My Grandma's Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This recipe is cherished as one of our family favorites. Passed down in my Grandma’s old tin recipe box, the card itself was lovingly stained with splatter. The kind of markings earned by a card that has seen many seasons, many feasts, and many adventures on the kitchen counter. When my Grandma entrusted me with her recipe box, I felt like a treasure was bestowed upon me. Not even a chest of gold coins or diamonds could feel as valuable as this old tin box and its butter fingerprinted contents.

By sharing this recipe with you, I am sharing something very special to me. You see, my Grandma and I adored each other. We were family, but playmates too. We’d build pillow forts, watch Murder She Wrote, play Yahtzee, have kitchen adventures, and do craft projects. She made me feel like I was the only thing that mattered when we were together – no distractions, no competing for attention, she’d even let the phone ring. Her approach to time with me was a lesson in how to truly respect the valuable and short time you have with someone you love more than anything.

Today, I am sharing Grandma’s very special pumpkin pie recipe with you. I am calling it Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie, but it is more likely to my great-grandma’s or great-great-aunt’s since they all were into baking and all their recipes were mixed together in this tin of happiness. Plus the original recipe was written in a way that was not my Grandma’s usual manner of recipe writing and sounded more like her mother’s phrasing. But no matter who started first brought this pumpkin pie to the family’s dinner table, it is a family favorite and made from real pumpkin pulp.

Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie    –  Makes Three Pies

1 quart cooked thick sieved pumpkin pulp
4 eggs, separated
1 1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 quart whole milk (or half milk, half cream)
Brandy (optional)
Pie crust (your preference)
Confectioner’s sugar & Cinnamon (garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 375° F or 191° C. Put pumpkin pulp in a large bowl with plenty of mixing room. Mix in the egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and melted butter. Blend completely. Scald the milk then stir the heated milk into the pumpkin mixture.

2. Beat the egg whites fairly stiff with a rotary beater then fold into the pumpkin mixture. At this point, taste to make sure it is just a little too sweet. If not, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more sugar and stir well. The pumpkin will absorb the sweetness so a little too sweet now baked into perfectly sweet. If you’d like brandy flavoring in your pie, this is the time to add it.

3. Pour the pie filling into the three medium-sized pie pans (or two large ones) filled with your very best crust. The crust is your preference. Fill the pans as full as you can for they shrink when cold. Carefully, set in the oven. Let bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 325° F or 163° C and let cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until set and delicately browned. Once done, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and a dash of cinnamon then chill until ready to serve. Slice only when serving, not while hot.

Instead of posting the original card (though I was tempted), I am posting my updated version which has more detailed directions and a separate ingredient list. Nice and tidy!

My Old Family Recipe for Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

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