I have never used canned pumpkin to make pies. Always fresh. Maybe that’s why my pumpkin pie took home the blue ribbon at our local county fair for many years. And if you’re a lover of pumpkin pie, I hope you enjoy my award-winning recipe shown below.
Back in the day, I’d carve a pumpkin for Halloween, and the next day I’d bake it and have it smooshed and in the freezer by noon.
I no longer make jack-o-lanterns, but I still buy fresh pumpkins and bake them for use year-round.
pie pumpkin, knife, lined cookie sheet, blender or food-processor and oven set to 350-degrees
To be clear, you don’t actually have to buy a special “pie pumpkin,” which, by the way, is smaller than those you usually buy to carved for Halloween. You can use your jack-o-lantern pumpkin that you and the kids spent a copious amount of time carving and decorating. Although the story is that the smaller pie pumpkins have better flavor, I once used a 49-inch diameter pumpkin. It took me all day to bake it and prepare it, but then I shared the meat of it with all of my neighbors.
Cut the pumpkin in half and lay it meat-side down on the lined cooking sheet. You can go ahead and scoop out the seeds before baking, if you’d like. But I do that after baking because – to me – it’s just easier that way.
Bake at 350-degrees for about an hour. The baking is done when you can easily poke a knife through it and it’s soft, and when the skin has turned golden and you can see air pockets. When baked, remove from the oven, and let cool.
Once it has cooled down to touch, you can hold it in your hand and scoop out the seeds. Then set it back onto the cookie sheet and just peel away the skin.
Break the meat up into small pieces, put it in the blender or food processor and smoosh it (love the technical term?) until it’s completely smooth. It will be kind of a thick applesauce consistency. And, it’s ready for use in any recipe. A small pie pumpkin will usually give you about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of prepared pumpkin meat.
Sydney’s Homemade Pumpkin Pie
- 2-cups of fresh pumpkin
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 slightly beaten eggs
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- unbaked deep dish pastry shell with edges crimped
Preheat oven to 400-degrees
Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, and all spices. Blend in beaten eggs, milk and evaporated milk. Pour mixture into the pastry shell, making sure the edges of the shell have been crimped high. This is a generous amount of pie filling and you don’t want to spill it as you place it on the oven rack.
Bake for 50-minutes, or until you put a knife in the center and it comes out clean.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my friends and family have enjoyed it.
PS — sugar is important. Ha ha, I forgot the sugar once and no one in my family wanted to tell me how bad the pie tasted. They all just kept asking for more whipped cream!