Pumpkin! - Easy as Pie!

It is pumpkin harvest time!  Meet my pumpkin harvest!  My one and only pumpkin! The perfect size for a pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin pie is the EASIEST pie to make!  Simply whisk together a few ingredients with  pumpkin puree, pour into a pie shell and bake!   ANYONE, armed with a whisk, bowl, and a pie plate (with home made or ready-made pie crust) can make a pumpkin pie! 

I have even included my recipe for Diane's favorite pie at the bottom of the post so you will have no excuse to avoid making one!  (Unless, of course - GASP!@*#%??!!  - you don't like pumpkin pie!

But first I want to show you how easy it is to make your own pumpkin puree! 

You can use canned pumpkin puree, but why not pick up a lovely little sugar pumpkin while you are at the farm this month picking out the perfect candidate for your jack-o-lantern!  Believe it or not, canned pumpkin puree is usually not made from pumpkins but rather other squash family members more suited to commercial canning.

So, if you are feeling adventurous, try roasting your own pumpkin for pie!  If not - there are millions of cans of puree on the shelves right now!

To Roast your pumpkin:

1. Select a SUGAR PUMPKIN about 6 to 8 inches in diameter.  Do NOT try to roast your jack-o-lantern!  The pulp is way too watery for a pie.

2. Cut pumpkin in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  (Use the seeds for snacks or for stringing necklaces.)

3. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and spray the surface with Pam.

4. Place the pumpkin halves, cut side down, on the cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour.

5.  Using a couple spatulas, turn the squash over and let cool on the cookie sheet until cool enough to handle.

6. Scoop the flesh out of the shell into a food processor.

7. Process until the mixture is totally smooth. 

Like this!

8.  If your processor has a large enough capacity, you can finish mixing your filling right in the processor bowl.  If not, transfer the processed pumpkin to the mixing bowl as instructed below in the recipe.

9.  Pureed pumpkin can be used in muffins, pancakes and soups.  I usually bake several sugar pumpkins at a time and freeze in one cup containers for use throughout the winter.

Recipe for Diane's Favorite Pumpkin Pie

This recipe has been adapted from the pumpkin pie recipe which appeared on the back of Libby's pumpkin puree when she was a very little girl!

I have tried many versions since - with bourbon, with chocolate, with cream cheese -but always return to the delight of a simple, straight forward, old fashioned pumpkin pie!

Whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl in the order they are listed

2 eggs, whisked until beaten together but not foamy

2 cups pumpkin puree. ( Use one 15 oz. can pumpkin puree if you prefer.)

1/4 cup dark brown sugar*

1/2 cup granulated sugar*

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 2/3 cup evaporated milk or half and half **

Pour into a 9" unbaked pastry shell.  ***

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for about 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool to room temperature before diving in!


*  When I make this pie for Diane, I substitute a generous 3/4 cup Splenda for the two sugars. 

I find that cooking with Splenda sometimes leaves an aftertaste which can be eliminated by refrigerating the pie overnight. On the other hand, in Diane's and my opinion, using Splenda enhances the flavor of the pumpkin because it is not masked by the sugar!

** We have all noticed the smaller quantities of food placed into cans and boxes these days!  Canned milk is no exception.  When I first started making this pie, a can of evaporated milk (called a 303 can) held 1 2/3 cups of milk.  Today, 12 oz. cans are available and they definitely are not 1 2/3 cups of milk.  I add a bit of half and half to make up the difference.

*** If you are using a commercial pastry shell already in a pie plate, you will have more filling than will fit in the pie plate provided.  (If you wish, set the extra filling aside and when the pie is finished baking, place the filling in 1 cup custard cups and bake like custard in a baking pan with about 1" of water. Bake for about  40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Don't wait for Thanksgiving!  Celebrate fall's arrival with a pumpkin pie right NOW!


My garden did well this year

My garden did well this year for pumpkins, Tons of the small sugar pumpkins. Made my first pie this year. Fantastic, if you never did, you should, it is so easy and my girlfriends family loved it as well. My question is, I have been roasting the pumpkin, and I just tried the same method, sections, but then boiled it. It was a whole lot less time and came out basically the same. Will boiling it make the pumpkin runny, it looks fine but I'm just not sure if water would be trapped in there and change the consistency of it in the end. Don't want a watery pie, YUK! thanks in advance. Lori

Good for you Lori!  I envy

Good for you Lori!  I envy you your success with your pumpkin harvest! 

I bake my pumpkins for three reasons:

  1. The pumpkin will absorb water during boiling.  So it is always a good idea to drain in a strainer after cooking to remove excess water (unless you are using the pumpkin for soup!)

