Pumpkin Pie from Scratch, Made from Real Pumpkins (Or Squash!)
Looking for a great scratch pumpkin pie recipe made from real, actual, whole pumpkins? Here’s one I’ve been tweaking off and on for years!
Sugar or pie pumpkins are generally one of the easiest things to grow on the homestead (assuming you have space to put up with the vines). Homegrown pumpkins, or even fresh-bought sugar pumpkins* from the store or farmers’ market, make the best pumpkin pies and pumpkin treats. As long as you have the recipes to use them!
What I like best about this recipe is that it does not require evaporated or condensed milk. That’s kind of hard to find in a pumpkin pie recipe. I have an aversion to adding processed and commercially canned products to my recipes if I can avoid it, because I want them as natural as can be, using as much of my homegrown and home-produced goodness as possible. Since I have a dairy cow, I want a real milk recipe. Actually, even when we have not had fresh cow’s milk of our own, I want real dairy instead of the processed canned stuff.
(*NOTE “field pumpkins” can also be used for baking homemade recipes from real pumpkins. You can also substitute any winter squash in equal measurements in place of the pumpkin. All the same instructions from roasting to baking apply, you just use squash instead.)
Converting Canned Pumpkin Recipes for Baking with Real Pumpkins
There’s no big trick to converting a recipe that calls for canned pumpkin into one made with fresh or homegrown pumpkin. Yes, you have to cook the pumpkin first—and for that, I’ll always recommend roasting (see below), as it makes a nice, firm, pumpkin puree similar in moisture and texture to the canned stuff (but better tasting…and many sources say that canned stuff is really a variety of squash, not pumpkin at all…maybe why we don’t notice much of a difference between “their” pumpkin and squash?).
>> To use fresh pumpkin in place of canned, use your homemade roasted pumpkin puree in equal parts. So, if the recipe calls for one cup of canned pumpkin, use one cup of homemade pumpkin puree.
>> If a recipe calls for one can of pumpkin puree (usually referring to a 15-ounce can), make life easy and use 2 cups of your homemade puree. The tiny difference only gives you a firmer, less-wet baked result. It totally works!
How Many Pumpkins to Roast for Pumpkin Puree
A typical small sugar pumpkin will yield about 1 ½ cups of finished pumpkin puree; a medium pumpkin yields more towards 2 ½ to 3 cups. Field pumpkins can be more variable because they tend to have more seeds and “guts” but you should get at least 3 cups of puree from the average field or carving pumpkin.
>> For one pie bake two small pumpkins
>> Will yield 2+ cups of puree = to 1 can of pumpkin
For one pumpkin pie I usually bake at least two pie pumpkins. When deciding how many pumpkins to roast for a pumpkin pie or other pumpkin recipe, it’s usually a good idea to bake more than your estimate. No worries—any leftover puree can always be frozen in a Tupperware™, deli container, or Ziploc™, freezer, or vacuum seal bag.
Roast the Pumpkins, Make Pumpkin Puree
To make your pumpkin pie from scratch, you’ll first have to roast the pumpkin and make it into a puree. Don’t be nervous, there’s nothing easier. I often roast the pumpkin ahead of time and freeze it, and/or I will roast and make more puree than I need when I am baking and then throw the extra in the freezer in a deli container or plastic bag.
To roast the pumpkins:
- Cut pumpkins in half the long way (stem to blossom end—if you screw this up and cut it width-wise, it’s no big deal and it ruins nothing, this is just an easier way to cut it)
- Scoop out all the loose seeds and strings. Reserve the seeds to roast them if you like. https://cookieandkate.com/roasted-pumpkin-seeds-recipe/
- Cover the bottom of a baking sheet (with sides!) with water and place the pumpkin halves cut-side-down on the baking pan.
- Roast at 375° for 45 minutes or until soft—you should be able to stick a fork through the skin and into the pumpkin meat.
Let roasted pumpkins cool for half an hour until easily handled, then make your puree:
- Using a spoon, scoop the soft pumpkin into a medium or large mixing bowl (or into the bowl of a stand mixer).
- Use a beater, blender, food processor, stand mixer, or immersion blender and beat the pumpkin until it reaches a smooth and even consistency.
- Measure out 2 cups for the pumpkin pie recipe and freeze the remaining pumpkin puree for future use. Do NOT attempt to can the puree, as this is not considered safe in a home kitchen.
And without further ado, the recipe:
**Real Pumpkin Pie Recipe – Homemade Pumpkin Pie from Scratch
- 9- or 10-inch single pie crust, unbaked
- 2 C homemade pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ C whole milk
- 1 C sugar
- 1/8 C molasses
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 TBSP melted butter
- 1 TBSP cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
*Substitutions: Depending on preference and what you have on hand, 2 cups homemade squash puree may be substituted for the pumpkin. You may substitute 1 cup brown sugar for the sugar and molasses. You may substitute 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Prepare pie crust. Use a single-crust, 9-inch or deep-dish pie crust (unbaked). (Note: recipe can make up to a 10-inch pie easily.)
- Combine all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Using a whisk, handheld mixer, immersion blender, stand mixer, or food processor, beat the ingredients together until they are smooth and creamy.
- Pour into prepared pie crust. Cover crimped edge with a guard or foil to prevent over-browning.
- Place prepared pie on a baking sheet and carefully transfer to preheated oven.
- Bake at 450° for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350° and bake for 50 minutes more or until done. Pie is done when a knife inserted near the center of the pie comes out clean. (But if you loathe the thought of ruining that pumpkin pie top perfection, here’s some advice on how to test a pumpkin pie for doneness without the knife!) https://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/thanksgiving/how-to-tell-pumpkin-pie-done
**adapted from the One-Pie Pumpkin recipe
That’s it! Perfect Pumpkin Pie from Homemade Pumpkin Puree. This recipe is a keeper for all your holidays and pumpkin cravings to come! Enjoy!