Pie. From an actual pumpkin.

(This recipe was first posted in October, 2006.)
When you have a craving for pumpkin pie, and you happen to have a couple dozen real live pumpkins within 50 feet of your back door, it seems a trifle silly to run to the store for a can of pumpkin pie filling.  So here for your viewing pleasure I present yesterday afternoon’s pumpkin pie marathon.

3:45 pm.  Go to garden, trailed by 4 youngest children. Wade thru viney weedy pumpkin patch, tripping repeatedly.  Realize this would be easier if you were wearing tennies instead of gold wedge flip-flops that were conveniently sitting by the garage door from Sunday.

Bypass at least 4 monster pumpkins because, really, how much pie do ya want to make?  Carefully select 3 smaller-than-soccer-ball pumpkins, one for the front porch and two for pie.  Hand two to the 8 year old boys and 1 to the 4 year old girl, cautioning them not to drop them on the way in. Pick up one year old who does not want to leave the mosquito-ridden garden.

3:50.  Set kids playing in back yard.  Go in and wash pumpkins, absently scratching mosquito-bitten knuckles.

3:52  4 year old comes in sighing and saying it is ‘sweaty out there’.  Thermometer reads 74 degrees. Tell her she can help if she washes her hands. Chop pumpkin in half and hand half to the 4 year old.  Once she stops saying ‘ewwww!’ she proceeds to do an excellent job scraping seeds out of the interior of the pumpkin. Put large pot of water on to boil to cook pumpkin in.

4:00 pm.  Finish chopping pumpkin into large chunks  (skin still on). Put into boiling water.  With 4 year old’s help, sort pumpkin seeds out, sprinkle with oil and garlic salt, and stick in oven on 300 degrees for half an hour or so. One year old is still thankfully playing outside with 8 year olds.

4:10– 4 year old loses interest once pumpkin is boiling and goes back out to join them.   While pumpkin boils (about 20-25 minutes) begin to make easy press-in pie crust.  Line up 4 pie pans (hope there’s enough pumpkin for that many!) and in each pie pan put 1-1/2 cups flour, 1 T. sugar and 1 t. salt.  Mix with fork and add 1/2 cup oil and 2 T. milk.  Mix with fork to combine wet and dry ingredients.  When mixture begins to ball up, finish mixing with fingers, then gradually spread dough out on the pan, pressing dough into bottom and sides of the pan with fingers.

4:25–Do a fancy edge on crust if there’s time–yup– toddler is still happily playing in back yard. Remember just in time to take pumpkin seeds out of oven.

4:30 –Drain pumpkin which is fork-tender by now.  Rinse in cold water till it is cool enough to handle.  Peel with a sharp knife.  Drop peeled chunks into blender as you peel.  Puree pumpkin in blender, adding a cup of evaporated milk to help it puree easily.  Make mental note that you have already added that much milk to the recipe.

4:45- Follow this recipe to make filling for pie.   Pour into pie shells.  Fill 4 pie shells and discover you have only used half the filling.

4:50-Put first 4 pies into oven, and pull out 3 more pie pans to make more crust.  Kids come inside, and promptly eat most of the freshly roasted pumpkin seeds.  Manage to save a few for hubby.  Enlist one of the 8 year old boys to help press piecrust into pans.  Other 8 year old reads a story to one year old who is beginning to whine at mom’s legs.

5:05 –Hurriedly finish pressing out piecrusts, fill them (3 more was just right!) and then set them on stove to be cooked after first batch comes out.  Sit down and cuddle one year old.  Wow– 7 pies in an hour and a half.  No wonder I’m tired.

For more yummy desserts, visit my recipe index.

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  1. Great story, and delicious looking pies. I've just gotten some pie pumpkins from our local CSA. I'm hoping to get two more and then I'll be making pie so I've copied your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I really like your assembly line pie crust system, that seems much easier than rolling them out. I am going to try, but on a smaller scale 🙂

  3. You are so wonderful to remind me that sometimes just a little bit of work can bring huge rewards. I think I just may make a pumpkin pie (or 3) from scratch this year. I love the photo recipe. 🙂

  4. Great recipie!! I did that once when I ws still teaching (preschool) we made pumpkin bread from a real pumpkin.

    The kids took it in stride – but BOY were the parents impresed!!

  5. What a great job!! I know you must have felt all that work was worthwhile when you looked at all those scrumptious pies. I ashamed to say I would have opted for the canned pumpkin – mostly because with my "black thumb" there is no way I would ever have a pumpkin patch!!

  6. This sounds quite a nice way to spend an afternoon. I found a press in pie crust a while ago and have used up most of my rhubarb because of it. Now, off the the pumpkins!

