Recipe: How to make Pumpkin Pie

Some people love the holidays because of the family get-togethers, the presents, the festivities.

I like it for the pumpkin pie.

This year at Thanksgiving the children couldn’t take their eyes off of this pie from the minute I brought it in the door.  They were fascinated by the little pumpkin decorations and the richer color of this pie next to its store-bought cousin. No one even sliced up the store bought pie, but this pumpkin pie was immediately devoured–first by the children, then the adults.

Then one of the soldiers at the gathering came up to me, mouth full of pie, and named me the “Goddess of Pie Crusts.” I think that meant he liked it. The kids’ faces were smeared with various shades of orange–the international sign of good food.

Making pumpkin pie from scratch is so easy you’ll be ashamed you ever bought it frozen or from a grocery bakery.

And it’s good. I mean gooooooooooood.

This is a blue-ribbon winning recipe that I was fortunate enough to get in a pie making class years ago at Rudy’s a Cook’s Paradise in Twin Falls, Idaho. The class is a staple in the area, taught by Dr. Laura Fall-Sutton who paid her way through medical school by baking. After an evening with her, and four years of baking and selling these pies myself, it is easy to see how she did it.


1.5 cup cooked or canned pumpkin (about 1 can)

1/4 cup light corn syrup–OR–maple syrup

2 eggs

1/2cup evaporated milk (save the rest for later in the recipe)

2TBSP butter

1/2 cup HOT milk

1/2cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon’

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4tsp ginger

1/8 tsp cloves

1 unbaked pie shell (below)


1 1/4 C all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1TBSP sugar

1/3 cup butter flavored shortening (Crisco)

4 or 5 TBSP ice water


Prep the crust first by mixing dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender (cutter) cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprink 1 TBSP water over part of mix and toss gently with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of bowl and repeat with another TBSP of water until all dough is moistened. Form in to ball. Refrigerate until ready to roll out (at least 5 minutes).

I prefer a marble rolling pin and I keep it in the fridge to keep it cold. The marble holds the cool temperature longer and more evenly than other materials seem to. Cool temps help keep the dough from sticking and make it easier to handle.

Roll out dough on slightly floured parchment paper. Place the pie plate on top of the rolled out dough, then flip. Doing it this way minimizes breakage.

Then peel off the parchment paper and crimp the edges up high, trimming the excess to use for decorations later. To crimp, wet your fingers and pinch with your thumb and two fingers.

After prepping the pie plate, in a medium bowl combine pumpkin, syrup, eggs and evaporated milk.

Meanwhile, Stir butter in to hot milk.

Combine the brown sugar, salt and spices, mixing until well blended.

Combine all three mixtures.

Pour in to pastry-lined pie plate.

Use the scraps to create decorations, if you want.

Bake in hot oven at 425* fir 15 minutes with protector, then reduce heat to 350* and bake about 35 minutes longer or until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool to room temp before serving.

Optional: in the last 10 minutes or so, brush on a maple glaze made of maple syrup and powdered sugar.


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