The Life of Jennifer Dawn: Pumpkin Pie

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Pumpkin Pie

It just wouldn't feel like Thanksgiving without my mom's recipe for pumpkin pie. It's a traditional recipe that's been enjoyed by my family for decades. And I'm sharing that special recipe with you today!
When my sister and I were growing up, our mother always made the holidays wonderful. The traditions, decorations, crafts, and food--especially the food! Holidays of my past are coated in warm, buttery memories. There she would be--apron on, cooking away, and listening to a favorite holiday song. Daddy would be close by reading the paper, drinking coffee, or rolling up his sleeves to help her in the kitchen. He was the official turkey carver and mashed potato whipper. Sweet, savory smells would wash over the house as the timer beeped and Mama clanged pots and pans together trying to pull out the specific one she needed. We'd clamor into the kitchen begging to help, and she'd happily oblige by allowing us to stir and taste while she divulged some of her baking secrets. Yes, mama was an amazing cook! Not only that, but she knew those moments spent together in the kitchen were the stuff of memories!
As I got older, my mom and I started a tradition of enjoying the Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pies for breakfast. We'd load up a piece with whipped topping and enjoy it along with a mug of coffee (me) or tea (mama). Not wanting to break with tradition, I enjoyed a pumpkin pie breakfast with my husband and kids this year. The hubby and I paired our pie with steaming mugs of NESCAFÉ® TASTER'S CHOICE® Instant Coffee sweetened with sugar and NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE® Liquid Coffee Creamer. It was the perfect breakfast beverage to have on a chilly morning with our pumpkin pie.
Holidays are harder now. There are empty places at our table where both my dad and younger sister once sat. I wasn't sure how we'd make it through this first Thanksgiving without my sister, but somehow...we did. Grace and prayers are probably what got us through.

Despite my broken heart, I was determined to try to make it a special day for my own kids--just like my own mama always did for us. It was my turn--to put the apron on, roll up my sleeves, and make sweet memories with my kids. We went shopping at Dollar General for the things we needed including LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin. They were running some great deals and had a coupon for the coffee and creamer on their coupon app. Caleb, my youngest son, had a blast carrying the can or pumpkin all around the store. It's always the simple things with kids, isn't it?
On the night before Thanksgiving, we gathered our ingredients and joined in the kitchen to make my mom's recipe for pumpkin pie. I must confess that I did have to call my mom a few times...just to make sure I was getting it right.
My dad used to teasingly call these pumpkin pies her Pilgrim Pies since she'd make them from scratch even down to cooking and straining her own pumpkins. In more recent years, she started using canned pumpkins. That's a shortcut that I'm happy to take too using the LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin that I picked up with the kids at Dollar General. Even with that shortcut, the memories are no less sweet. The kids and I had a wonderful time making pies together just like I used to do with my own sister and mother.
And now...I have a special treat for you! It's my mama's recipe for Pilgrim...I mean Homemade Pumpkin Pie. I hope you enjoy! But even more than that, I hope you savor making sweet memories with your family this holiday season--in and out of the kitchen!

Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Yields: 4 deep dish pies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Tim: 2 hours

  • 2 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 cups pumpkin (canned or cooked and strained)
  • 8 eggs (1 extra egg to brush the edges of the pie shells with egg whites)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 3/4 cups light cream or canned evaporated milk
  • 4 9-inch deep dish pie shells, unbaked
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prepare the pie crusts.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, salt, and spices. Add the vanilla, pumpkin, and lightly beaten eggs. Incorporate the milk and cream gradually.
  3. Brush the edges of the pie shells with egg whites. This will keep the crust from getting too brown.
  4. Pour filling into each pie crust.
  5. Place two pies onto a baking tray and set it in the oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 275 and bake 40 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the edge of the custard comes out clean. Bake the remaining two pies following the same steps.
  6. Cool at room temperature. Slice and add a whipped topping when you are ready to serve. Enjoy! Store leftover pie in the refrigerator.
Do you have a recipe that holds a lot of memories for you? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Happy baking!
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