Thursday, November 26, 2020


 Happy Thanksgiving Day, friends!  I'm wishing you all a wonderful day today whether you can be with your family and friends or not.  It's just Joe and me today, but we are going to have a great time.

I'm so sorry I did not have the time to write a post yesterday.  I had planned to, but the day got away from me.  In any case, I promised to show you how I make our 200 year old family recipe for pumpkin pie, so here it is.

The year after my mom died, my brother took her handwritten cookbook and put it all together for me.  My sister got a copy too.  Such a thoughtful gift.  And the pumpkin pie recipe (such as it is) is in it.

I began by putting the can of pumpkin into a large bowl.  When I was little my great-grandmother used a fresh pumpkin.  The day before she made the pies my great-grandfather would peel it and cut the pumpkin into pieces.  (Pumpkins are tough to cut!)  Then she would put it into a large pot and boil it until it was very tender.  I don't know how long, but it seemed like hours to me as a kid.  Then she would drain it and take a colander and mash it through the holes.  It had to be done in small batches and took a long time.  This was almost an all day event and why it had to be done the day before.  It was put into the refrigerator to cool and be ready for the next day.  I use a can.  So much easier.  Fortunately at the end of her life (she lived to be 94) she used a can too.  I knew I didn't want to make a lot of pies, so I used a small can and cut down on the eggs and milk.

Make sure to use the pure pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling.  Since I was cutting the recipe in half, I used 3 eggs.  But later rethought myself and put in another one.  4 eggs in all.

After they were mixed together, I grated the peel of a lemon and added it.  I found the planer hard to use to get the rind, but I didn't know where I put my box grater.  It is much easier on the box grater.  But I got my rind and added it.  Be sure to use the yellow rind, no white part, and do NOT put the juice in.  That would ruin the pie.

Mix it in and then add the sugar.  How much sugar?  I don't know.  The way I was taught to make this pie is add things until it tastes right.  I know how it's supposed to taste and when it tastes the way it should, then I stop.  I began with two scoops.  I think I added another three before it was right.  I think.  I didn't count.

Joe came into the kitchen at this point and took pictures for me as I added the ginger.  That is the only spice in this pie.  Again I began with the amount in the recipe, but added more at the end until it "tasted right."

I put milk in the pumpkin pan, stirred it around to get the last of the pumpkin out, and poured it in a little at a time until it was the right consistency. 

Then it was taste, add, taste again.  What does it need?  Add and taste again.  When it tasted right, I prepared the crust and poured the filling in.  The last step is to sprinkle cinnamon on the top.

It is baked in a hot oven on the bottom shelf until it is partially baked and then put on the top shelf to finish.  What is a hot oven?  I don't know.  I used 400*F (about 200*C).

Since Joe does not like my kind of pie all that much, and I don't like his all that much, I made the Libby's pumpkin pie for him.  There was a little filling left over, so we put it into two ramekins and had pumpkin pudding for dessert last night.  It came out good.

Oops, guess I need to clean my oven door today.

You can see my pie is more orange than Joe's pie.  And yes, we have a pie apiece.  Are we spoiled or what?

I didn't take a picture of the finished product, but you will see it in the Thanksgiving post.  I will try to put it up tonight, but it might be tomorrow before I do.

In any case, have a wonderful day.  I'm looking forward to reading all of your posts about this special time.

Until later...



  1. Gosh, your pumpkin pies look great. I cheated and bought one of Costco's famous pumpkin pies and had a piece of it yesterday, (Wednesday) for breakfast. I will have another piece later today. ha! Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and Joe!

  2. Your pies look wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving Day to both of you. Enjoy that pie, hugs, Edna B.

  3. Both pies look good. Usually, I make the recipe on the can of Libby's pumpkin 100% pure. This year I grew pie pumpkins (9 small ones) and made pies from one of my pumpkins. Turned out great but you are so right about how 'hard' they are to cut and it takes a long time boiling to soften. Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, small green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, rolls, and a jello/cream cheese side dish is on the menu. Even though it is a 'crazy' year there is so much to be thankful for and that includes sweet bloggers like yourself. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Patty McDonald

  4. Love that you have that great old recipe. I'm a Libby's gal,too. LOL. This year I made it crustless though and used Monksfruit sweetener rather than tasted exactly the same. And even crustless it serves up just like regular pie.
    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving night. xo Diana

  5. Hi Kathy - Those pies look delicious. My husband is our pie baker, but this year, we were given a pie, so he did not bake any. I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving. I will stop by for another visit again soon.

  6. It sometimes surprises me how many things we take for granted. Like your mom using a colander. I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie so I bought an apple crumb. Russ likes most pies; I like coconut custard.The pups had a can of Kibbles & Bits with turkey & veggies. Hope you & Joe had a great day!

  7. We are blessed to live very near our children & grandchildren here in Lancaster County. This year one of our sons-in-law made the entire delicious meal except for dessert. No pies, but I made gluten free apple crisp served warm with ice cream. Your pies look very good! And how fortunate to have your family recipes.

  8. This was a wonderful post Kathy..I loved reading and seeing how you put this treasured pumpkin pie recipe together...there is nothing better in our memories than remembering our family recipes....thank you so much for sharing...your pie is beautiful!


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