I brought home a sugar pumpkin from work the other day to make a pumpkin pie. Believe it or not, I have only ever used pumpkin from a can when making a pumpkin pie! So I was very excited to cut open a pumpkin, roast it then turn it into a delicious custard. It turned out amazing, the only thing different was the color of the pie. Unlike canned pumpkin, the fresh sugar pumpkin I used made my pie more brown which made me wonder about the coloring of canned pumpkin.
Pumpkin pie should really be the “American” dessert, not apple pie! Pumpkins are native to North America and were brought back to Europe almost immediately after arriving to America. The first settlers made pumpkin pie, however it was different than we’re used to. At the time there were many forms of pumpkin pie. Some recipes made you boil pumpkin with milk. Others didn’t use a crust and just filled an empty pumpkin with filling; which was how the settlers prepared their pumpkin pies.
Pumpkin pie was more popular in the Northern part of America than the South, along with Thanksgiving. After the Civil War ended and the North won, Thanksgiving spread across the whole country and pumpkin pie became loved everywhere! The first pumpkin pie recipe that is closest to modern day was written in 1796 in “American Cookery.” It was the first cookbook written and published in the United States!
What is a sugar pumpkin? A sugar pumpkin is smaller than a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin and is also sweeter and less stringy. If you’ve ever taken out the insides of a Jack-O-Lantern you know what I mean! I find that sugar pumpkins have a closer consistency to butternut squash! Sugar pumpkins are also rich in vitamins A & C, potassium and Omega-3’s.
Fresh Pumpkin Pie
- 1 sugar pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut sugar pumpkin in half, place cut side down on a parchment lined sheet tray. (Leave the seeds in, they’re easier to scoop out at the end).
- Bake pumpkin for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. It will be done when the flesh is soft!
- Prepare your crust (homemade or store bought).
- Once cooled, scoop out pumpkin seeds and mash the pumpkin.
- In a large bowl, combine the mashed pumpkin and eggs.
- Add the sugars, salt, and spices, blend together.
- Add in the heavy cream and whisk until combined.
- Pour the filling into a pie crust and bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 and bake 40-50 more minutes until the filling is slightly jiggly but set!
This pumpkin pie might seem like a lot to take on, but it really isn’t! The taste is definitely worth it! Topped with some fresh whipped cream, your tastebuds will thank you!