children • education • parents
relationships • marriage • the elderly


As American as Pumpkin Pie

November 22, 2016 by

As an American expat of twenty-six years, I am forced to admit every November that my most compelling umbilical tie is pumpkin pie. That’s because I have the best pumpkin pie recipe in or out of the United States. I know your Grandma, your Aunt Betty, or Rachael Ray have all told you the same. Don’t believe them.

a freshly cut pumpkin pie

My recipe comes from a reassuringly round cook (never trust a skinny one) who fed amazingly well the small, hand-picked staff at my first professional teaching post: St. Dominic’s School in Boston, Massachusetts.

I share it with you now. May it serve you and all you feed equally well.

For one 9” Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin (blended, pureed) Cook and stir about 10 min or until most liquid has cooked off. Set aside.
  • 2 eggs Beat on medium speed in a large mixing bowl.
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk Stir with sugar into eggs.
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg Dissolve these 3 spices in 2 T boiling water. Cool slightly and add to egg mixture.
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cream Add both with pumpkin to egg mixture. Pour into unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 425 degrees F/200 degrees C for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C for 25 minutes longer (shorter in a convection oven).

Bake 4-5” above bottom of the oven until custard is coagulated except for a small circle in the center.

Delightfully delicious warm, room temperature, or chilled. I prefer it room temperature or chilled. You can decorate your pie with whipped cream or serve each piece with a dollop.

A secret confession: except for the rare occasion, I don’t use evaporated milk. I always use double-strength powdered milk; it works fine. Cream is also infrequent in my house, so whole milk (also with a bit of powdered milk added depending on the wholeness of your milk) does the trick. Rest assured: this recipe will work with your normal stock of kitchen supplies.

Read Ann’s thoughts on the deeper significance of Thanksgiving and eating together.


About the author

Ann Morrissey photograph

Ann Morrissey

Ann Morrissey lives in Beech Grove, a Bruderhof in England, with her husband, Dave. They delight in the English countryside...

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  • Thank you for sharing that recipe! I'm going to try baking a custard inside a pumpkin and I think I'll use your ratio of spices. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

    Betsy Hawes