  7. Yummy on the pumpkin seeds! I roast seeds in a frying pan with Braggs and Tamari – I'll have to try with garlic!

  8. Ummm…I am assuming it tastes better than the store bought pie filling? If so, we may have to try this here.

  9. wow!
    I like the one that's shaped like a stop sign! Very fun.

  10. I am incredibly impressed. Can I come eat pie at your house?

  11. I'll take my piece with cool whip, please. 🙂

  12. Awesome! You've made it look so manageable. They look very yummy!

  13. You are an amazing lady, Mary.

  14. I enjoyed your comment over at finslippy and came over to take a look.
    I have four kids and am completely swamped so reading blogs from Mama's of many really helps me gain perspective.

    This is amazing to me and inspiring!

  15. I'll be over for dessert! Looks totally yum!

  16. WOW! What a fun the pictures add.

    I've been wishing for about a month that we had planted a cooking variety of pumpkins so that I could make pie out of them. Part of me thinks I should try it anyway since I have 10 pumpkins, even if it doesn't work out will I really miss one?!

  17. I added this comment to the wrong entry: I want to live at your house.

    It pretty much works for whichever entry.

  18. We don't EXACTLY get pumpkin here but we get a sort of pumpkin-like thing and I've tried and tried to make pies from scratch and they never come out right! I can get the taste but not the texture. Maybe the prob is that my blender's broken! I'll have to try adding evap milk too. Anyway, congrats–they look great, wish I could join you with some of my husband's home-made ice-cream 🙂 Enjoy.

  19. Oh this I am doing. I love it when people break down an impossible task into something (with pictures) that I can do. I just need to see someone else doing it first. Nice post.

  20. That pie crust sure sounds easy, maybe we will start having more pies here!!

  21. I don't think I have ever read a recipe that has bothered to explain how tostart with a raw pumpkin before. Do they freeze well? I"m the only one around here that likes pumpkin pie, so really I am dreaming. I don't bake anymore because I"m the only one to eat it, and that's bad for my pants size.

  22. I've never heard of doing pie crust that way, but man, that's genius! I made pumpkin pies the other day (but from canned pumpkin) and it's the rolling out of the pie dough that's the biggest hurdle.

  23. You are making an amazing amount of memories for your kids. I have big kids and littles also and you inspire me to not fizzle on the fun projects with the younger kids . . . .


  24. What beautiful pumpkins and pumpkin pies! Now I have a craving for some, myself. 🙂

  25. Love this post…you did so good!

  26. I have so been wanting to learn how to make "real" pumpkin pie. Now if I can only get the computer in the kitchen…oh yeah I guess I could print this post. (grin)

  27. Oh yummmm can you have this through a straw =))) I am sooo looking forward to Thanksgiving.

  28. I remember doing that with my mom — MANIY years ago.
    I never made a pumpkin pie from a pumpkin with my kids, tho. HOWEVER, we did make jack-o-lanters and then put the seeds in the oven to bake.

  29. awesome!!! I did this once and yet your story sounds like so much less work;)!

  30. Just reading that work makes me exhausted – but, boy do those pies look DELICIOUS!!! There is nothing better than Homemade – the work is always worth it!!!

  31. Wow! I can't wait to try this. I will have to wait until I have a little more room, but I am saving your recipe and photos. 🙂 Great Fall post for the Fall Carnival!!

  32. All that in 90 minutes?? My hat's off to you! Thanks for the reminder that great stuff can be achieved with grace and ease (not the same as "easy"!). 🙂

  33. Great recipe. I'm going to give it a try this Thanksgiving. Thanks for the photos. Nice touch. (Visiting from Blogging Chicks).

  34. Man, does that look good! I hate to admit it, but I am not that dedicated, LOL! I really enjoyed reading your post, here from the CBC.

  35. I have never heard of that pie crust method. Sounds almost too simple to be true. I am going to have to give it a try.
    I am all for canned pumpkin though!

  36. That is the most amazing pie making story of all time! I’m going to have to give that pastry making a try…they look delicious!

  37. Rita germaine says:

    Dont you have to grease the pie plates??the Pies look fantastic.

  38. Thank you for sharing the whole process from start to finish! I have to admit I rarely make pies as I hate rolling out crusts and buying premade frozen are too pricey. I’m gonna give this a try! I’ve always wondered how to change raw pumpkin into pie. My DearHusband will be thrilled, he thinks pumpkin pie the best breakfast food! I love the pictures of your beautiful children. I consider your blog a blessing in my life, a bright spot in the day! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  39. Several years ago I switched to growing a small pumpkin because it makes all of this much easier. I recommend: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8617-baby-pam-og.aspx

  40. I LOVE making pies. I have made pies from real pumpkins for years. But . . . I have never heard of Press In Pie Crust. Seriously?!?! Never heard of such a thing. I will have to give it a try.

    mama of 12


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