Presto: Pumpkin pie! The secret to making brilliant pie in no time

Photo by Tj Turner

Easy” and “delicious” are two terms that are often at odds in the culinary world. First-rate recipes often involve time-consuming marinating, spatchcocking, toasting, proofing, and any number of other complex ways to turn precious minutes (and hours) into deliciousness.

This pumpkin pie recipe, created by Minneapolis photographer Becca Dilley, is a happy exception to the “time = tasty” formula. It can be whipped into shape in minutes, with the deep, profound caramel flavor of dulce de leche lending both creamy texture and complex sweetness to this American holiday staple. Dilley has been making this pie for more than a decade, and it has slowly crept its way into the holiday traditions of numerous friends and acquaintances, who have admired both its deep flavor and cheerful simplicity.

“I think the best part of this dish is that it tastes more like pumpkin than any other pumpkin pie I’ve tried,” says Dilley. “The caramelly dulce brings out a more roasted pumpkin flavor, and the texture avoids the slightly watery/jiggly filling that can make pumpkin feel wet.” 

Becca’s Dulce de Pumpkin Pie


1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 13.4-ounce can dulce de leche, usually available in the Mexican aisle of supermarkets or at any Latinx market
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Pillsbury ready-to-bake pie crust or pie crust of your choosing


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Place pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Use a fork to poke some holes in the bottom. Par-bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until the crust begins to look cooked and starts to puff up. Remove from the oven.

Mix together all other ingredients until smooth.

Pour mixture into par-baked pie shell and return to the oven for approximately 40 minutes. Filling will be slightly jiggly in the center when removed, but it should be dark brown and burnished-looking.