How to Make Pumpkin Pie with a Fresh Pumpkin

Autumn is upon us, the holidays are right around the corner and pumpkins are in season. Now is the perfect time for a good old pumpkin pie. Have you ever looked at a can of pumpkin puree and wondered if you can make it on your own for a homemade pie? You can! And guess what? It's beyond simple. Keep reading below for some tips on making a pumpkin pie from scratch with a fresh pumpkin.

A few notes....

One pie pumpkin can make up to 5 1/2 to 6 cups of pumpkin puree. This recipe needs 3 cups of pumpkin puree for the pie filling. So, you can make a second pie or use the excess pumpkin puree for other desserts, like pumpkin cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cheesecake, etc!

You can also freeze the pumpkin puree until further use.

What You Need

Ingredients

  • 1 pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I've also used light brown sugar instead of regular sugar and it came out delicious).
  • 1.5 cup ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • Pie dough (for the crust) (you can use your own preferred recipe or a pre-made dough)
  • Pie dish

If you don't have any of the spices listed above, you can use pumpkin pie spice and still get the same results.

Equipment

  • Long, sharp, serrated knife
  • Oven, steamer, colander and pot, crock pot OR microwave (for cooking the pumpkin)
  • Microwavable bowl (for cooking pumpkin, optional)
  • Baking sheet (for cooking pumpkin, optional)
  • Large spoon or ice cream scoop



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Find the Right Pumpkin

The best pumpkin for a homemade pumpkin pie is called a "pie pumpkin" or "sugar pumpkin". These types of pumpkins are smaller (about 6") and sweeter and the texture is not as grainy as other kinds. You can find pie pumpkins at your local farmer's market or grocery store.

Can't find a pie pumpkin? Don't worry, you can also use a butternut squash or jack-o-lantern. The jack-o-lantern type pumpkin has a grainy texture on the inside and is not as sweet, so you may have to add sugar (to taste).

Prepare the Pumpkin for Cooking

Once you have your pumpkin, wash the exterior of the pumpkin in plain water, then dry.

Remove the stem of the pumpkin. Then, cut the pumpkin in half with a long, serrated knife (or any cutting utensil that works for you).

With a spoon or ice cream scooper, remove all of the pumpkin seeds and stringy, orange membrane. Save the pumpkin seeds, though! They can be roasted for a tasty and nutritious snack.

Cook the Pumpkin

There are a variety of methods to cook a pumpkin. You can bake, boil, microwave, steam or even throw the pumpkin in a crock pot. These will be described below:

Before you can cook the pumpkin, you need to cut each half into smaller pieces. The size/amount of these pieces will depend on the method in which you cook.

Bake: Set oven to 350 degrees. Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet and place in oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

Boil: Add pumpkin to a pot of water, cover and boil for 25 minutes or until tender.

Steam: Add pumpkin pieces to steamer or metal colander over a pot of boiling water. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.

Microwave: Place the pumpkin pieces in a microwave safe bowl. Add a few inches of water to the bowl, cover it and microwave for 15 minutes or until tender.

Crock pot: Add enough water to the crock pot so that there is at least 3/4 inch on the bottom. Add the pumpkin and turn the crock pot on high. Cook for four hours or until the pumpkin is tender.

Prepare the Pie Crust

While the pumpkin is cooking, you can prepare the crust for the pie. You can use a pre-made pie dough/crust from your local grocery store or you can make your own using your favorite recipe.

Roll out and lay the dough over your pie dish. You can fix the edges to your liking.

Prepare the Pumpkin Puree and Pie Filling

Once the pumpkin is done cooking, allow it to cool a little. Then, remove the skin of the pumpkin and keep the pulp or pumpkin "meat". Discard the skin and add the pumpkin to a food processor (or you can place the pumpkin in a mixing bowl and use a hand blender). Blend the pumpkin until it is a creamy, smooth puree.

Next, add the ingredients (evaporated milk, spices, etc.) and blend again. The pumpkin pie filling will have a soupy consistency, but will thicken as it bakes.

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Bake the Pie and Serve

Once you have the pie all set up, you can then bake it! Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 50 minutes or until the pie is set or a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool once finished. Then, slice, top with whipped cream and enjoy!

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