Pumpkin pie

It is November, and that means Thanksgiving!  Last year I was in Manila at this time and didn’t get to have a Thanksgiving holiday, and obviously won’t get the four day weekend this year either, but I do think of America around this time and am hoping to cook and bake a whole lot more this year than I was able to do last year.  I actually made this pumpkin pie a while ago for a colleague who was leaving to go work in America for six months but have only just gotten around to posting it now.  I figure it’s appropriate to actually post something before Thanksgiving.

One of the most annoying things about trying to do Thanksgiving in a non American country is that a lot of things that Americans grow up with just don’t exist in other countries or are extremely hard to find.  For instance, most Australians have never seen a can of pumpkin, which is ubiquitous in America.  And I spent weeks last year trying to find fresh cranberries to no avail (I just wanted cranberry sauce for Christmas!).  Anyway, I snuck some cans of pumpkin into Australia (I have found that occasionally they sell them at American sections of food stores, but they are of course 3x the price they would be in America) and used one precious one to make this pie.  I will obviously use another when I make another one in a couple weeks.

Pumpkin pie is actually ridiculously easy to make and the only slightly tricky part is making the pie crust itself if you choose to do so. (and that’s not really that hard anyway so you should give it a go)  The pie crust I made for this was ok but it was nothing special and the pumpkin filling itself is what really makes the pie delicious.  Next time I make one I plan on using this crust and I think that will make it even more delicious.  I recommend deciding on your crust first and then using the below recipe for your filling.

Pumpkin pie (adapted from Cultured Palate)


  • 2c. cooked pumpkin (if you don’t have canned pumpkin I think technically you can roast pumpkin and puree it and squeeze out the liquid and such but honestly I have not tried that and my recommendation would just be to find the canned stuff.  Of course it’s important to use canned pumpkin and not canned pumpkin pie filling, which is gross)
  • 1 1/2c evaporated milk (I was relieved to see that they do have cans of that in Australia)
  • 1c raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice (if you don’t have this just sub in a bit more cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 210 C / 425 F.  Have a pie crust ready in a circular pan.  Depending on the recipe you choose, you may have it baked already, or it’s just ready to go.  I used one where I just had the dough molded out into the pan and then I poured the pumpkin filling into it, but I think in the future I would use one where it’s baked at least a little first, because I found the crust to be a bit under-done.  Or if you just want it to be quite easy you can buy a pre-made pie shell.

Then, combine all of the ingredients in a big bowl until they are well mixed.  I do pumpkin and evaporated milk first, then add sugar, vanilla and eggs, and then all the spices.  It honestly is that simple. Pour it all into the pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.  Then, reduce the heat to 180 C / 350 F and bake for 45 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Once it’s out of the oven, let it cool and then refrigerate it.  Pumpkin pie is best served cold or at room temperature (and always with whipped cream).  The best thing about it is that you can always make it ahead of time so you don’t have to panic about making dessert while your guests are eating dinner!

IMG_5830Pie crust molded into the pan and ready to go

IMG_5831Pumpkin combined with evaporated milk

IMG_5832Adding sugar, eggs, and other ingredients

IMG_5833The pie filling will go right up to the top (I think my circular pan is slightly smaller than it should be)

IMG_5849Test with a knife in the centre to make sure it’s done – it should come out clean

IMG_5851Display on a platter for maximum positive impressions

This is a necessary ingredient for any Thanksgiving meal and it is just delicious.  The filling is not too sweet and it’s just a fun non-chocolate dessert.  I wouldn’t make it every day because the association with Thanksgiving is so strong, but around this time of year, I definitely want to make it multiple times!

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