HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Need help with Pumpkin Pie -- Fresh or Canned? Good recipes?

  • d
  • 8

Hi all,

My cousin has the ambition of making the best pumpkin pie ever for our Christmas dinner, and wants to do it from fresh pumpkins. I seem to recall from prior threads on this board that the pumpkin afficionados among you tend to think there is not a significant improvment in pie made from fresh versus pumpkin puree.

Am looking for your thoughts on this topic, as well as insights and recipes for the best traditional pumpkin pie!

Thanks in advance for any advice you can share!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I don't know if you can still get fresh pumpkins, they kind of disappear after Halloween and Thanksgiving. She would need to get pie pumpkins which are not as watery as Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins. Some people like to use butternut squash instead of pumpkin, and those should be in abundnce everywhere and it makes great "pumpkin" pie. I just use Libby's 100% pure pumpkin from the can. I have always liked it and see not reason to change.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Candy

      Same here - Libby's canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix!) and I always at least double the amount of ground ginger and increase the ground cloves for extra oomph.

      And if you're a whipped cream fan, please please...make sure it's real whipped cream vs. Cool Whip or Redi-Whip! :-)

    2. I would not hesitate to use Libby's % pumpkin./ I have attached a LHJ link with apple and pumpkin dessert recipes. I have tried a few of the apple ones, and they were great- my SIL made us the pumpkin mousse, and we really enjoyed it. Good luck

      Link: http://www.lhj.com/lhj/slideshow/slid...

      1. I am going to give you my best pumpkin pie recipe. It's made with honey and the spicing is mild, allowing the flavour of honeyed pumpkin to dominate. It is delicious. And you can sub. whipping cream for all or part of the evap. milk, if you prefer. But I think it works just fine as is.

        Honey Pumpkin Pie

        2 eggs
        1-3/4 cups pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
        3/4 cup honey
        1 tsp. cinnamon
        1/2 tsp. ginger
        1/2 tsp. nutmeg
        1 cup canned evaporated milk
        1/2 cup regular milk
        1 unbaked 9 or 10-inch (23 or 25 cm) pastry shell

        Preheat the oven to 425o F (220o C)

        Place all the ingredients into the container of a blender and blend until smooth. Pour filling into the pie shell. (If you are using a 9-inch/23 cm pie shell, you may have a bit more filling than you need - use the extra to fill a few tart shells or bake in a custard cup as a bonus dessert.)

        Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425o F, then lower the heat to 350o F (180o C) and continue baking for another 45 minutes, or until a knife slipped into the center of the pie comes out clean.

        Cool to room temperature before serving with plenty of real whipped cream.

        Makes about 8 servings.

        1. Go with the canned, I went to the trouble of getting the right pumpkin one year to make mine from scratch. Mouse milking is more worthwhile.

          I hate to say it but I tried Paula Deen's recipe this year at Thanksgiving, the cream cheese in it intrigued me. It was _very_ good, lighter than a standard pie with a nice tang to it.

          Link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

          1. DanaB, you know me: Trust me on this. DOn't bother with the fresh. Use the canned.

            If you cannot resist the fresh, don't succumb to temptation to steam it. It will be FAR too wet for the recipes developed for canned pumpkin, like most pies. Bake it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dorothy

              absolutely agree. it's totally not worth the effort required to use fresh pumpkin. but if you feel you must try it, if only to satisfy your own curiosity, i'd advise that even baked pumpkin will be too wet. you've got to let it sit for a while and drain in a strainer or colander.

            2. making your own "pumpkin guts" as we call them is not that hard, but you need to process the pulp and strain it, so that it is not as watery. frankly, this close to christmas I'd stick with canned.

              I do use libby's too... but also liked the canned pumpkin from trader joe's. next year I think I'll do a side by side comparison to test this... but to me the tj's brand seemed a bit more fresh tasting? I might just be imagining things... but it made for a good pie.

              one thing I find that factors in to the pumpkin pie thing though is nostalgia. people who grew up on libby's tend to like it better even when confronted with a "better" pie. with my family they like the libby's recipe. so what can I tell you? the best way I have found to improve on the libby's recipe is really good home made crust and extra good, fresh whipping cream. with good vanilla in it.

              good luck with your pie!
              :)
              megan