Pumpkin Malva Pudding Pie

This year’s pie! A delicately spiced filling, moist and custardy with notes of caramel, gets laced with pumpkin butter and baked up in a flaky pie crust. An honest to goodness plate scraper!

Remember a few posts ago when we explored the vibrant and seasonal South African salad of sweet roasted beets & spiced yogurt which I had enjoyed with friends at their Heritage Day feast? Well, dessert that evening had me giddy – and I mentioned to you that some day I might share my own version of the SA delicacy, malva pudding.

To be honest, at the time I wasn’t thinking this day would be so soon. But if you know malva pudding, you know that once it touches the tongue, it’s nearly impossible to clear from one’s mind.

Soooo, here we are… Back to the deliciousness! Given the season, in my rendition, traditional malva pudding has taken a teensy little detour toward fall… AND specifically on a path to the all-important day of gathering and good food, looming in the not so distant future. “Malva Pudding”, let me introduce you to “Pumpkin Pie!”

Pumpkin Malva Pudding Pie in pie plate against white washed wood

When they work, mash-ups are the best! Of cuisines, flavors, ideas, traditions.

Admittedly, there are also fails. I’ve certainly had a few in my kitchen, where ingredients and flavors line up in my head to meld perfectly and they just don’t quite come together… or worse 😀

Woman in pink sweater holding Pumpkin Malva Pudding Pie

But this… THIS works.

Don’t get me wrong. Malva pudding is beautiful all on it’s own. A simple cake infused with apricot jam, doused in a buttery, creamy syrup, yielding a moist, scoopable dessert that needs no adornment.

But for this November, we need crust and we need those warming spices that make pumpkin pie so comforting. Yes, we can have our PIE and eat it too!

Pumpkin Malva Pudding Pie on a white tablecloth with a stack of plates, forks and a pie server

Sometimes it best to walk right on up to the lion’s den. I taste tested on good friends who in conversation with their kids, self-described their family as “definitely not pie lovers”. Anxiously, I awaited their response, knowing the bar was set pretty high for the five of them.

My friend flashed me her plate, scraped clean, and sarcastically said, “Nope, nope, didn’t like it at all.”

Pumpkin Malva Pudding Pie on a white tablecloth with a stack of plates, forks and a pie server

Turns out, baking malva pudding in a pie crust works incredibly well. Is the crust totally necessary? The short answer is No. However, there are two major benefits in doing so. For starters, it brings this dessert firmly into the realm of Thanksgiving. And secondly, I adore the slightly salted crust against the soft, sweet filling. On it’s own, malva pudding is a dessert for sweet tooths. Here, the flaky, buttery pie crust balances out the sugar.

Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, melting down the sides of the warm pie, I can’t think of a better way to cap your special evening.


Make AheadDinner Party

Pumpkin Malva Pudding Pie

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Servings: 1 9-inch pie


For the filling:

  • 1 cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons 140 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • cup 133 grams sugar
  • cup 66 grams dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons 114 grams pumpkin butter (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup 100 grams sugar
  • 5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ½ tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon optional

1 pie crust, store-bought or your favorite homemade pie crust

  • see notes for the recipe I use

Vanilla ice cream for serving


    • Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a 9-inch, deep pie plate with your crust and place a piece of parchment or foil on top. (Don’t prick the bottom - you don’t want holes in it) Fill the parchment or foiled lined pie with dried rice, beans, or pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment and weights, then return to the oven to finish baking, another 10-12 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
    • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
    • Beat the sugar and eggs together in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment for 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, melted butter and vinegar and mix to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure it is completely incorporated. Add half of the flour and mix, then the milk. Scrape the bowl again and mix, then add the remaining flour and beat until just combined.
    • Pour into the pie crust, place on a baking sheet, and place in your oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, watching to make sure the crust does not over brown. If it is getting dark, cover it with foil until the filling is completely set, not giggly at all. Remove and cool on a rack.
    • IF MAKING AHEAD, the pie can be left at room temperature for 6-8 hours. Longer than that, refrigerate.
    • To make the glaze, place the cream, sugar, butter and water (and bourbon if using) in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the butter is melted. Bring just to a simmer, whisk so that it is combined, then remove from the heat. This can be made ahead and refrigerated if you like.
    • When ready to serve, preheat your oven to 250 F. If the glaze has cooled, rewarm in the microwave or stovetop, then pour about ⅓ of it over the pie (it can help to poke small holes with a toothpick in the top of the pie, but then you will have that look, which is less attractive). You want to wait until it absorbs, then pour the remaining amounts over the pie in stages. Once all of the liquid is absorbed, you can leave the pie on the counter for up to another 2 hours, or if you are ready, place it in the oven to warm for 8-10 minutes.
    • Serve warm with ice cream.

    Tips & Tricks


    • Pumpkin butter is more readily available around Thanksgiving in large grocery stores and specialty food shops, however if you cannot find it, you can make your own. Place 1 can pumpkin puree in a medium saucepan along with ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 grams) sugar, ½ cup apple cider or juice, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, and a pinch each of nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Simmer, partially covered to avoid splatters, for 20-30 minutes over low heat until thick, stirring occasionally. Store leftovers in a jar in the fridge for 2 weeks.
    • I like this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for the pie crust. Half the recipe, as you will only need enough for one pie.

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