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Real Pumpkin Pie

November 23rd, 2011

It seems like you can hardly find a pumpkin pie recipe that doesn’t call for evaporated or sweetened condensed milk. Pumpkin pie is actually a fairly healthy dessert, especially if you cut back on the sugar a bit and use maple syrup instead. It’s filled with things Weston A Price highly recommends eating like eggs, dairy, pumpkin and lots of healthy warming spices.

I prefer my pumpkin pie without crust, so I bake it in individual ramekins or a one casserole dish. Real cream, whipped up with some fresh ginger and maple syrup, tops it all off for the perfect Thanksgiving or anytime treat!

I like my food with lots of flavor so I usually double the spices in any recipe I’m making; this one is no different. You will also find that using freshly ground spices really helps bring out the flavor of each spice. Freshly grated ginger tastes so much different than powdered ginger. I’d also recommend using sweet cinnamon instead of regular cinnamon if you can find it. I get mine at Mt Rose Herbs, many stores carry it in their hispanic section. The flavor of sweet cinnamon pairs much better with sweet things, it’s more mellow than regular cinnamon.

I’m not big on really sweet stuff, this recipe has less sugar than most so it won’t taste like the recipe from the back of the can of pumpkin. I reduce the sugar in mine to 1/2 or even 1/4 cup. If you like your pie on the sweeter side increase the sugar to one cup.


15 oz. pumpkin puree (homemade puree will yield a lighter pie)
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup cream
1 tbsp brandy (optional)
3/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of freshly ground cloves

whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsps maple syrup
1 tsp ground ginger (freshly grated is best)
1 tsp brandy (optional)

Heat oven to 325°F* In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, cream, and brandy. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves. Whisk the sugar mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Divide the filling among ramekins (the total number will depend on the size of your ramekin, you could also use wide mouth half pint mason jars as well).

Bake until center is slightly jiggly and wet, about 1 hour. Cool completely on wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving (they taste best if made the day before and are refrigerated overnight). Whip cream until soft peaks. Add the maple syrup, ginger, and brandy and continue to whip until medium-firm peaks. Spoon over pie and serve. If you’d like sprinkle some minced crystallized ginger on top for garnish and extra flavor.

*To bake in a pie shell, heat oven to 425. Pour filling in pie shell and bake pie at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack and serve with whipped cream.

Pumpkin pie is my favorite thing that comes across the table around the holidays. I’ll pass up just about any other kind of sweet in favor of it (except for maybe an extra spicy gingerbread man). I always double this recipe because one batch never lasts long around here. I’ll admit to eating this for breakfast if I have it in the fridge and not feeling the least bit guilty about it. This would have to be my favorite holiday sweet.

What is your favorite holiday sweet?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.