How to Make a Pumpkin Pie from a Real Pumpkin
How To Make Pumpkin Pie With a Fresh, Real Pumpkin
Making a pumpkin pie with a real pumpkin may sound intimidating, but it's actually quite easy and the taste is worth the effort. If you've never had pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkin before, you're in for a treat. You'll never want to go back to canned pumpkin puree again!
This page will help you with all the steps to bake delicious pumpkin pies made from real pumpkins, from finding a fresh sugar pumpkin to preparing fresh pumpkin puree. Of course I've included some delicious fresh pumpkin pie recipes. In no time, you'll be well on your way to making pumpkin pie the old fashioned way.
Please feel free to leave some feedback and let me know if this lens has been helpful to you, if you have any recipes to share, or any other thoughts you have. If you're still feeling skeptical and like making a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin sounds like a lot of work, don't fret. It's super easy. You could say it's easy as... wait for it... pie. (har har!)
Thanks so much and happy baking!
Where to find a fresh pumpkin
there are more options than the grocery store.
You may feel like you're inundated with pumpkins around Halloween time, but sometimes the day you're looking to find one, you can't! You may go into your local grocery store, stare at a display of nuts and Christmas candies and say "They were right there a week ago!"
Some great places to find a fresh pumpkin are local farm stands, orchards or farmers' markets. It's always a good idea to buy from local farmers because you're getting high quality produce as well as supporting the livelihood of small, family-run farms. Doesn't that make you feel good?
This handy website actually offers a tool where you can type in your state or zip code and find out where all of the local pumpkin patches/stands that carry pumpkins are.
Using real pumpkin instead of canned - worth the effort
With pumpkin pies, as with many things in life, sometimes the extra time and effort really makes it worth it. You may find that you're so used to the canned pumpkin flavor, you might be scared to try fresh pumpkin pie, but trust me, it's worth it! You'll actually be able to taste the pumpkin without feeling like you're eating veggies. It just has that much more of a natural, delicious flavor that you just can't achieve through canned pumpkin preserves.
When buying a pumpkin, try to find "sugar pumpkins" instead of the huge jack-o-lantern kind. It will just be more fibrous the bigger it is, but they're all a tasty alternative to canned pumpkin preserves.
Helpful tools to decorate and protect your pie from burning.
I have 2 of these and they are a life saver! Sometimes pumpkin pie can take extra time to cook through, and these crust shields will ensure you never burn a crust again. Leave them on from start to finish. They work wonders!
I've found when baking that this cookbook I have called The Best of Amish Cooking offers some really wonderful, flavorful, natural recipes, and the pumpkin pie is amazing. It turns out that pumpkin pie when prepared by the Amish is rarely associated with Thanksgiving or Christmas, and is just a staple dish that is prepared for any occasion. I could live with that.
Since the recipe is copyrighted, unfortunately I can't post it here (but I've included the book in case you'd like to try the recipe!). HOWEVER! I did find another recipe that I've used multiple times and it is AWESOME. The honey instead of white sugar really adds a richer flavor.
courtesy of allrecipes.com. (the original recipe link can be found here).
"Pumpkin Pie using fresh garden pumpkins. Best served barely warm, with freshly whipped cream on top of each serving. Use the remaining pumpkin puree in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin."
- 1 medium sugar pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie (or a pre-made pie crust. I like the Pillsbury ones you can find in the dairy section of the grocery store)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- lightly beaten
- 1 cup honey
- warmed slightly for easy pouring and mixing
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- To Roast/Prepare the Pumpkin:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Cut pumpkin in half, and remove seeds. Lightly oil the cut surface. Place cut side down on a jelly roll pan lined with foil and lightly oiled. Bake until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork (usually about a half hour to 45 minutes). Cool until just warm. Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the peel. Either mash, or puree in small batches in a blender or food processor.
- For the Pie:
- Increase oven preheat temperature to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
- In large bowl, blend together 2 cups pumpkin puree, spices, and salt. Beat in eggs, honey, milk, and cream. Pour filling into pie shell.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes at the new temperature, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge of pie comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
- Helpful tips from Yours Truly: As with any recipe, you can make it your own with an adjustment to spices and other ingredients. I've found that reducing the amount of honey to 3/4 or so allows the pumpkin flavor to come out more in this recipe, and also makes it less sweet, so if you add sweetened whipped cream, you're not overwhelmed.
