Autumn landscape
Autumn landscape
Last week my mom, Metro, and I went on a walk in our favorite autumn walking locale. It’s an old, unlogged stand of woods surrounded by wide open marshes.

Pumpkin stand Pumkins at a pumpkin stand
On our way back, we stopped at our favorite on-your-honor pumpkin stand.

Sugar pumpkins
I ended up with three of these sugar pumpkins and a new project; baking a pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkin.

It turns out that making pumpkin pie with real pumpkin is super easy—no different than roasting squash in the oven. The hardest thing might be finding sugar pumpkins—I’ve been looking at the co-op and haven’t seen any. Two pumpkins weighing in at about 4 1/2 lbs made the 2 cups of pumpkin called for in most recipes.

Pumpkin Pie
In researching pumpkin pie recipes, I found there are a few camps—some people swear by the sweetened condensed milk, others evaporated milk, and some a true custard base. I found organic sweetened condensed milk, so decided to try that version first. Next round I might do a custard sweetened with dark brown sugar.

Either way, this has converted me into a pumpkin pie fan and is definitely going on our Thanksgiving menu.

I followed this recipe from Simply Scratch.


  • That stand is very adorable. Curious — did you switch to fresh pumpkin out of necessity while living in Berlin? That’s what happened… usually using bright-orange German-grown kabocha, steamed and mashed, in a custard base.

    The interesting thing was that, at least with the kabocha, the texture turned out very different from canned-pumpkin pie. Much fluffier and more organic, for lack of a better word. I actually got compliments from people who don’t usually like pumpkin pie. Will have to see if I will still go to the extra effort to get that texture that this year, now that I have easy access to canned pumpkin again.

    • No—only here! I was never a big pumpkin pie person. I think I’d made it a couple of times but that was also before I had a handle on making a good crust. I think this way had a different texture, too! Maybe not as smooth. I did hit it with a stick blender, but there wasn’t so much of it, so it was hard to do. The thing that surprises me most is how hard the sugar pumpkins are to find. Curious to hear your results this year!

  • I love that Mr R’s red on-your-honor money box is still being used, too! I remember going to that pumpkin patch so vividly.
    So happy you shared your recipe and tips – now I just need a hands-on tutorial on making your crust!

  • I’m not sure the last time I used an actual pumpkin. Butternut squash and kabocha both work well, though the butternut comes out a bit pale maybe. I think in Hawaii I’ll have to just take whatever I can get! I usually wait for Thanksgiving but maybe I’ll have to make a Halloween pumpkin pie now that you’ve got me thinking about them…

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