Making a pumpkin pie from scratch


While out picking out pumpkins for my daughters I saw some nice organic heirloom pumpkins (Winter Luxury Pie) and decided to try my hand in using a couple of these to make a pumpkin pie instead of using canned pumpkin.  One note make sure you are using a pumpkin labeled as a sugar or pie pumpkin, using your standard jack-o-lantern variety will lead to very watery and less velvety pie.  So in the end, not only does this give you a better tasting pie, but given a organic pumpkin cost $6 a can you also save quite a bit of money with just a little additional work.


Step 1: Clean the pumpkin. Use a little water and scouring pad to remove loose dirt


Step 2: Remove stem and cut pumpkin in half.  This will take a little muscle to get through but using a serrated blade should make quick work of this little pumpkin.


Step 3: Scoop out seeds and innards.  Using an ice cream scoop scrape out the seeds and the stringy innards, you don’t have to get this completely clean as you can see below.   I also decided to save a few seeds with hopes to grow my own sugar pumpkins next year using the seed saving techniques I have wrote about last year.


Step 4: Cut the pumpkin into smaller equally sized pieces.  Once you have all the seeds and gunk out slice up the pumpkin halves into several equally sized pieces.


Step 5: Cook the pumpkin.  Places pieces in a casserole dish and cover with top or if yours are overflowing your largest casserole dish like mine you can simply cover the dish with a piece of aluminum foil.  Place in a preheated oven at 350F and cook the pumpkin for 45-90 minutes.  The pumpkin is done cooking when you can slice through the pumpkin flesh with an edge of a fork with almost no effort.


Step 6: Blend.  Use a large metal spoon to scape the pumpkin away from the skin and place into a blender and blend until smooth.  If you have a very dry pumpkin like mine you might need to add a little water to get a good cortex going like above.


That is it.  With my 5 pound pumpkin I purchased for $5 I got 6 cups of pumpkin puree, which is enough to make 3 pumpkin pie or 6 loafs of pumpkin bread and if my math is right about $30 compared to buying the canned variety.  After making a pie and a loaf of pumpkin bread this left me with 3 cups of pumpkin goo, which I put in 6 half-cup containers which I froze to make some more pie for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe


  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree (see above)
  • 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Mix sugars, salt, spices, lemon into large bowl.  Beat in eggs then pumpkin puree.  Finally add the evaporated milk and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  2. Pour mixture into chilled pie shell and make at 425F for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes reduce temperature to 350F.  Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  3. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours
  4. Note: If you are lacking some of the spices above…you can replace the spices above with pumpkin pie spice.

14 Responses to “Making a pumpkin pie from scratch”

  1. Karin Says:

    Your pie looks delicious! I love the idea of making it completely from scratch! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Emrikol Says:

    I make a few pumpkin pies from scratch each year. Being the nerd that I am, it kind-of surprises people.

    If you’ve never tried it, use at potato masher instead of a blender sometime. I really like the difference in texture you get with the natural pumpkin fiber.

    (Also, Honey instead of sugar === doubly good as well)

  3. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Emrikol, thanks for the tips. I was pretty impressed with the filling but I have plenty of pumpkin goo to try out some more recipes…also have a second sugar pumpkin not really knowing what to do with.

    I do need to work on making homemade crust…the store bought one was one weakness of this pie. Guess there is plenty of time to experiment before Thanksgiving.

  4. meemsnyc Says:

    I have 2 pumpkins on my front porch that I plan to make pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread out of. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  5. Vanessa Says:

    Where do you buy organic pumpkin for $6 a can? That can is the exact brand I get at Trader Joes for $2. However I would always agree that the homemade stuff is always always better than the canned.

  6. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    SixBalloons, not much going on in the garden this time of year…just some onions and garlic.

    Vanessa, I couldn’t remember what I paid for that can of pumpkin from Trader Joes (probably left over from last year) I looked up online and saw the $6 a can…maybe those prices still from last year and the dreaded pumpkin shortage.

  7. SixBalloons Says:

    Wow, nice looking pie! I look forward to seeing what’s growing in your garden!

  8. Ragnar Says:

    From scratch?
    I’m a nerd, sorry.

  9. How to make Homemade pumpkin bread Says:

    […] After having an abundance of cooked pumpkin after over purchasing on a couple of organic pie pumpkins I decided to make some pumpkin bread, here is the recipe I have had great success with. […]

  10. lizzie borden Says:

    Your pie looks delicious! I love the idea of making it completely from scratch! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  11. Wayne Berry Says:

    Cuz: Is the pie shell pre-cooked or raw before you put the pumpkin in?

  12. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    You are going to want to leave the pie shell raw

  13. How to Freeze pumpkin puree Says:

    […] year I am using a different technique to freeze these to use in pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake (low carb version), pumpkin ice cream, or pumpkin bread this holiday […]

  14. Pumpkin pancakes with pumpkin spice whipping cream - The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    […] to make plenty of baked goods this fall.  For those who have not made their own pumpkin goo the process is very easy…even easier this year with my new food processor (no need to add bit of water to help my […]

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