Pumpkin Pie

Baking By Shockolata Updated 15 Sep 2015 , 12:21pm by Shockolata

Shockolata Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 3:37pm
post #1 of 47

This will sound strange, but what does pumpkin pie taste like? I see it featured a lot on American films/shows around Halloween time (or is it Thanksgiving?) but I have never tasted it. What would you compare it with texture-wise and flavour-wise? Is there a traditional way of making it or does everyone use canned pumpkin? Would you be able to do it with a different type of yellow squash, e.g. butternut squash or does it have to be that huge pumpkin that you buy for carving? Is pumpkin pie one of those desserts that you only make a couple of times a year because you just can't eat too much of it?

46 replies
-K8memphis Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 4:09pm
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first of all -- i do not like pumpkin pie because i have a very slight metabolism and two or three bites of pumpkin pie when i was a kid would fill me up and i would have no room to enjoy anything else -- but i know a lot of your answers --

  • it tastes like a slicker version of a sweet potato pie where pumpkin pie is luster and sp pie is matte -- maybe like a thick egg yolk custard type texture -- smooth but powerful when made traditionally --
  • it's got it's own blend of spices "pumpkin pie spice" i'm guessing a blend of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove 
  • it's a heavy dessert but traditional for our thanksgiving here in the states so smaller slices are served --
  • carving pumpkins are grown to be carved not made into pies but you can make pies from the ones intended for carving --
  • pumpkins grown for pumpkin pie get canned -- it's fine to use --it's not any kind of cop out -- it's not "un-scratch' of anyone to use the canned stuff -- you can get canned pumpkin puree too but if and when we make it (here at home) we buy the canned pumpkin pie stuff -- you add evaporated milk or cream and eggs if memory serves --
  • i think hubbard squash makes the closest to pumpkin if you were to switch 
  • i think it is just so traditionally a harvest menu item plus it's too big a dessert for summer months and too harvesty for spring  -- pumpkin sneaks into muffins and other delights during the year but it stars in the autumnal/winter season

TheresaCarol Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 4:15pm
post #3 of 47

Pumpkin pie can be made year-round if you desire.  There are soooooo many different recipes out there.   Most pumpkin pie texture is that of a thick pudding.  The taste is a spice-filled; cloves, cinnamon, all-spice, etc.  Because there is not one set recipe, texture and taste can differ.  Many use canned pumpkin but some buy a pie pumpkin and cook it down.  Carving pumpkins and pie pumpkins are different; most pie pumpkins are smaller.  Some recipes call for the pie to be made with cream while others use evaporated milk.   My mom was from Tennessee so she made sweet potato pies.  I grew up on those instead of pumpkin.  They are much sweeter than pumpkin pies.  You could most definitely use different kinds of squash to make pies; it is all personal preference.  Hope this helps.

Pastrybaglady Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 5:06pm
post #4 of 47

I am a huge fan of canned pumpkin because I have made it from scratch with a pumpkin we grew in our backyard and there is no discernable difference because the pumpkin has such a mild flavor and all the spices are so strong. What I can tell you is that butternut squash is much easier to work with and tastes the same if you want to work from scratch.  More meat small seeds but the resulting pie looks pale and not as appetizing to me.

Brookebakescake Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 5:40pm
post #5 of 47

Pumpkin pie is my son's favorite, and we don't celebrate thanksgiving, so we make it year-round.  I use canned pumpkin, but might buy a pie pumpkin when we start going to the orchards here soon.

Shockolata Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 7:28pm
post #6 of 47

@-K8memphis  Thank you. That is one helluva description :) I can imagine it in my head now.

I had a friend from the Caribbean and she once made a sweet potato pie with sweet potato and pineapple juice and sugar and we had this as accompaniment to roast chicken. Is this the kind of sweet potato pie you are talking about @TheresaCarol  ?

