Fill me with pie

November 15th, 2007

Georgia and I have volunteered to make the pumpkin pie for this year’s family Thanksgiving. I could just go to my safe-bet recipe source. Or to the tried and provenly true. But I’d much rather take a tip from you. I have in mind that nearly everyone else but me is deliciously crafty and outrageously homespun. And some of you really are. Yes, I’m talking about you.

Before the holiday week barrels over us, before we all become overwhelmed, underwater and out of touch, send me your favorite pumpkin pie recipe please. It can be a link or a list; it can be elaborate, unusual or as easy as pie. Georgia and I will whip it up together and take a piece of you on the road to the glistening winter wonderland of Newport Beach, California, where one more faraway friend will have a seat at our table of thanks.

From the bottom of our crusts, thank you.

Attention readers, bloggers and opinionators: if you would like a review copy of the new paperback edition of Momma Zen, my publisher will provide! Just contact me via the email on my profile page.


  1. i just loathe baking…it’s like chemistry for me. i stick to quick breads that i can’t mess up. every cake i’ve ever made was lopsided.


    they taste good, but they’re not pretty.

    Comment by Wendy — November 16, 2007 @ 1:04 am

  2. I am sorry, but I never made a pumpkin pie in my whole life. Otherwise I would. If I were to make a pumpkin pie, I would try to make one from fresh pumpkin and not canned. But I don’t know anyone who does that.
    Good luck!!

    Ps. Now i have a craving for pumpkin pie.

    Comment by Mika — November 16, 2007 @ 1:11 am

  3. I am known in my family as the Baker, specifically the Pie Lady.

    One hint I can give is always be a little more generous with the spices than the recipes calls for. Nothing’s less inspiring than a bland pumpkin pie.

    I also make my crusts from scratch, which is a labor of love. They never come out perfectly. But then, crust is just a vehicle for the filling!

    I’ll email you my recipe shortly. Right now CG is waking and crying softly and I need to see if she’s really awake… Oh yes, she is indeed!

    Comment by kathryn — November 16, 2007 @ 1:49 am

  4. i like this one:

    it’s good and different.

    it doesn’t really work if you’re a purist, i suppose. but i like it!

    Comment by Phyllis Sommer — November 16, 2007 @ 3:21 am

  5. I do have a favorite.
    I’ll email you the recipe.
    Now I’m hungry AGAIN for pie.

    Comment by bella — November 16, 2007 @ 3:27 am

  6. I haven’t made a pumpkin pie, but I have made a fair number of other pies, and I have to insist that it is worth while to make your own crust. I use the recipe from the Southern Living Cookbook (a book which pretty much powers our whole Thanksgiving cooking), but it’s basically like this

    When I do it, it doesn’t look quite as pretty as the pre-made crusts, but it is very fun and very tasty. You can make up a double-batch like on Sunday and it’ll keep till you mix up the pie on Wednesday just fine.

    Measure very carefully, and don’t over-work the dough. Yummy yummy Thanksgiving. One of my times to abandon my vegetarian life for the traditional culture I grew up in.


    Comment by Chris Austin-Lane — November 16, 2007 @ 4:42 am

  7. Our Thanksgiving has past, eh! I bring my food to these gatherings as though they were my children. I want everyone to like them, say how great they are give and them attention. I silently fret if they’re passed up and blame myself.

    I’ll see if I can find my mother-in-laws recipe, Scott says it’s the best. We’ll see…

    Comment by kelly — November 16, 2007 @ 6:23 am

  8. Hmm, I’m not the most handy in the kitchen – I usually make pumpkin pie with the frozen crusts and using the recipe found on the can. But now you’ve put a bug in my brain. There must be something interesting on our shelf full of cookbooks. I’ll let you know if I find one that sounds good.

    Comment by RocketMom — November 16, 2007 @ 6:41 am

  9. Mmmm pumpkin pie. I’m up for the challenge. I’ll post my favorite recipe.

    But now I’m off to drop the husband for a weekend conference. 4 year old meltdown since dad is leaving for 3 days, anyone? “My life is OOOOVERRRRRR”. 🙂

    Comment by denise — November 16, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

  10. Without shame, I’ll tell you that I’m a fabulous cook, but I do not do Thanksgiving pies. I leave those entirely to my Grannie and my Mommy. Now, we can all have some Freudian fun with that!

    Comment by Mama Zen — November 16, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

  11. This uses fresh pumpkin puree, but you can of course use canned.

    To make pumpkin puree from a sugar pumpkin–start with 2 small to medium sized sugar pumpkins. Cut off stem, cut in 1/2, and scrape out the insides and place halves on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350°F oven until fork tender. For extra creaminess put through a food mill.

    2 cups of pumpkin puree/pulp (pureed from a sugar pumpkin) or use canned organic pumpkin
    1 1/2 cups organic heavy cream
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
    1/3 cup cane sugar (or white sugar)
    1/2 Tsp fine ground sea salt
    2 eggs plus one extra yolk
    1 1/4 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or use a mix of 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg & 1/4 tsp cloves)
    1 crust (Find a good crust or make one. I’m not much of a crust maker so I often get a frozen crust at Whole Foods to use…or, here is a good recipe)

    Preheat oven to 425°F.

    Mix sugars, salt & the spices in a big bowl. Beat eggs and add to bowl. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Add the cream. Whisk together. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce temp to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a test with a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool for at least an hour or so.

    Serve with fresh homemade whipped cream. Mmmm.

    Comment by denise — November 17, 2007 @ 3:44 am

  12. I’m literally squashed with pumpkins, guys. Whether you did or didn’t, will or don’t do the pie thing, thanks! I think we’ll be doing more than one now. I’ll report back on the results!

    Comment by Karen — November 17, 2007 @ 5:13 am

  13. This is perhaps too late but I checked with family folks that being the pumpkins and they use the recipe on the can of pumkin stuff. It’s mostly the can of pumpkin stuff and a can of condensed milk.


    Happy thanksgiving every one! May everyone have the ability to stay present despite the relatives stress and yummy food!

    If you are feeling left out, may you find contentment with your indivisibility with all.

    Comment by Chris Austin-Lane — November 20, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

  14. I hate pumpkin pie, all slimy and goey. Bluck. BUT it is my husband’s favorite. As soon as summer is over, he starts craving and we usually go through dozens of pies. Last year I tried to make him the BEST pumpkin pie. After many attempts and recipes, this was his favorite:

    Comment by Mrs. B. Roth — November 20, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

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