Monday, October 14, 2013

Kick-Ass Pumpkin Pie

Tree Frog is celebrating Thanksgiving early, and has requested a pumpkin pie recipe to knock his relatives’ collective socks off. Actually, he demanded it from me in exchange for some very unorthodox advice. You can see that in the comments here.
     And, since I’m kind of in a lull right now, I thought I’d humor him. So here goes.

There is no better pumpkin pie than the one my Zia makes every November. We have an Italian Thanksgiving, which means we start with pasta. But we end with the traditional pumpkin pie. My Zia is the best baker . . . ever. I don’t know what she does, but I can never quite replicate the awesomeness of her confections. She gave me her recipe for pumpkin pie several years ago when I was faced with Thanksgiving at my in-laws, which meant <gasp!> no pasta, and certainly not my Zia’s pumpkin pie.

First of all, don’t even bother making a pumpkin pie from that mash they sell in a can at the supermarket. It’s usually not even pumpkin—it’s some other kind of orange squash. “Would you like some pumpkin pie?” sounds so much more festive than, “Would you like some orange squash pie? I dumped the can out myself.”
Sorry, One Pie. Maybe you are really pumpkin, But I like the look of your label.

I know it’s a pain in the ass to cook pumpkin. I’m not even going to give you hints on how to do it. Search the Internet yourself, because that’s what I did. But you need to get a real sugar pumpkin, split it, maybe even with a chain saw or your bedside machete, and cook it up. Don’t get a carving pumpkin from your local farm stand. GET A REAL SUGAR PUMPKIN!!!!! I can’t say this enough. They are small and cute, and can be hard to find if you are not fast.
Regular pumpkin on the left. Sugar pumpkin on the right.
They appear only in grocery stores right around Thanksgiving, and when they are gone, the store does not order replacements. One year Husband had to go to call every store and stand in town to find the last sugar pumpkin, so buy yours early.

Here’s the recipe.

1 ½ c. cooked, mashed pumpkin
¾ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ¼ c. milk
1-6oz. can evaporated milk
1-9” unbaked pastry shell (Zia makes her own, but I’m too lazy. Pillsbury for me!!)

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices. Blend in eggs, milk, and evaporated milk. Pour into unbaked pastry shell (crimp up edges high; you will have more filling than you need. You may be able to make another smaller pie!) Bake for 50 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Your pie will come out a lovely yellowish-orangish color never before seen by Mrs. Paul’s. Now, I know Tree Frog hates whipped cream, but we serve this one up completely covered in homemade cream whipped without too much sugar. Perfect with an espresso!

I will post my pictures after I make mine this year. (I’m eating at the in-laws again! I wouldn’t ever dare to compete with my Zia’s pie.) If you make this, post your pictures for us here on the site.


  1. Mmm. Thank you for posting this. That's very "sweet" of you :-)

    So you cook the pumpkin & then mash it before you measure out the 1-1/2 C., and then bake it again together with the rest of the ingredients?

    1. Yes, cook the pumpkin before measuring. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Wow! That sounds delicious! Sadly, I shall be forced to simply watch and drool, as I don't believe Korea has sugar pumpkins, nor do I have an oven.

    1. That is so sad! But I'm sure Korea makes up for it with other deliciousness. : ) I will eat a slice just for you.

  3. Looooooook at my pumpkin. Look at this beautiful thing which will give me not one but two TWO pumpkin pies!

    Listening to you, Ms. Sharknado, can be a delicious thing.

    1. Tree Frog, it's just beautiful! Did you do it yet??

    2. I tried to post, but I think this thing ate my comment - or my phone's internet did.

      Anyways, I did make the pies (and an extra "custard" with the leftover). I put too much clove in, but not so much so that it's inedible. Good pies. One is done and the others will follow. Crust was made from scratch and the sugar pumpkin above was cooked down.

    3. Hi Tree that you are an expert you have to make more for Thanksgiving! I just got my sugar pumpkin last night.


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