Naughty Squirrel Nutkin destroyed one of my pie pumpkins! I always buy two and brought the other in to safety. Because I MUST have fresh pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving! My sister clued me in to using fresh pumpkin puree a number of years ago and I cannot go back to using canned, and I especially do not want a storebought pie. The recipe she (now we) use does not have all those spices like the usual pies, which can be intense. This recipe only uses cinnamon, and the simple ingredients make for a lovely, light, custardy autumn pie with vanilla accent.
People love this alternate version of the often not-that-well-liked usual pumpkin pies. Of course, I only use Penzey’s cinnamon and vanilla – or that from The Spice House (a Penzey online relative). Quality matters, especially when baking. I’m sharing our “secret” recipe, below.
Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Pie
1.5 cups fresh pumpkin puree*
3/4 cup sugar (I use less)
1/2 cup milk (the mild flavor of oat milk probably okay)
1.5 tsp real vanilla
Preheat oven to 375F. Mix all ingredients together using a blender. Pour into a smaller-sized, not deep-dish unbaked pie shell. The aluminum pans from the store are the right size. I use a homemade graham cracker crust with cinnamon and ginger added. Carefully push the filling up a bit along the sides so it doesn’t shrink from the crust while baking. Sprinkle cinnamon across the top – don’t forget! Bake about 45 minutes until set, like a custard pie. Cover crust edges with strips of tinfoil if it starts getting too brown.
*Cut a pie pumpkin (not the big Halloween ones) in half and clean out seeds. One at a time, place a half cut side down on a glass pie plate and add water to about 1/4 inch high. Use a paring knife to cut slits in the skin. Microwave on High for about 5 minutes. Keep microwaving, checking every few minutes, until flesh is soft and can be scraped out into a bowl. Repeat with the other half. (Alternately, bake cut sides down in the oven at 350F until soft.) Puree the flesh with a blender. Unused puree can be put in your breakfast oatmeal or yogurt or added to pancake batter to make amazing fluffy orangey pancakes.