Hurry and get the work done,” said Ma. “And then, Laura, you go to the corn-patch and bring me a green pumpkin. I’m going to make a pie!” “A pie! But how…” Mary said, and Laura said, “A green pumpkin pie? I never heard of such a thing, Ma.” “Neither did I,” said Ma. “But we wouldn’t do much if we didn’t do things that nobody ever heard of before.
—The Long Winter
Pumpkin pie is one of my family’s favorite things about Thanksgiving. This traditional dessert has been gracing holiday tables for centuries. It’s so simple to make, and the taste highlights the best flavors of fall.
Pumpkin pie made an appearance on several occasions in the Little House on the Prairie books. Ma made this dessert for Thanksgiving, but that wasn’t the only time. In The Long Winter, she even managed to make a pie out of green pumpkins. Some of the pumpkin crop wasn’t able to ripen because the cold weather set in early that year, but Ma still found a way to get dessert on the table.
In modern times, many people take a shortcut and use canned pumpkin puree to make a pie. I’ve made many pies this way, but I also like to use fresh pumpkin sometimes. It’s easy to make homemade pumpkin puree by roasting sugar pumpkins. Either way, this classic pumpkin pie recipe will make everyone want seconds.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- To make the crust, mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Slice the cold butter into small pieces and add them to the flour. Blend together with your fingertips until the mixture is uniformly coarse. Continue to toss the mixture with a spoon as you add up to 4 tablespoons of ice water. The dough is ready when it easily comes together. (Shortcut: You can also mix these ingredients together in a food processor.)
- Shape the dough into a ball and flatten the ball into a disc. Chill the dough in the fridge while you prepare the pie filling.
- To make the filling, place all the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine well.
- Dust a work surface lightly with flour and flatten the ball of dough on it. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle 2 inches wider than your pie pan and 1/8 inch thick. Roll from the center of the dough to the edge, giving it a slight turn after each roll. Carefully place the dough in the pie pan.
- Pour the filling into the crust. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the pie is set in the middle and the outer edges of the filling start to crack.
- Cool completely before cutting.
Do you grow pumpkins in your garden? Do you like to use pumpkins in other recipes? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below. Please see other Little House on the Prairie recipes for amazing old-fashioned foods.
The author drew ideas and inspiration from The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories by Barbara M. Walker (New York: Harper & Row, 1979). You can read a review of this wonderful resource by clicking here.
Annemarie Rossi is the creator of Real Food Real Deals and the author of Conquering Your Kitchen. Her website provides recipes and tips to help families eat healthy food on a budget. Annemarie’s work has been featured in many places, including the Non-GMO Cookbook, Edible Boston magazine, Fox News Online, Babble, and Huffington Post. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and two children.
Love that this calls regular milk, not evaporated milk, that way I can use a plant-based milk for my lactose-intolerance.
Can the dough be made the night before and refrigerated overnight? Or will it be too cold?
Do I need to bake the crust with pie weights before adding the filling so the bottom of the pie doesn’t come out soggy?
I usually do- I bake it about three quarters of the way without the filling.Then the crust finishes baking with the filling.
Happy Thanksgiving! I just made this pie and it is amazing. I use real pumpkin and it’s so yummy. I have to say my pie crust turned out the best I’ve ever made from this recipe. Thank you for posting this. I will definitely be looking into purchasing the book.
Hi Karen. Did you use sugar pumpkin or just a generic pumpkin from the store?
OH! The nostalgia!!! Im going to watch a “Little House on the Prairie” marathong while making pumpkin pies from thus recipe!! Can’t wait for Thanksgiving!! Its almost holiday season!! YAY!! ????????????♥️
Thank you for this awesome newsletter. You just inspired pumpkin pie baking here! Happy birthday in heaven, Michael Landon!
Can you freeze the pumpkin pie??
Yes, you can freeze it but fresh is always best. 🙂
Pumpkin pies are one of my favorite pies ever! I love going on this website and seeing all the recipes that Laura did and Almanzo did in their childhood and grown age. I am looking forward to trying all the recipes on this website and reading more about it.
I agree with your comment! I hope more recipes are posted to this site 🙂
Greetings from Turkey,
I’m confused on that words: “11/4 cups”… You meant 1+1/4 cups or 11/4 (=2,75) cups?
It’s 1 + 1/4 cups. Thank you!
1 and 1/4 cups
This was AMAZING! Thank you for posting this recipe, it might be the only one I EVER use from now on!
Firstly I am grateful to you for gathering all the nostalgia and beauty in the Little House Books in one spot for me to visit.
It is truly a gift. I remember just after my son was born taking my daughter Olivia on a “date” where we climbed into the limbs of a large tree in our favorite park and I read the last chapter of Little House in the Big Woods to her. A memory I cherish.
Your vibrant Pumpkin Pie looks comforting and just the thing to grace the Thanksgiving table.
Again Thank you
Love this sight ! will try the Pumpkin pie recipe