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Pick a Pumpkin, Make a Pie

Pick a Pumpkin, Make a Pie

Canned Pumpkin Is Good, Too! The Goal Is Pie!

baked sugar pumpkins
I like small sugar pumpkins or Winter Luxury Pie pumpkins for my pumpkin pie; but make no mistake, canned pumpkin is a great option, too, if you don’t have the pumpkins or the time to bake them.

How to Make a Pumpkin Pie from Scratch Using Fresh Pumpkin

I made my first fresh pumpkin pie of the season, entering it in the Vashon Farmers Market annual pumpkin pie contest.  I placed third, an admirable ranking considering the winner was a cheesecake and received bonus points for using homegrown ingredients in addition to pumpkin, i.e., cream, eggs and butter. (Note to self: buy a cow.)

It was a fun event and samples of each pie sold for $1 a slice to raise money for the market and I did some serious damage to my cache of cash. I may have come in third but this pie is first rate.

Fresh Pumpkin Pie Recipe (makes 2 pies)

No Fail Pie Crust

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  1. Cut butter and shortening into flour and salt.
  2. Combine egg, water and vinegar.
  3. Pour liquids into the flour mixture and mix with a fork or slowly in mixer.
  4. Combine into ball, refrigerate for an hour.
  5. Roll, place in pie dish, add filling. This makes 2 crusts.

Fresh Pumpkin Puree

  1. cut pumpkin into slices (like an apple)
  2. remove seeds
  3. roast in over at 350 degrees until soft
  4. cool
  5. scoop out pulp leaving rind behind
  6. puree pulp in mixer or food processor until smooth
  7. should look like orange mashed potatoes

Fresh Pumpkin Pie Filling and Assembly for 2 Pies

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 pounds fresh pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (real maple syrup is nice too)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream (half and half works, too)
  1. Place baking sheet in oven and preheat to 425°.
  2. Whisk first 8 ingredients together in large bowl to blend.
  3. Whisk in pumpkin, molasses and eggs, then cream.
  4. Pour mixture into pie dough in pie plate.
  5. Place pie on preheated baking sheet in oven.
  6. Bake 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to 325°F and bake until sides puff and center is just set (40-60 minutes).
  8. Cool.
  9. Makes 2 pies.
Get out the whipped cream and enjoy!

I adapted this recipe from Epicurious.com’s Spiced Pumpkin Pie Recipe. And I had enough dough and filling to make one pie and one tart; same pie in a different guise.

Upgraded traditional pumpkin pie
Pie 1: an upgraded traditional pumpkin pie
Pie 2 made in a French tart style in honor of its puree from a French pumpkin, Galeux d'Eysines
Pie 2: in a tart pan in honor of its puree from a French pumpkin, Galeux d’Eysines

Ah! on Thanksgiving day….
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
~John Greenleaf Whittier


  1. Hi, I just want to say what a great website. I had no idea you were even doing this. I am totally impressed and have always known what a talented man you are. I love you and am very proud of you for all that you have accomplished . I hope to come over and taste a pumpkin pie this fall with the girls. I will bring the forks 🙂 I love you tons , Tina

  2. [I’m here via the Recipe Index… I saw the word “pumpkin” and the forces from beyond MADE ME CLICK!]
    ooohhhhh myyyy gooooodddnnessss, I’m going to have to try this this year. I’m sick of using the canned stuff!

  3. Tom, used your recipe in a local farm market contest just this past saturday in Honeoye NY. Took second place. The winner had been making pies for almost 65 years. Experience paid off for her. I’ll try harder next year. I did make one slight change. As you said maple syrup would be nice in place of the molasses. Since we make syrup right here by the gallons I felt an obligation. In case your curious I used USDA Grade B syrup. Awesome Thanks Scott

  4. Go Scott Go! This makes me pretty darn happy to hear. I will try maple syrup, as I like it better anyway. I marvel that such golden syrupy goodness comes from tree sap. No sugar maples around these parts unfortunately, and our winter climate is too mild to produce a high quality product, or so I’m told.

  5. I should try this recipe Tom, I bet it will be first place at home.

    Can you believe it will be my first pumpkin pie.

    I bet you are having a beautiful Autumn.


    • I know Myna lee, one buck is a small price to pay, but the slices are small like sample size so more folks can try out each pie, I think this year they may raise to $2. 😉

  6. Hi Tom … I’m sooo excited to make my very first “non-canned stuff” pumpkin pie and I’m going to use your fabulous recipe. TWO questions for you ha if you get a chance …
    1) What kind of shortening do you recommend?
    2) Do you think this pie crust will work well for an Apple pie too or do you have a better recommendation?

    I LOVE your blog and hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    (On Vashon)

    • Hi Amanda, nice to hear from a fellow islander and pie aficionado. I use Crisco shortening, it works fine. And this dough works wonderfully on fruit pies. I’d say bake the pie at 425 degrees until it begins to turn golden brown then reduce to 350 degrees until fruit filling bubbles and thickens. Let me know how it goes! I also have a great dutch apple pie recipe with an oil crust, which I’ll make and post sometime in the next few weeks. Stay warm and may Vashon have power through the weekend. 😉 That’d be a first for Thanksgiving weekend.

      • YOU WERE RIGHT! This recipe makes absolutely first-rate pumpkin pies. My 9 year-old son and I had a blast preparing our yummy, love-filled Thanksgiving contribution thanks to your fantastic post. We also used it for a piled-high apple pie and it worked beeee-utiful. Thanks Tom and I know we’ll cross paths eventually as we share several mutual friends. I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with wonderful food and the warmth and goodness of dear friends.

        I appreciate the quick response to my questions and I eagerly await your next post notification in my inbox 🙂


  7. Just used your “pumpkin pie” version using my sweet meat squash and was so happy I made it. Got rave reviews here in Silverton, Oregon. Love your website, enjoy the updates.

    • Thanks Cathy, warms my heart to read, like a slice of homemade pumpkin pie. Thanks for the kind words and letting me know how the pie recipe worked out for you. I’ve got a new squash I’m trying out called candy roaster. I’ll harvest next week between downpours and hopefully determine its pie worthiness.

  8. hi,i am going to try the pumpkin pie recipe today.I have my pumpkins baking now.A friend of our grew a lot of seed to seed pumpkins this year.and brought me about 12.so I am baking them making pies and giving away pumpkin puree at church sunday.i am sure I will save some puree for myself,I think I will make apple and pumkin pies for our thanksgiving dinner at church.thanks .patricia from birchwood,tn………..:)

    • Good luck with the pumpkin puree, and pie making. No doubt your friends will be delighted with your generous gifts. Pumpkin puree freezes really well if you have some to save. When you make a pie, just let the puree thaw out in a strainer, as less water makes for a creamier pie.

  9. If it will fit in my oven, I leave the pumpkins (and butternut squash and such) whole to roast them because it’s soooo hard to cut them up raw. I squeeze them with a hot pad to see when they’re done, just like baked potatoes. Once they’ve cooled enough to handle, they’re easy to cut open and the seeds come out so easily. Then just scoop the flesh out of the peel.

    • Ann, you know it’s funny you should mention; that’s the way I do it now too. I practically impaled myself once trying to cut a sweet meat squash in half and I thought, there’s got to be a better way to roast pumpkins without risking life and limb. So the next one I roasted whole, and like you, I was very pleased with the results. I did poke a few holes in it with a shish kabob skewer to release steam. Thanks for the sharing this tip with everyone. Cheers!


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