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Five Spice Pumpkin Pie with Phyllo Crust

Kara Birnbaum / TODAY
Cook Time:
1 hr 30 mins
Prep Time:
11 hrs

Chef notes

Try this deep-dish pumpkin pie when you need to please both traditional and modern palates at the Thanksgiving table. Adding Chinese five-spice powder to the filling may seem unorthodox, but two of its components (cinnamon and clove) can already be found in standard pumpkin-pie spice. The dramatic crust is delightfully easy to create. Just brush butter onto sheets of store-bought phyllo and layer them at different angles in the pan. Finish with freshly whipped cream and you'll have one mighty fine, crowd-pleasing dessert.

Technique tip: You can also use a nine-inch cake pan in this recipe: Line the bottoms and sides with two strips of parchment, overlapping them in an X pattern and leaving a two-inch overhang. Once baked, use the overhanging strips to carefully lift the pie out of the pan.

This pie is best eaten the same day, but you can cover and refrigerate up to 1 day in advance in a pinch.


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 8 sheets frozen phyllo dough (each approximately 13- by 18-inches), thawed
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 29-ounce can)
  • 12 ounces (1 can) evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste or extract
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)



Preheat oven to 400 F. Stir together 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder. Brush 1 sheet of phyllo with butter (as you work, keep remaining phyllo covered with a kitchen towel); sprinkle evenly with 1½ teaspoons sugar mixture.


Starting at one short end, fold in half to enclose butter and sugar mixture; brush top with more butter. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan, buttered-side-down, gently pressing into bottom and sides.


Repeat with remaining phyllo, butter and sugar mixture, arranging in overlapping layers to completely and evenly cover bottom and sides of pan.


Bake until crust is crisp and golden, 15-18 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. (The baked cooled crust can be wrapped and stored at room temperature up to 1 day.)


Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, milk, syrup, vanilla, flour, salt and remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder until smooth. Pour mixture into crust and bake 20 minutes.


Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and continue baking until custard is just set in center, 40-50 minutes more. Transfer pan to wire rack; let cool completely. Remove pie from pan, cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream.