When pie filling is firm, cut into pieces and serve slices with lime whipped cream.


Pie filling recipe adapted from Sunset Magazine, circa 2004.
Keyword ancho chile powder, lime whipped cream, pumpkin pie
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5 years ago

I made this this weekend and loved it! Mine took about 60 minutes in the oven for the second bake and set overnight. I really like the faint heat, the dimension the pepper added to the pie, and the lime. I actually can't stand regular pumpkin pie, so I'm really glad I can make and serve a pumpkin pie everyone likes during fall and winter this year. <3

4 years ago

Honestly, this looks delicious. I just want to respectfully point out that Chile is a country. I think the word you're looking for is chili, not Chile. Happy Thanksgiving and cheers to you!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Hi! No, I mean chile. There are many accepted versions and the dictionary lists the main three: chile, chili, and chilli. However, the term "chile" with an "e" is considered the correct way to spell it according to die-hard hot pepper fans. Chile with an "e" at the end is the most common Spanish spelling in Mexico and other Latin American countries. It is also used in some parts of the United States and Canada when referring to the spicy pepper. The plural is "chile" or "chiles." You can find my sources for spelling at these links. Happy… Read more »