The Easy Way To Take Your Store-Bought Pumpkin Pie To The Next Level

Pumpkin pie is certainly one of the most eagerly anticipated desserts of fall. Native to North America, squashes have been incorporated into pies since early colonial times, according to Inside Adams, with bakers at the time alternating slices of pumpkin with sliced apples, sugaring and spicing the filling, then baking the mixture between a top and bottom crust. By 1796, the recipe had evolved into something similar to a pumpkin pie you'd find today: Stewed and strained pumpkin mixed with eggs, sugar, cream or milk, molasses, and warming spices, and baked in a pie crust.

Published in the first cookbook written by an American — Amelia Simmons' landmark "American Cookery" — this type of pumpkin pudding pie is what many of us look forward to come the final Thursday of November, when each year, about 50 million of the desserts are devoured across America (via Good Housekeeping). And while many of us like to make pumpkin pie from scratch, plenty of overly stressed Thanksgiving planners will opt to purchase the dessert from their favorite bakery instead. No shame there: Store-bought pumpkin pie can definitely be delicious. But if you want to jazz it up even more, this tasty topping will kick your pumpkin pie up a notch.

Drizzle your store-bought pie with some warm caramel sauce

Is there any dessert that isn't improved by a drizzle of warm, sticky caramel sauce? Probably not, but the sugary topping makes a particularly brilliant pairing with pumpkin pie. Its burnt-sugar notes perfectly complement the pie's fragrant autumnal spices. A drizzle of warm caramel is one of Kitchn's top choices for elevating a store-bought pumpkin pie, and the best news is the sauce doesn't even have to be homemade, with brands such as Trader Joe's, Ghirardelli, and Williams Sonoma making quality bottled versions. If you use a store-bought version, Kitchn recommends heating the sauce slightly before drizzling it over the pie right before serving, creating a temperature contrast with the cool or room-temp pie.

If you want to make homemade caramel sauce, it truly couldn't be easier. Our version utilizes light brown sugar, good-quality butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, which are simply whisked in a saucepan on the stovetop until the ingredients melt and thicken into a sauce. So don't feel bad the next time you serve a store-bought pumpkin pie: Some caramel sauce poured atop it will make the dessert simply irresistible.