- ** IF YOUR PUMPKIN IS WATERY ** Sometimes I find that fresh pumpkin, once prepared and pureed, can be a little watery. Wrapping cooked pumpkin in cheesecloth will help squeeze out the moisture. If you don't have cheesecloth (I don't, sadly), sometimes just taking a wad of paper towels and pressing into your pumpkin mixture can help. I've gone through a lot of them before and it feels kind of wasteful, though. So cheesecloth is definitely the way to go if you have some.
The Best of Amish Cooking Cookbook
Here it is, as promised! The pumpkin pie recipe (and carrot cake recipe and many more) in this cookbook is really wonderful and surprisingly simple. If you're interested in a collection of wholesome, natural and deliciously comforting recipes I highly recommend this cookbook.
Knowing these are tried and true for generations just makes everything taste better, at least to me. : )
You can of course substitute real pumpkin for pumpkin puree in any pumpkin recipe, but these cookbooks will provide you with loads of ideas, from pumpkin bread to pumpkin soup, pumpkin cookies and cakes, and probably a bunch of things you've never even thought of.
Fresh Pumpkin Pie with Personality
I found these cute pumpkin-shaped pie plates and thought they'd add a festive extra special something to any pumpkin pie. (and of course you can't forget pumpkin pie spice!)
The history of the pumpkin pie
Pumpkin pie before there were canned goods.
No wonder pumpkin pie makes us think of Thanksgiving! Some early variations of pumpkin pie were reported right around the time of the settlers at Plimoth Plantation in the early 1620s.
By 1670, a version of a pumpkin torte became known as "Pompion Pie" was making its mark in England, which involved fried pumpkin slices with eggs and herbs, butter, raisins, currans, and sugar layered over tart apples in a pie. Sounds pretty good to me! (though I'm not a huge fan of raisins.)
It wouldn't be until over a century later in 1796 when an American cookbook was published containing a recipe most closely resembling the pumpkin pie that we know and love today, with a spiced pumpkin custard baked in a crust.
Many thanks to Linda Stradley of What's Cooking America - History of Pumpkin Pie website for the facts to create this summary.
Fresh Pumpkin Recipes - bread, cheesecake, soup, and more
I've scoured the 'net and hand-picked some other pumpkin recipes from the pumpkin-recipe patch that looked really good to me that I thought you might enjoy.
- Baking with Fresh Pumpkin from Allrecipes.com
How to prepare a raw pumpkin for baking and cooking.
- Baking with Fresh Pumpkin
Recipes and tips for baking with fresh pumpkin.
- Fresh Pumpkin Puree for Recipes: Pumpkin Puree Doesn't Just Come in a Can. Make Your Own Fresh Pumpk
Make fresh pumpkin puree with this recipe and tips.
- Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage and Toasted Hazelnuts : Food Network
Move over, Chef Boyardee!
- Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake : Food Network
It's probably best not to think about the calories in this one : )
- Pumpkin Bread : Food Network
Of course I had to include something from my Food Network hero - Alton Brown.
Make a Fresh Pumpkin Pie on YouTube! - in case you learn better by watching.
YouTube is a great place to find tutorials for cooking! Check out the video featuring how to make a pumpkin pie out of real pumpkin below! (sadly I can't take credit for making it.)
Other Pumpkin Pie Resources on the Web
Here are some links for other sites featuring pumpkin pie information and recipes.
- Food.com Pumpkin Pie Recipes
Pumpkin pie recipes from food.com, the official website of The Food Network.
- Pumpkin Pie from AllRecipes.com
Check out one of my very favorite food sites, allrecipes.com, for some great user-generated recipes for anything you could think of!...oh yeah, and pumpkin pie, of course.
- LocalHarvest Pumpkin Search!
Find your closest pumpkin grower/seller! This website has some great information about pumpkins, other foods and more.
- Pumpkin Patch - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Pumpkins!
A website chock full of information about everything pumpkin!
Got a great pumpkin pie recipe you swear by? Have a special story about pie baking or pumpkins, or just want to share your thoughts about anything? Please don't hesitate to leave a comment!