An Ode to Pumpkin

Pumpkin, glorious pumpkin. It symbolizes my favorite season, Fall. I love the cooler weather, the smells, the colors, even the change in cooking we do this time of year. Pumpkin’s subtle taste is challenging to describe. Regardless, it is wholly versatile, and I have countless recipes with pumpkin as the main ingredient – sweet and savory. Bread, pudding, cheesecake, and soup, chili, pasta, even enchiladas.
But, never use the canned goo called pumpkin. Never. Roasting a pumpkin is as easy as washing it, coating the skin lightly with olive oil, and roasting it in a 400 degree oven until a knife easily slips through the flesh (60-90 minutes). Baking the seeds with cayenne pepper and salt is an added bonus, and one of Connor’s favorite snacks. Addictive is his word.

Some interesting facts I researched about pumpkin is that Libby's product is not pumpkin. It's a squash called Dickinson developed and patented by Libby's (owned by food conglomerate Nestle). Morton, Illinois, the home of Libby's main processing plant, is known as the pumpkin capital of the world. Pumpkin was not prepared into pies until the 1700s; however, pumpkin was served in other dishes at the first Thanksgiving. It was documented as a recipe for "Pompkin Pudding" in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, a cookbook dedicated to indigenous American foods.

Pumpkin pie is not just for Thanksgiving at our house. It's the quintessential Fall dessert. Spicy and slightly sweet. It evokes comfort and the smell of a pie baking is heavenly. This recipe is aptly names because it's lower in calories and fat than traditional recipes, unless you devour two slices as I was tempted to do. Of course it can be easily rationalized because of pumpkin's superior nutritional qualities, high in antioxidants, beta-carotene, and fiber. 

Born-Again Pumpkin Pie
Serves 8

¾ C crushed gingersnaps                                       
½ C crushed low fat cinnamon graham crackers 
1 T sugar
1 T flour
4 T melted margarine or butter

Crush gingersnaps and graham crackers in a food process. Mix with sugar, and flour in a 9”inch pie pan. Drizzle with melted margarine and mix well with a fork. Pat into pan and chill for one hour.

2 cups roasted, pureed fresh sugar pie pumpkin – or if you must – 1-16 ounce can pumpkin
1/3 to 1/2 C packed light brown sugar, depending on your sweetness tastes
1½ t cinnamon                      
½ t ground ginger
½ t nutmeg
2 eggs, well-beaten
1 C evaporated skim milk

Mix pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. Blend in eggs. Gradually stir in milk.

Pour into pie crust shell. Cover edge of pie with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until center sets when shaken.

Cool on wire rack, cover and refrigerate to chill.


  1. i agree...real pumpkin is so much better than that canned stuff!!

    i need to change up my same old pumpkin pie ive been making for years now and would love to try this one!

  2. Did Denise forget to mention that when you roast your pumpkin please put foil under it - and I mean under the entire thing or you have a really messy oven. As for the pie I eat it three meal a day; it's amazing.

  3. TheDelishDish, thanks for commenting! Another STL food blogger, how wonderul. I got the pumpkin @ the Kirkwood Farmers' Market. YOUR photos are stunning beautiful. Would love to pick your brain how to improve my quite ordinary ones.




Related Posts with Thumbnails