I did suspect it is a heavy dessert and the spices (allspice etc) confirm it. In my country we used to make a chestnut puree called Mont Blanc. It is delicious but you can only have a little bit as it can be heavy on the stomach. And at Christmas we make a sirupy biscuit called Melomakarona (or Finikia, depending where you hail from.) That has cinnamon in the dough which makes it really heavy - again, this is probably why it is only done once a year. I have changed the recipe to agree with my taste. 

I am very interested in unusual recipes from all over the world but some of them are hard to make if you do not know what you are aiming for. This is why I asked about pumpkin pie. Thank you all for your help! :)

Shockolata Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 7:29pm
post #7 of 47

@Brookebakescake  any chance of sharing your recipe? :)

MBalaska Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 7:36pm
post #8 of 47

Last week I was desperate for some pumpkin bread and the store did not have any canned pumpkin in stock yet.  So I made banana bread instead.  I can eat pumpkin straight out of the can with a dash of cinnamon & sugar mixed in.  Pumpkin is actually considered a 'SUPER FOOD'  as it is high in fiber vitamins and minerals.   However it is not the most favorite American pie flavor.   I also recently found a pumpkin cupcake recipe that uses a whole can of pumpkin and it was absolutely heavenly............... dang I better run into town today and see if any pumkin has been shipped to Alaska yet!!!!


-K8memphis Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 7:52pm
post #9 of 47

shockolata, i know what you mean by wanting to try stuff but when you don't have a reference for it -- it's kinda like being weightless lost in space treading water or something -- you're moving but you're steadfastly unsure about the arrival even after re-entering earth's atmosphere -- when i was a kid we had julia child on tv but i never knew whether to take her serious or not -- food tv has really helped me understand a lot about cooking and trying new things --

and thanks that my description helped you -- i erase a lot :)

CatPoet Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 9:11pm
post #10 of 47

Shockolata  I have used both butternut squash and fairy tale pumpkin for pumpkin pie and my american friend said that the butternut was  closes to how she remembered  pumpkin pie.

Can you get either of those ?

I can dig up the recipe I used and the spice mix too since here in Europe we don't have pumpkin spice.

Narie Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 11:36pm
post #11 of 47

This the recipe I use.  https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18470/libbys-famous-pumpkin-pie/   It is a pretty standard recipe.  I assume the problem will be getting canned pumpkin.  Cooking down the pumpkin yourself, particularly when you don't know what the texture should look like -very thick-, could be tricky. I remember that my mother tried to cook a pumpkin from scratch once about 60 years ago.  She never tried that again.   Also, I don't think it is a particularly "heavy" dessert, no worse than a piece of fruit pie.  Heavier than a chiffon or custard pie but not particularly filling.

TheresaCarol Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 12:27am
post #12 of 47

I had a friend from the Caribbean and she once made a sweet potato pie with sweet potato and pineapple juice and sugar and we had this as accompaniment to roast chicken. Is this the kind of sweet potato pie you are talking about @TheresaCarol  ?

Although it sounds very tasty, no that is not it.  My mom used sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk and there was 2 cups of sugar in addition to the milk.  I have since revamped the recipe as to not put my family in a sugar coma.  Mom made her iced tea with 2 cups of sugar per gallon so she was definitely one of the sweetest people I knew. :)

Mom always told me if I couldn't find pumpkin pie spice I could use:

    1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 1/8 tsp. cloves.

I have never cared for pumpkin because I grew up on sweet potato pie but I found this recipe a few years ago and I like this better than any I have tasted.  I think it is because of the cream used.

