The first time I was going to make pies for Thanksgiving, of course I had to make pumpkin pie. Upon hearing that my husband informs me that “You have to make them with real pumpkin, you know.” Real pumpkin? I thought the canned pumpkin was 100% pumpkin. Oh no, he was talking about me breaking down and baking an actual pumpkin. How different can that really be? Well it turns out, in this particular instance, my husband was right this pumpkin pie is amazing! If you don’t want to take the time you can certainly use canned pumpkin, but there is something about that homemade pumpkin puree that makes it worth trying at least once. I certainly haven’t gone back to canned after that first Thanksgiving.
Another thing I like about this pie is that it combines both of our families. I use my Grandma Forsman’s pie crust alongside my husband’s Grandma Britton’s pumpkin filling recipe. AND for an extra special twist, our generation got into the game this year when my sister made and topped the pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream!
Here’s what you need for the pie, plus an unbaked pie crust.
I already had some pumpkin puree in the freezer so I don’t have any pictures of how to make it. Start by breaking down your pumpkin. If you have a small pie pumpkin just cut it in half and then in half again – scraping out the seeds (save these to make as a snack!). If you have a larger pumpkin (the first time I made puree I used a jack-o-lantern sized pumpkin) you may need to break it down into smaller pieces to fit onto your cookie sheet. Put the pumpkin onto a foil lined baking sheet skin side down. Bake at 350 for about an hour until it’s soft when pierced with a fork. Cool until you can handle it and just pull the skin away from the flesh of the pumpkin. Process in a food processor until smooth. I like to package this in 1 cup packages and freeze it until I’m ready for it. That is, everything I’m not going to use in my pie!
Start by getting your pie crust ready. You want an unbaked pie crust, here’s our recipe.
Mix up your sugar, salt, and all the spices. Mom – don’t read what I’m about to say next. Grate your nutmeg in fresh using a spice grater and eyeball the amount. I only like fresh grated nutmeg but if you like you can certainly use the pre-grated stuff.
Now prepare the wet ingredients. Lightly beat the eggs. Add in the pumpkin puree and evaporated milk and whisk together. Then add the sugar and spice (and everything nice) mixture.
Here’s what it looks like all mixed together.
Carefully pour into your pie crusts and place in a 350 degree oven. I like to slightly underfill the pies and then add the rest using a small measuring cup when I get them into the oven. The racks on my oven don’t slide very smoothy so I do this when they are most of the way pushed into the oven. I learned this the hard way on pumpkin pie when I spilled as I was pushing a rack of two really full pumpkin pies into the oven. If you’re baking 2 pies, they can both be on the same rack if you off-set them slightly.
Bake the pie for about 45-55 minutes until the filling is set at the edges but still jiggly in the middle. Jiggly like Jell-O, you don’t want it to be still too liquid-y. The pies will be slightly puffed when you take it from the oven.
But they will collapse a little as they cool, this is perfectly normal.
Don’t those look good?! I hope you enjoy these pies and try making your own pumpkin puree sometime.
If you need to transport your pies consider this handy pie carrier called the Fresh Keeper Dual Food Tote. I baked the pies at my house and then on Thanksgiving morning made the 4 hour drive back home to Ely for Thanksgiving, so I needed some way to transport all 4 pies I made (2 pumpkin, apple, and lemon meringue!). Since we had the box of the truck PACKED with decoys the pies needed to ride in the cab with the dog – this meant I needed a sealed way to transport 4 pies. I found this really cool pie carrier on Amazon. It carries up to 4 pies (depending on how tall they are) and has removable handles. You can stack both on top of each other to carry all at once with a removable handle. I opted not to use it because I needed to slide these under the seats in the truck. They worked great!
- 1 c sugar
- ½ t salt
- 1 t cinnamon
- ½ t nutmeg
- ½ t ginger
- ¼ t cloves
- 3 eggs
- 2 c pumpkin puree (see below)
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 unbaked pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together sugar, salt and all spices. Set aside.
- Lightly beat eggs. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and evaporated milk. Add in the sugar and spice mixture.
- Pour into pie shell.
- Bake at for about 45-55 minutes until the center is set. The middle should jiggle, do not overcook or the custard mixture might split.
- Cool. Serve with whipped cream or cinnamon ice-cream.
- Pumpkin Puree:
- Slice a pie pumpkin in half and half again and remove the seeds (you can break down a larger pumpkin too, you’re looking for pieces you can lay down on the baking sheet). Place skin side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 350 for about an hour until soft. Cool until you can handle it and peel the skin off. Puree in a food processor until smooth. See gravelanddine.com/pumpkin-pie/ for step by step instructions.