I was really excited this Thanksgiving to make homemade pumpkin pie with real pumpkin! I was especially psyched to have everyone here try it out, as I was sure it was something that they had never tried before. I usually make a scrumptious pumpkin pie cheesecake on Thanksgiving, but without my fancy springform pan, I thought it easier to go with the classic pumpkin pie. Thankfully Matilde lent me a nice, ridged pie pan and I found a bake-and-serve pie crust (I wasn’t sure I was up making the crust from scratch as well this year, maybe next year).

I had already been making my own pumpkin puree from scratch for the pumpkin bread that I started making at the beginning of the fall season, so it was quite simple to whip up a bit more to throw in the pie mix. The pie turned out delicious and it comes highly recommended! But I must say that the homemade pumpkin puree is a must! I already have people asking for the recipe here in Spain so they can make it for Christmas!

Ingredients:

Pie crust dough (ready to bake)

1 cup of white sugar (200 grams)

1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 /2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 or 4 large eggs **If you want a more dense pie, use 3 eggs. And for a more fluffy filling, use 4.

3 cups pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cans of evaporated milk  (18 ounces total)  **If you can’t find evaporated milk in your grocer or local market, you can use my recipe to make your own evaporated milk. But, if you don’t have the time to stand in front of the stove for an hour stirring your own milk until the water evaporates, feel free to use nonfat dried milk, twice as concentrated as the directions call for.

Start with the pumpkin puree:

butternut pumpkin

For this pumpkin pie, I used butternut pumpkin to make the puree (what I could find in the Spanish markets around here), but feel free to use any two smallish-sized pumpkins. Now, cut your pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds and strings and cut in half again. Lay pumpkins skin-side down on a baking sheet (no need to oil or butter the pan) and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the flesh is fork tender.

cooked pumpkin to make pumpkin puree

Once that is done, let the pumpkins cool a bit (not too much as it’s easier to remove the skin when warm). Remove the skins and add all the beautifully roasted pumpkin flesh to a bowl or food processor. If you have a food processor, run it through a bit at a time. I have an emulsifier and figured it would do the trick. I just added all the cooked pumpkin to a bowl and passed it through the emulsifier until it was nice and smooth. Either way works! Now that your main ingredient is ready, on to the pumpkin pie!

homemade pumpkin puree for pumpkin bread

**Note: Depending on your pumpkin size, you may find yourself with extra pumpkin puree. Not to worry, it lasts up to a year in the freezer! You may even get a second batch of pumpkin pie or you could even make some of my delicious pumpkin bread out of it!!

Baking the crust: (from an already bought crust or you can make your own if you’re really fancy)

The dough crust that I bought was quite thin, I was a little nervous at first that it wasn’t going to work, but it was perfect! Actually, it turned out even better because without all the doughy crust getting in the way, you can enjoy the real taste of the pumpkin filling even more.

Set the dough crust in your already greased pie pan and press tightly to the curves and ridges of the pan. Follow the baking directions on the already bought-and-bake pie crust. If you’d like to add a nice homemade crust to the comment section it would be more than welcome! :)

Set the crust aside to cool and get to making the pumpkin mixture.

Preheat the oven: 425 degrees F (210 C)

Mixing up the pie filling:

First mix sugar, all spices, salt, eggs, pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract and whisk together in a large bowl. (I noted earlier that if you would like a more consistent pie use only 3 eggs, and if you would like it to be more fluffy, use 4.) Don’t be alarmed if its very soupy. I was surprised by this as well, but it comes out just perfect. Pour, very carefully, the mixture into the already baked crust and put into the oven. You’ll want to leave about an inch of space for the pie to expand while baking without overflowing.  You might find yourself with more pie filling than crust, you can make another small crust or just bake the filling in a small pan by itself!

In the oven:

Bake the pie at 425 degrees F for the first 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 C) for another 45 – 60 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick down into the center of the pie and it comes out clean. (It’ll probably be closer to 60 minutes.)

**During the cooking of the pie, you may want to cover the pie crust edges with foil. Since my crust was very thin, the edges would have burnt completely in the 60 minutes that the pie needs to cook. So, I covered the edges with foil and it came out great; the center of the pie was completely cooked and the edges were a nice golden brown.

Cooling process:

Take the pie out of the oven and let cool on the counter for at least an hour or so. Then stick in the fridge for a nice cool dessert. Serve, don’t forget the whipped cream, & enjoy!

Recipe adapted from pickyourown.org