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Recipes and Stories

23 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving VI—My Grandmother's Pumpkin Pie

My Grandmother's Pumpkin Pie


I'd like to tell you that my grandmother's pumpkin pie recipe was an old family one that has been passed down for generations, but I can't. She got it right off a can of pumpkin puree, varying it only in the spice and liquid she used, since I was allergic to cloves and my father to nutmeg, and she but rarely had cream in the house but always had evaporated milk.


You can make the filling completely from scratch with a pumpkin you've roasted and pureed yourself if you have nothing better to do; but by the time you've added this much sugar and spices, trust me, no one is going to be able to tell the difference between that and a can of puree.


MaMa's Pumpkin Pie


My grandmother used only evaporated milk in the filling, but I like a mixture of cream and evaporated milk. You may also use all cream if it's what you have on hand.


Makes 2 9-inch pies, serving 12-16


2 9-inch deep-dish piecrusts, partially baked (23 November 2022: Mastering Thanksgiving V)

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 15-ounce cans pure pumpkin puree (not "pie filling")

1½ cups sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups heavy cream, or 1½ cups cream and 1½ cups evaporated milk (1 12-ounce can)

Bourbon Whipped Cream (see 24 November 2014: Mastering Thanksgiving V)


1. After partially-baking the pastry and taking it from the oven, raise the oven temperature to 425° F., and, while the pastry is cooling, stir together the eggs and pumpkin in a large mixing bowl until it's smooth. Stir in the sugar, spices, and salt, and then gradually mix in the cream or cream and evaporated milk. Pour the filling into prepared pastry. Cover the crust edges with strips of aluminum foil or a pie shield.


2. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce the temperature to 350 and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let the pie completely cool on a wire rack before serving. Some make it ahead and chill it.


3. Serve the pie with a dollop of Bourbon Whipped Cream on top or to one side.

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