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Pumpkin Pie From Real Pumpkins

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Peg Cole is a self-taught cook who shares her favorite recipes and methods of cooking and baking.

More than just a decoration, these gourds make delicious baked goods.

More than just a decoration, these gourds make delicious baked goods.

From Decoration to Dessert

Fall is on the way soon to turn those hot summer days into cool weather that's perfect for baking. How about baking those pumpkins wasting away on your porch as the temperatures drop? Your kids will enjoy helping you turn these natural decorations into a delicious pie.

How to Pick the Right Pumpkin for Baking

For the tastiest pies, select a medium-sized sweet and adorable pumpkin. It's better not to use the really huge jack-o'-lanterns. A four-pound pumpkin is a perfect size for making about 1 1/2 cups of cooked pulp.

Let's learn how to cut them, cook them, and turn them into a pie.

Choose Your Technique: Baking or Boiling

  • For baking: If you prefer to bake the pumpkin, you're good to go after cutting the pumpkin in half (or quarters) and removing the seeds and pulp. After it's baked, the cooked pulp will be spooned from the skin.
  • For boiling: If you like the on-the-stove method, continue cutting the quarters into 1-inch cubes.

How to Bake a Pumpkin

If you've chosen a large pumpkin like this one, you may need to use more than one method to cook it all.

  1. A turkey roasting pan works nicely to bake the quartered gourd.
  2. Add a little water to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Cover with a lid or foil.
  4. Bake at 375°F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender.
  5. It's done when a fork can be easily inserted into the fruit.
  6. Spoon out the cooked pumpkin separating it from the skin.

How to Boil a Pumpkin

  1. Begin by washing the outside skin to remove dirt, debris, and contaminants.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut around the stem and remove it.
  3. Now, cut the pumpkin in half from the stem to the base.
  4. Use a spoon or other utensil to scrape out the seeds and pulp.
  5. Separate the seeds and soak them in water to remove the pulp.
  6. Use a strainer to drain the seeds and spread them out on paper towels to dry.
  7. Save the stringy pulp for the compost bin.
  8. Cut the halved pumpkin into quarters, and then into smaller sections.
  9. Turn each slice on its side to cut it into smaller pieces.
  10. Slice off the peeling and the remaining pulp from each piece.
  11. Place the cubed fruit into a large stew pot with a lid.
  12. Cover the cubes with water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  13. Cover the pot and cook the cubes on medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork.

Time to Make the Pie

Now that the pumpkin is cooked and cooled, you're ready to begin making pies.

  1. Gather all the ingredients into one area to be sure you have everything you need.
  2. You can always use a prepared refrigerated or frozen crust to make things simpler.
  3. If you decide to make a crust from scratch, you'll need a clean, dry flour-dusted surface to roll it; a rolling pin, a flat elongated bottle (like a wine bottle), or a smooth-surfaced glass to use for flattening the dough.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour 45 min

50 min

2 hours 35 min

8 Servings


For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour, all-purpose, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons shortening, solid vegetable type
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons water, cold

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin, cooked, cooled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ginger, ground, dry
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

Making the Filling

  1. Line a deep dish 9-inch pie pan with the prepared pastry.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the cooled pumpkin and mix together with a hand mixer, a potato masher, or an emulsion blender.
  4. Add the evaporated milk and eggs to the mixture and combine.

Filling the Unbaked Pie Crust

Carefully pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust.

Carefully pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust.

Assemble and Bake

  1. Cut three narrow strips of aluminum foil about 2 inches wide.
  2. Join the strips together at the short ends to form one long strip.
  3. Fold the long strip in half lengthwise
  4. Wrap the prepared crust with the joined strips of foil to prevent over-browning.
  5. Place the foil-wrapped pie crust onto a cookie sheet to catch any spills.
  6. Carefully pour the liquid pumpkin mix into the center of the pie pan.
  7. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to 375°F and continue baking for about 40 to 50 minutes.
Ready to place on the cookie sheet and into the pre-heated oven.

Ready to place on the cookie sheet and into the pre-heated oven.

Serve and Enjoy!

  • Allow the pie to cool for 1 - 2 hours at room temperature before slicing.
  • Top each slice with whipped cream if desired.
  • Pumpkin is low in calories, high in fiber, and contains vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, beta-carotene and calcium.

Ready to Serve

A little whipped cream on top makes this pie even better.

A little whipped cream on top makes this pie even better.

Making A Pie Crust With Peg Cole

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Peg Cole