Pie. From an actual pumpkin.

November 23, 2010 | By | Comments (4)

If you happen to have a pumpkin still sitting on your front porch waiting for a purpose in life, you may just want to try your hand at making pie from it.  It takes a bit more time that popping open a can.  But it is not difficult, and it always gives me a feeling of self-suffiency to be able to make it myself from something that might have been thrown away otherwise. 

Start by washing off the pumpkin, cutting it in half with a heavy knife, and scraping the seeds out of the center. I often enlist my kids to help me sort out the seeds. (We like to toss the seeds in oil, paprika, and garlic salt and bake til crispy, about 15 minutes.)

The next step is to cut the pumpkin into large-ish chunks, maybe about the size of your palm.  PLace these chunks in a large pot of water and let it boil until the pumpkin flesh is soft, about 20-25 minutes.



Drain the water off the pumpkin, and rinse it with cool water, then drain in a colander.  When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, cut the skin off the flesh.  Puree the softened pumpkin in a food processer.  This pumpkin will be lighter in color and has just a little more liquid in it than pumpkin from a can, so for pumpkin pie I decrease the liquid in the recipe by a couple tablespoons.   But beyond that, you can use this pumpkin just like the pumpkin out of a can.  Here's my recipe.  Any extra pumpkin puree can be frozen until you need it, for pie, bread, or muffins.


Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Makes one pie

  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked pastry shell (9-inch)


Combine sugar, salt, spices, and flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add pumpkin and eggs; mix well. Add evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix well again. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake about 35 minutes longer, or until center is set.




  1. seanymph

    I used to do it that way. Then more and more Im seeing folks roast pumpkin halves and scrape out the pulp to use. I did that this yr and its so much easier and much better. They used to have too much liquid the other way. This way they are mostly pulp. I let it sit over nite in a colander with a bowl under it and the next morning found a bit more liquid. After that is was just so ez to scoop the pulp up into plastic bags to freeze. I just cut my pumpkin in half, took out the seeds and junk. Oiled a baking sheet and put the pumpkins cut side down at 350 degrees. I roasted till a fork went in ez. Let cool and scrape with a spoon. No more fighting with knives and pumpkins!

    November 23, 2010 at 11:36 am
  2. Charlotte

    I bake or steam pumpkins for pies. Bake them in a casserole dish with the lid on, at about 300F, or 350F. Steaming them works too. I don’t add water because this cuts down the flavor, and pumpkins have a lot of water in them. You can also cut the top off at a slant, so that the lid does not fall into the pumpkin when it starts to shrink, and after cleaning out all the center junk, bake it slowly. You can put a small amount of water in the pan for this, as it helps the pumpkin cook a little faster, and since you peel it after it is baked, you will not add water to the pulp. Scoop out the cooked pulp, and let it drain in a colander. The less ater you use,the richer your pie will taste.
    It is better to use smaller pumpkins too. They have more flavor than the large ones.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm
  3. Eva

    I normally steam my pumpkin. I know it is a lot of effort, but I peel it and cut it into chunks that are about the same size before I put it into the steamer basket. I get a very consistently cooked pumpkin this way. This year I tried the roasting method, and I was very unhappy with the results. Not all of the pumpkin cooked at the same rate since the pumpkin is a different thickness in some areas. I will go back to steaming next year. Fresh cooked pumpkin is so yummy!

    November 29, 2010 at 9:59 am
  4. Renee

    I put the cleaned pumpkin halves in the microwave covered with clear plastic wrap for around 20 minutes on high. Pour out the liquid and the skin peels right off.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm

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