 1                    9" pie crust
  1      can           15 ounce pumpkin puree
    3/4  cup           light brown sugar
    3/4  teaspoon      cinnamon
  1 1/2  teaspoons     ginger
    1/4  teaspoon      salt
    1/4  teaspoon      nutmeg
  3      large         eggs
  1                    egg yolk
  1 1/4  cups          heavy whipping cream

Heat oven to 375'.  Place pie crust in baking dish.  Bake empty crust for 15 minutes then set aside to cool slightly.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.  Heat for 7 minutes, stirring often.  Transfer puree mixture to a blender.  Puree for 10 seconds.  One at a time, add eggs and yolk; pulsing blender.  With blender running, slowly add whipping cream and puree until well mixed, about another 10 seconds.  Slowly pour filling into crust then bake for one hour, or until edges ar puffed and center is set and jiggles only slightly. 

remnant3333 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 2:18am
post #13 of 47

I love both pumpkin pies or sweet potato pies!! Sometimes I get a craving for them and just make them any time of the year!! 

MBalaska Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 3:03am
post #14 of 47

Well dang....no canned pumpkin yet.  pumpkin pie sounds so delicious.  

CatPoet Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 12:06pm
post #15 of 47
  1. Home made pumpkin pure
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Cut the pumpkin in quarters, stem to base. Remove seeds and pulp. Cover each quarters  with foil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven, foil side up, 1 hour, or until tender.
  5. Scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves and puree in a blender. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces.
costumeczar Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 12:48pm
post #16 of 47

I have to go get some canned pumpkin today to feed to my cat for "Extra fiber." This thread makes me want to go get a pumpkin pie while I'm at it. 

I used to live in Spain, and our friends hadn't had pumpkin pie either, so when my mother would make it they would go crazy and devour the whole thing. I had one friend who would have eaten the whole pie by himself if given a chance.

costumeczar Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 12:49pm
post #17 of 47

Oh, and pumpkin pie is a lot less sweet than sweet potato pie. I have a recipe that has bourbon in it and it's really good. yum yum yum

kakeladi Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 2:00pm
post #18 of 47

I'm surprised no one has mentioned *carrot pie* can also be a very close 2nd to pumpkin. Just cook and mash carrots well and proceed as one would following the "libby's canned pumpkin" recipe.

Shockolata Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 6:23pm
post #19 of 47

Wow! Love your ideas. I am sure we can find some canned pumpkin here in the UK. After all we can find Karo and Crisco nowadays and maybe Costco brings it for Halloween. Look what a search brought up!  


If Americans use canned pumpkin, then so will I.  As for pumpkin spice, I think that Allspice would work well.  This is what it looks like and a list of its resemblance to known spices. When they say use sparingly, they are not kidding. This stuff is dynamite! A pinch is all I need for my spiced pears or my homemade bbq sauce.  http://www.schwartz.co.uk/products/herbs-and-spices/spices/allspice-ground.aspx 

Thank you all very much! When I get to do it, I will place a pic and tell you my thoughts on it. I feel encouraged that if a Spanish person loved it, so will we. :)

CatPoet Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 7:01pm
post #20 of 47

Oh trust me allspice wont work as single spice and I use it on pork, chicken and few other things,  we swedes use it as pepper.  

Mix spice would be more pumpkin spice then all spice. This the one I used, dont  know where I got it from.

Pumpkin Spice Mix Recipe

Mix the following in a nice gift jar:

  • 1/3 cup ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg or mace

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

    Mix everything in a  jar and shake.

For pumpkin pie, add 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of spice mix to your other ingredients.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 7:04pm
post #21 of 47

allspice is one of the spices for a traditional pp -- you need the ginger as theresacarol pointed out in her recipe and maybe some clove or nutmeg, cinnamon for sure and costumeczar needs to cough up the bourbon recipe maybe i will start liking pp after all stuck_out_tongue.png

from the farmer's almanac and this to make a pumpkin pie spice gift jar of it:

    • 1/3 cup ground cinnamon.
    • 1 tablespoon ground ginger.
    • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg or mace.
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves.
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 7:06pm
post #22 of 47

cat poet *:-)/\:-) high five

CatPoet Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 7:17pm
post #23 of 47

K8memphis : I have a few cooking challenged  American friends here in Sweden, I made pumpkin pie, corn bread and few other typical American dishes. 

