Brilliant pumpkin pie: Pumpkins originated in South America more than 7,000 years ago. Over time a variety of squashes, including pumpkin, became native to the New England area.
The English pilgrims brought some pumpkin recipes with them on the Mayflower, and although their cooking technique created a dish sweeter than the native recipe, it is still not the pumpkin pie we look forward to after a Thanksgiving feast. The pilgrims’ recipe was a makeshift pumpkin pudding—the pumpkin was hollowed and filled with milk, honey and spices before baking in hot ashes.
Recipes that resemble pumpkin pie as we know it didn’t develop until the 1650s in France. Famed 17th century chef Francois Pierre la Varenne developed a recipe for a “pompion” torte, complete with a pastry crust. English recipes decades later followed la Varenne’s example, but also included a variety of dried fruits, currants and nuts in the pumpkin filling.
Nearly 150 years after the first pumpkin pie recipe was developed in France a dessert dish strikingly similar to modern pumpkin pie was created in 1796 in the United States.
Ingredients – serves up to 8
- 1 pie crust for a 23 cm (9 inch) pie pan
- 2 425 grams (2 cups) pumpkin puree or 1 (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
- 1 400 grams (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- Pre-bake pie crust at 425ºF (220ºC) for about 8 minutes.
- While pie crust is baking, in a large bowl mix the pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, egg and egg yolks. Then, add pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt. Mix until all ingredients are well blended.
- After having pre-baked pie crust for 8 minutes, take it out of the oven and pour pumpkin batter into pie crust. Bake at 425ºF (220ºC) for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350ºF (180ºC) and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the sides comes out clean.
- Once the pie has baked, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before serving. You can serve it with homemade whipped cream.