How to Make Pumpkin Pie from Fresh Pumpkin and Milk

Leggi questo post in: Italiano

As an American expat living in Italy, I miss out all the specifically American holidays. I’ve been either vegetarian or nearly so for years, so missing out on Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t bother me. But pumpkin pie was another story! It’s usually impossible to find canned pumpkin puree and condensed milk over here, so years ago I decided to find out how to make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk!

Make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk to celebrate an authentic American Thanksgiving tradition! Instead of canned ingredients, use the real things for the most natural and delicious taste!

A few people had warned me that pumpkin pie just isn’t as good with fresh ingredients instead of canned. I honestly didn’t see how that could be true, so I started experimenting with ingredients that I can find in Italy: real pumpkin and fresh milk.

Make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk to celebrate an authentic American Thanksgiving tradition! Instead of canned ingredients, use the real things for the most natural and delicious taste!

And surprise, surprise! Those people were WRONG, because my pumpkin pie is absolutely delicious!

Fresh pumpkin (squash) and milk to make all-natural pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving

It feels so good when I make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk because I know the ingredients are good and healthy, unlike that creepy canned puree and condensed milk.

Enjoy real food with natural ingredients on Thanksgiving when you make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk! Say no to canned puree and condensed milk that have been sitting on the shelf for ages, and say yes to clean and delicious with fresh ingredients!

Add the all-natural filling to my grandmother’s recipe for pie crust, and you’ve got a winning recipe — literally!

Enjoy real food with natural ingredients on Thanksgiving when you make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk! Say no to canned puree and condensed milk that have been sitting on the shelf for ages, and say yes to clean and delicious with fresh ingredients!

Ready to learn how to make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk? Keep on reading!

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Ingredients

Pie crust: 9” (22-23 cm.)

  • 2 cups (300 g.) sifted flour (I used 1/3 whole wheat flour and 2/3 regular white flour)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ cup (170 g.) shortening (I use butter)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml.) cold water

Pumpin pie filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (475ml, about 570 g.) fresh pumkin/squash puree – see the note about puree yields below
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) milk (or light cream or half & half)
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) sugar
  • 1 Tb. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice (I don’t use this because I can’t find it in Italy)

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A note about pumpkin yields

Not all pumpkins are the same. In the United States, there’s one type of pumpkin and all other types are called “squash”, pumpkin being a type of squash. But other parts of the world don’t necessarily have this type.

Typical American pumpkin and Neapolitan Italian pumpkin

The picture above shows an American pumpkin on the left and a portion of a Neapolitan (southern Italian) pumpkin on the right. I live near Naples, Italy, and I rarely find American pumpkins even at Halloween. When I do, they’re expensive and I only get them for Jack O’Lanterns.

Jack O'Lantern made from an American pumpkin

The traditional pumpkin where I live is bigger and long, with a harder green outside and dark orange pulp. You only need a portion of this type of squash for any given recipe.

Typical Neapolitan squash cut with a large knife, to be used for making pumpkin pie

As for the amount of fresh pumpkin or squash you need, it really depends on the type and how much liquid it has. I’ve found that I need about 1¾ kg. (3¾ lbs.) typical Neapolitan squash, which lets out a lot of liquid upon cooking. It’s better to err on the side of having extra, so I suggest starting with 2 kg. (4 lbs.) of squash. If there is any puree left over, there are loads of yummy pumpkin cookies, breads or pastas you can use it for!

Make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk

Prepare the fresh pumpkin puree

Cut fresh pumpkin into chunks and bake it to make puree for pie

1. Cut off the pumpkin peel and cut the pulp into large chunks. Put them on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour at 175° C (350° F) until it is soft.

Strain fresh pumpkin puree before making pumpkin pie filling

2. Puree the pumpkin, then let it sit to strain in a colander with a cheesecloth* under it. Put a container underneath to catch the liquid, which you can use later. (My favorite way is to cook rice in it.) I don’t actually have cheesecloth, so I just use a thin cloth napkin or other old table linen.

Strain fresh pumpkin puree before making pumpkin pie filling

It takes about 1 hour for most of the liquid to strain out. At that point, I fold up the edges of the cloth and gently squeeze the bundle to get more liquid out. Then I put a plate with some heavy cans of food on top to push out extra liquid for another hour or two.

Liquid drained from strained pumpkin puree

It depends on the type of pumpkin you use, but get ready to see it lose a LOT of liquid. Mine lost almost 1 liter (32 oz.) of liquid!

Once the pumpkin puree is done straining, turn on the oven to 190° C (375° F) and start preparing the crust and filling.

Prepare the crust

This is my grandmother’s recipe, which she copied from the newspaper in the 1950s or -60s. The original recipe name was “Bride’s All American Pie Crust”, though it’s unclear why it’s only for brides. I assume because it’s an easy, no-fail crust that even fledgling newbie wives can make.

3. Into a 1-quart (medium-sized) bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder.

Prepare the crust for a traditional pumpkin pie

4. Add shortening/butter all at once. Cut it into the flour with a pastry blender*. (Or, if you don’t have one, use a couple of knives held together.)

5. When the mixture looks flaky, carefully stir in water with a fork to make dough barely stick together.

6. Transfer to a slightly flowered pastry cloth* (or an old kitchen dish towel, if you’re me) and roll out lightly to a 1/8” thickness. Lightly rub a bit of flour over the top so it won’t stick, then fold the dough in half.