2. When I first started growing pumpkins and making pies from them - I found the process of cutting them up and removing the skin quite tedious so for me personally, cutting them in half, scooping out the seeds and baking for an hour was much easier.

3.  And I like the flavor of the pumpkin baked better than boiled.

Cooked pumpkin meat freezes beautifully.  I usually freeze several 2 cup packets for use during the winter.  With that great crop - you should be able to have pumpkin all winter for pies, soups, muffins, pancakes, breads, brownies....

Oops! that reminds me! I almost forgot to bake Diane her Pumpkin brownies this year!

Your one pumpkin looks like

Your one pumpkin looks like the *perfect* pumpkin! After reading this post... I could really go for a piece of pumpkin pie now! :)

This is so helpful...

This is so helpful... especially since there aren't a million of cans of pumpkin lining the shelves this year with the great canned pumpkin shortage of 2009! Since I'm having trouble finding the cans I will definitely be trying this!!

My dad used to collect

My dad used to collect everyone's pumpkins after halloween and cook them up and freeze for pies and muffins. They were a little watery but after it thaws you can drain off the extra water. Canned pumpkin isn't even close to real pureed pumpkin.

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your tip for using frozen pumpkin.  I have never had the experience of watery pumpkin after freezing,  but now I will know what to do if it happens!  I would still suggest sticking to sugar or cinderella pumpkins as they are pie perfect pumpkins!

But for soups and muffins and breads, this is a great way to "recycle" those Halloween pumpkins!  Just be sure to drain well.

Love pumpkin pie... could

Love pumpkin pie... could even skip the crust and I'd still like it. Your homegrown pumpkin is a beauty - just perfect! Have you tried Truvia yet? It sounds almost too good to be... um, true! LOL

Thanks for supporting

Thanks for supporting home-made pumpkin puree!! Have you ever come across a pumpkin pie recipe without milk/cream - my fiance is lactose intolerant, but he LURVES pumpkin pie!!

For pumpkin pie that is

For pumpkin pie that is lactose free - give "Silk" a try.  I have used it in baking to replace milk in many, many recipes.  You could even make Panna Cotta using it! 

Might want to use just a little less Silk in the pie filling recipe than is called for becuase it doesn't contain quite as much butter fat as the cream or condensed milk.  But with a little experimenting, it should work great!  Let me know.

I must confess I've never

I must confess I've never made a pumpkin pie. I bought a little "pie pumpkin" yesterday because I wanted to use the stem for a project I'm working on and I was going to google today to see how I could use the pumpkin for pie. Now I don't have to! Thanks so much for the instructions and recipe. Have a great Sunday!
pk @ room remix

A customer at the Farmer's

A customer at the Farmer's Market was asking about pumpkin pie recipes today! I'm sending this on to Denison Farms so they can steer people here. I LOVE pumpkin pie!! I try to eat it as many times as I can during the holiday season. Have you ever tried replacing the milk with coconut milk? It is a nice change of pace.

Thanks Pam...I never thought

Thanks Pam...I never thought to roast the pumpkin. My mom had taught me to boil it but I think the roasted version would be much more flavorful. Pumpkin pie is my family's favorite. You should check out what Bakerella did....little pumpkin pies for the lunch bag.
Thanks again for your amazing recipes and advice!

Roasting is definitely the

Roasting is definitely the way to go!  I learned the hard way that boiling is a LOT of work - you have to remove the hard shell and cut the flesh into small chunks - and the boiling does introduce additional water.  Roasting is so easy!

Thanks for the tip re Bakerellas mini pies.  Very cute!  I fell for those cute little mini muffin/cupcake/tart pans once - only once!  Diane and I made Tassies - which were delicious!  But stuffing the dough into those cups - never again!

But for the brave of heart - hear is the link!


Wow - we are so like-minded.

Wow - we are so like-minded. I roast pumpkins every year and freeze them too! One of my favorite things to use it in is a vegetable couscous. You use pumpkin to replace some of the moisture from broth. It's delicious!

Thanks for the recipe. I have

Thanks for the recipe. I have tried another pumpkin pie; but that was a lot of work.

Okay, Pam... between this

Okay, Pam... between this post and the last one you have me drooloing to get some pie! I don't bake any more for ourselves as there is just the two of us here to eat anything I do make. Of course, I still sometimes bake goodies to bring to the hordes at the office and they're always happy to consume anything within 10 minutes of it being put on the counter.
These are very tempting, though!!

Happy Baking!

I have NEVER made a pumpkin

I have NEVER made a pumpkin pie yet it's one of my favorites! Your post motivates me. Printing out. Going to have to give it a shot. ;)

I'm new to your blog...nice to "meet" you!