My sense of smell is in overdrive during the holidays. There are just so many scents that remind of happy days with my family, eating, laughing and just being together. Thanksgiving is the king of producing those smells that bring a smile to my lips and rumble to my stomach!
Now that I am the grownup (HA), I get to be the one who produces those smells and I take my job seriously. From picking the perfect turkey, planning the best sides ever and deciding on dessert, my nose leads the way on what it wants to smell in my kitchen come Thanksgiving day.
One thing that just cannot be left out of my celebration (besides the bird and my family) is a classic pumpkin pie. Growing up, my family usually worked or only had part of Thanksgiving day off, so frozen pies were reheated and served. I have the great fortune to have always had this day off so I make the most of it. From the crust it’s baked in to the puree used to give it that pumpkin flavor, I make it myself from scratch.
With a little planning, this is easier than it sounds. Check out my DIY Pumpkin Puree, whip up a batch when you have a spare hour, then when another pocket of time finds you, make my Go To Pie Crust and freeze one or both. Then, when it’s time to make the pumpkin pie, you just roll, set, dump, mix and bake.
See how easy that sounds? With just a little advance planning and some time carved out in the week before, you can have a pie that will make everyone take some…and then some more! Now let’s make a pie!
Fresh Pumpkin Pie
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes plus cooling | Yield: 1 pie
- 1 9 inch uncooked pie crust, rolled out to fit pie pan
- 2 cups pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups half and half or light cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Coat 9 inch pie pan with grease or shortening and place pie crust into pan.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and when ready, place pie crust in oven and bake crust 5-7 minutes or until edges begin to harden slighty
- While crust is baking, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined
- Once the crust has baked, remove the crust from the oven and raise temperature to 400 degrees
- Place pumpkin pie mixture into crust slowly, making sure mixture does not overflow the pie pan
- Bake pie for 45-50 minutes, checking frequently after 40 minutes. The pie is done when only the very center of the pie has not set (you can gently wiggle the pan to test this)
- Place pie on cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 4 hours before serving
- Top with your favorite whipped cream and enjoy!
- As noted above, make the puree and the crust ahead of time to make the pie making that much easier. Both freeze quite wonderfully stored in plastic wrap and freezer bags. Just make sure you take both out of the freezer enough in advance to thaw out so you can use them!
- You can substitute a store purchased pie crust in this recipe with no changes or adjustments to the recipe needed.
- This recipe is written specifically for fresh pumpkin puree but if you do want to use canned pumpkin puree, you will need to adjust the sugar down to around 3/4 cup of white sugar. I have found that canned pumpkin seems to be sweeter than fresh (I’m thinking sugar is added to it) as the first time I made a pie with real puree it was not as sweet as when I made it with canned.
- Many pumpkin pie recipes will call for one can of evaporated milk instead of half and half or light cream. I find the half and half gives the pie a silkier flavor, but evaporated milk can be used if you prefer or it is what you have on hand.
- For me, topping a fresh, from scratch pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream takes a good pie to a WOW pie so make sure you have your favorite whipped toppings on hand for everyone to give their pie a good dollop.