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Chai Pumpkin Pie Recipe

A pie so nice, we spiced it twice! Traditional pumpkin pie is great — but let’s be honest, sometimes the spice level can be a little wimpy. The solution? A heaping dose of Big Heart Tea’s Chai, natch!

The process of making this pumpkin pie will be recognizable to traditionalists, but with two key changes. First, the evaporated milk is simmered and steeped in tea before it’s combined with the other ingredients to give it a flavorful chai makeover. Second, it calls for brown sugar versus the traditional granulated variety, which gives the pie a smooth, caramelly undertone that works beautifully with all that spice. 

Once baked, you’ve got yourself a study in spicy deliciousness that’s ready to take you on a one-way-trip to cozytown! It’ll have people asking, “what did you add to this?” — up to you if you care to share or keep it our little secret.  

About the author: 

My name is Jessie Oleson Moore. I used to be a minor internet baking celebrity thanks to my former blog, CakeSpy. Now, I’m a freewheeling freelance writer, illustrator, and baking enthusiast. I’m also a new mom, and as such I’m particularly interested in recipes that are easy to make, easy to store, and that my kid will enjoy baking with me, enjoy eating, or both. 

A few things to know about this recipe:

  • Make sure to give yourself ample time. Pumpkin pie takes a while to bake, but it takes even longer to cool. Make sure that you have ample time to bake and cool before it’s time to serve. In fact (potentially controversial POV) I prefer to make it a day ahead so the flavors can really blend overnight.  
  • Be prepared to babysit the evaporated milk mixture as it simmers — if the temperature gets too hot, the mixture could become too thick or scorch the bottom of your pan (pain in the butt to clean!). While waiting for the mixture to cool, press a sheet of plastic wrap on top, right on top of the liquid. This will keep it from forming a skin as it cools.
  • Speaking of the evaporated milk mixture, I used four Chai tea bags; if you prefer to use loose tea and strain it after infusing the milk, be my guest. 
  • Are you finding that the crust is getting too brown too fast? No worries. Use some foil to cover the edges of the pie crust to keep it in the golden zone. 
  • Pairing suggestions: This pie tastes great with Big Heart Tea’s Chai, Fake Coffee, and Spicy Pumpkin (to name a few). 

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie, about 8 servings  

  • 4 Big Heart Tea Chai tea bags 
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk 
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
  • Pinch o’ salt 
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) plain pumpkin puree
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell (can be homemade or store-bought)

Chai-infused evaporated milk


  1. Start by making your tea-infused evaporated milk. Pour the evaporated milk into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the tea bags. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes at the lowest heat possible, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from scorching or forming a skin. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature with the tea bags still in the liquid. (Note: I let it cool right in the saucepan, with a layer of plastic wrap on top to keep the mixture from forming a skin.)
  2. While the evaporated milk cools, get all your other supplies in place and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  3. Once the milk mixture has cooled to room temperature, remove the tea bags from the evaporated milk. Set aside for the moment. 
  4. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, give the eggs a little whisk to combine. Add the pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in the evaporated milk, once again stirring until smooth. No lumps, please. 
  6. Pour the pumpkin slurry into the prepared pie shell. 
  7. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 40 more minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center of the pie comes out mostly clean. It’s ok if the center of the pie jiggles a little; it will continue baking a little bit after it comes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 2 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or all by its tasty self. 
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