I’m not the biggest fan of traditional pumpkin pie, but I’ll gladly eat this Layered Pumpkin Pie in a Jar any day!
It didn’t take more than a couple dips of their spoons into these layered jars of delicious fun, for my husband and oldest daughter to declare that I could most definitely make these again. And I do agree. This recipe for Layered Pumpkin Pie in a Jar is a keeper!
You might recall that I’m not the biggest traditional pumpkin pie fan. Not that I don’t like them. I just think an exceptional pumpkin pie is hard to come by. Which is why I usually make pumpkin cheesecake…perfectly tall, creamy, and fall-spiced.
And for many years, early on in my baking, I turned to a layered pumpkin pie recipe from Kraft that utilized vanilla pudding and cream cheese. Everyone always loves its untraditional pumpkin pie texture, especially kids. So I decided to pipe those creamy layers into jars this year. This recipe for pumpkin pie in a jar makes for super fun individual portions, both beautiful to look at and easy to transport to your Thanksgiving feast at Grandma’s house.
Layered Pumpkin Pie in a Jar
Yield: 10 to 12 jars of pie
for the graham cracker crust layer:
- 1-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
- 3 T. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 T. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
for the whippy cream cheese layer and finishing dollop of sweetened whipped cream:
- 2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1-1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
- 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
for the pumpkin layer:
- 1 c. milk
- 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree (not pre-spiced pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O vanilla flavor instant pudding & pie filling
- 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/8 tsp. cloves
- semi-sweet chocolate shavings to sprinkle over the top
Preheat oven to 350°. Place the mixing bowl and beater(s) for beating the cream into the freezer to chill.
Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Then add the melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Spread mixture in a 9'' x 13'' pan and bake for 5 minutes. Stir and bake for another minute or two, or until crumbs are fragrant and nicely browned. Be careful not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool completely while you prepare the other pie layers.
My favorite part! Using your chilled bowl and beaters, whip the cream until stiff. Add the powdered sugar and beat just to combine. Remove sweetened whipped cream to another bowl and set it in the refrigerator. Add the cream cheese to the same chilled bowl and cream until very smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Blend in the vanilla. Now add half of the sweetened whipped cream back into the chilled bowl with the cream cheese, gently folding to thoroughly combine. This tastes awesome! Place this bowl of whippy cream cheese and the remaining half of the sweetened whipped cream back into the refrigerator to stay chilled.
Pour the milk into a large bowl. Add the pumpkin, pudding mixes, and spices. Beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes, or until very well blended. The mixture should be quite thick.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip (I used Ateco No. 808) with the whippy cream cheese mixture. Pipe a layer of this mixture onto the bottom of a jar (I used 8-ounce wide mouth Mason jars), starting at the perimeter of the jar and working to the center. Lightly tap the jar on a towel (so jar doesn’t break) on the counter, to settle the mixture in. Repeat this step with the rest of the jars.
Sprinkle the whippy cream cheese layer with 2 tablespoons of baked graham cracker crumbs. Lightly tap the jar again to even out the crumbs. Repeat with the rest of the jars.
Using the same large plain round tip, fill another pastry bag with the pumpkin pudding mixture. Pipe this mixture onto the graham cracker crust layer, in the same manner as the first whippy cream cheese layer. Lightly tap again and repeat with the rest of the jars.
Now you can simply add a dollop of the reserved sweetened whipped cream (without the added cream cheese) to the top of each pie with a spoon, or you can pipe a more refined swirl, like I did, using the same large plain round tip. Then finish with a sprinkling of graham cracker crust and chocolate shavings, if desired. If you plan to transport these jars with their lids screwed on, keep in mind the height of your top dollop, if you don’t want it to get smooshed when you add the lid.
These jars of pie can easily be made the day prior to serving. In fact, I think they taste best after being completely chilled overnight.