I am now trying to get apple pie spice the right flavour because a friend is longing for it.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 7:32pm
post #24 of 47

i just use a ton of cinnamon and a little white flour or tapioca flour so the juices thicken -- i'm not bashful with the cinnamon -- oh and i dot the apples with a few pats of butter before putting on the top crust or struesel so the juices kind of caramelize and a dash of lemon juice that's traditional apple pie -- only my philosophy is 'if a little is good a lot is better' smile.png so i use a couple tablespoons of cinnamon -- i really like it -- i'm a devout apple-pie-a-holic  -- i used to only make it once or twice a year but since the kids are gone i got individual size tart pans and make it much more often but only one serving each or i will eat the entire pie -- "if a little is good..." hahahahaha stuck_out_tongue.png

CatPoet Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 7:54pm
post #25 of 47

Well  cinnamon is poisonous, so I wouldn't use tablespoon more like teaspoon for a whole pie and since Mrs B already have liver problems I am not going to add to it.

AAtKT Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 8:08pm
post #26 of 47

I am also a person who tends to over-cinnamon my apple (and pumpkin) pies... I at least double (but more likely more) the amount...

As for PP, I double ALL the spices listed on the can of pureed pumpkin... I like it spiced up...

For apple... I do use quite a bit of  cinnamon, but I also put in some nutmeg, ginger, and clove... I can't say how much since I don't actually measure them...

An if cinnamon is that poisonous, I think I would be horribly dead by now... I put it on buttered toast... rice pudding... egg nog...  and a whole slew of other things... It is probably the spice I use the most regularly...

Edited to add... I know nutmeg can kill you if injected intravenously and you can also hallucinate from excess of it, but I have never used THAT much...

*Last edited by AAtKT on 13 Sep 2015 , 8:13pm
CatPoet Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 8:26pm
post #27 of 47

I should have used the word toxic.  Well eating 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per day is seen as  the limit here .  How ever this only comes to  cassia cinnamon  not true cinnamon,  How ever since  Cassia cinnamon is the most common in store due to its strong flavour, most of us uses it.  And it doesnt kill you as saffron can , saffron death is a stunning but a very expensive way to go.  In some people it causes liver, kidney problems and tumours  but in others only minor problems that the body can heal on it own. People dont notice, It is the coumarin that is the problem, how ever Europe is more strict on it then USA .

Doing the cinnamondragon challenge how ever  can give you  chemical burns in your lungs due to Cinnamaldehyde .

Now back to pumpkin pie!

-K8memphis Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 8:43pm
post #28 of 47

i checked wiki and it only says the toxicity is low and it's a good insecticide and stuff like that -- the liquid formulation is a skin irritant --

they sell cinnamon in capsule form here in the states --

in my food i use both kinds of cinnamon liberally for an anti-inflammatory and for flavor -- i'm not saying there's not room for caution i'm saying i need more information --

oh ok i just googled 'cinnamon dragon challenge' -- now i gotcha -- i see what you mean, catpoet, no i eat mine with apples usually not, actually never straight up --


no worries but thanks for the heads up!

-K8memphis Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 8:45pm
post #29 of 47

aAtkt -- "An if cinnamon is that poisonous, I think I would be horribly dead by now..."

me too! i even sprinkle it my coffee grounds to brew in my coffee

horribly horribly dead stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye.png

MBalaska Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 9:42pm
post #30 of 47

Lot's of people put the whole pumpkin pie spice assortment into their apple pie's also. 

I just stick with cinnamon only in the apple pie, and also double it in almost every recipe that I find.  It hasn't toxified me yet, but I also don't have bugs - so it's a win-win situation.

If you ever want to sweeten up your kitchen before guests, put a tsp of cinnamon in a cup of water and microwave on high for one  minute.  Open up the microwave and let those hot spicy cinnamon drops of aroma waft into your home.

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