Prepare the crust for a traditional pumpkin pie

7. Transfer to the 9″ (22-23 cm) baking pan, push into place and mold the edges between your index and middle fingers and thumb, or push them down with fork tines to make a decorative border. Put the crust to the side.

If you have any leftover dough, roll it out again, cut into strips, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake until browned. I loved doing this with my mother when I was little! Another option is to cut out little leaf or other decorative shapes to put on the top of the pie when baking.

Prepare the pie filling

8. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then beat in pumpkin puree and milk.

9. Stir in sugar, flour, vanilla, salt and spices.

Pie crust filled with pumpkin pie filling before baking

10. Pour into the prepared pie crust. Cover the edges of the crust with strips of aluminum foil to avoid over-browning.

Bake the pie

11. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 40 minutes. You can tell that it is baked enough when a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. (You can see the mark left in the center of the pie seen below.)

Pie crust filled with pumpkin pie filling after baking

Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours.

Take the pie out of the refrigerator about 15-30 minutes before serving so it isn’t cold.

Make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk to celebrate an authentic American Thanksgiving tradition! Instead of canned ingredients, use the real things for the most natural and delicious taste!

I’m not sure why the edge of the filling always pulls away from the crust when it bakes, but I don’t really care because it’s delicious anyway!

Pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream

Eat a slice of it plain or topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

Enjoy real food with natural ingredients on Thanksgiving when you make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk! Say no to canned puree and condensed milk that have been sitting on the shelf for ages, and say yes to clean and delicious with fresh ingredients!

It makes me so happy to be able to make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin so that I can celebrate an important American tradition in a healthy way!

A slice of pumpkin pie made from fresh ingredients instead of canned ingredients

I’d like to offer you a slice of it, but that’s just not going to work, so definitely try this recipe yourself!

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Learn how to make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk for the most delicious and natural Thanksgiving dessert! Keep American tradition real with real ingredients instead of old, canned pumpkin puree and condensed milk!

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Learn how to make pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and milk for the most delicious and natural Thanksgiving dessert! Keep American tradition real with real ingredients instead of old, canned pumpkin puree and condensed milk!

Pumpkin Pie with Fresh Pumpkin and Milk

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Straining Time: 2 hours
Baking Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (300 g.) sifted flour (I used 1/3 whole wheat flour and 2/3 regular white flour)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ cup (170 g.) shortening (I use butter)
  • 1/3 (80 ml.) cup cold water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (475 ml, about 570 g. - I suggest starting with about 2 kg (4 lbs.) of fresh pumpkin to be on the safe side because you never know how much puree you'll end up with.)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) milk (or light cream or half & half)
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) sugar
  • 1 Tb. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice

Instructions

Prepare the fresh pumpkin puree:

  1. Cut off the pumpkin peel and cut the pulp into large chunks. Put them on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour at 175° C (350° F) until it is soft.
  2. Puree the pumpkin, then let it sit to strain in a colander with a cheesecloth under it. Put a container underneath to catch the liquid, which you can use later. (My favorite way is to cook rice in it.) I don’t actually have cheesecloth, so I just use a thin cloth napkin or other old table linen.
  3. It takes about 1 hour for most of the liquid to strain out. At that point, I fold up the edges of the cloth and gently squeeze the bundle to get more liquid out. Then I put a plate with some heavy cans of food on top to push out extra liquid for another hour or two.
  4. Once the pumpkin puree is done straining, turn on the oven to 190° C (375° F) and start preparing the crust and filling.

Prepare the crust:

  1. Into a 1-quart (medium-sized) bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Add shortening/butter all at once. Cut it into the flour with a pastry blender.
    (Or, if you don’t have one, use a couple of knives held together.)
  2. When the mixture looks flaky, carefully stir in water with a fork to make dough barely stick together. Transfer to a slightly flowered pastry cloth (or an old kitchen dish towel, if you’re me) and roll out lightly to a 1/8” thickness.
  3. Lightly rub a bit of flour over the top so it won’t stick, then fold the dough in half. Transfer to the baking pan, push into place and mold the edges between your index and middle fingers and thumb, or push them down with fork tines to make a decorative border.
  4. If you have any leftover dough, roll it out again, cut into strips, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake until browned. I loved doing this with my mother when I was little! Another option is to cut out little leaf or other decorative shapes to put on the top of the pie when baking.
  5. Put crust to the side.

Prepare the pie filling and bake:

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then beat in pumpkin puree and milk.
  2. Stir in sugar, flour, vanilla, salt and spices.
  3. Pour into the prepared pie crust. Cover the edges of the crust with strips of aluminum foil to avoid over-browning.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 40 minutes. You can tell that it is baked enough when a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours.
  6. Take the pie out of the refrigerator about 15-30 minutes before serving so it isn’t cold.

Notes

The amount of fresh pumpkin or squash you need really depends on the type and how much liquid it has. I’ve found that I need about 1 ¾ kg. (3 ¾ lbs.) typical
Neapolitan squash, which lets out a lot of liquid upon cooking. It’s better to err on the side of having extra, so I suggest starting with 2 kg. (4 lbs.) of squash. If there is any left over, there is an abundance of yummy pumpkin cookies, breads or pastas you can use it for!

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