Suzanne’s Spicy Pumpkin Pie* ~ Jen

We hope that you are feeling calm and ready for tomorrow. We got this. We all got this.

Happy Thanksgiving from our families to yours. We are so thankful to count you among our many graces!


*Courtesy of

A few years after I conquered cranberry sauce, I decided to take on pumpkin pie. “How hard could it be?” I asked my cousin over a bottle of wine the night before Thanksgiving. Are you sensing the theme here?

My first attempt was to buy the giant can of Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix and a Pepperidge Farms frozen pie crust. I took it to my mom’s house and proudly called it homemade. The truth is that it was bland.

Then I found a recipe that called for canned pumpkin. I added the spices. That was the year I met and got engaged to the World’s Best Pie Crust Maker, so no frozen crust needed. I also decided to make whipped cream myself. We took it to my mom’s and called it “really homemade”. It was not bland. Everyone loved it.

But then I read that most of what’s in those cans of pumpkin is not really pumpkin as we think of it. In fact, Libby, the world’s leading producer of canned pumpkin, uses a variant of a Dickinson pumpkin called a Libby Select. It’s a GMO.

The jury is still fighting with itself on GMOs, but just to be safe, last year I decided to make a pumpkin pie from scratch starting with the dang pumpkin because (say it with me) “How hard can it be?”

Not hard. All you have to do is buy a pumpkin, cut it in half, pull out the seeds and roast it in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the skins are soft. Let it cool, scrap the pulp into your food processor or blender and hit puree. One medium sized pumpkin will give you at least four cups of puree, which is enough to make 2 pies, plus Vitamins A, C, K and E, good carbs and healthy fiber, magnesium, potassium and iron. And antioxidants, those beloved cancer fighters.

Plus, the pulp freezes beautifully (Lesley, that one’s for you!).

Now I make my pies from scratch. I use Suzanne’s recipe because it makes a spicy, tasty pie.

Suzanne’s Old fashioned Pumpkin Pie

2 cups of pumpkin puree

1 ½ cups heavy cream or one 12 oz can of evaporated milk

½ cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs plus the yoke of a third egg

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon of ground cloves

¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom

½ teaspoon lemon zest

1 good crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Mix sugars, salt, spices and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in pumpkin. Stir in cream. Whisk together until well incorporated.

Pour pie into shell and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

Cool on rack for two hours.

Whipped cream: using the whisk on a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer, blend one cup heavy cream, 1-2 tablespoons sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla until light and fluffy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS: Nine years ago today, I made the best decision of my life and married Shea. It was Thanksgiving weekend, it was raining AND it was the Notre Dame-USC game. Folks showed up anyway. It was awesome. Love you honey! Thank you for this wonderful life!

One thought on “Suzanne’s Spicy Pumpkin Pie* ~ Jen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s