Baking Up a New Thanksgiving Tradition

I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays!  I have such fond memories of Thanksgiving growing up that all go back to one common theme: tradition.

The day always began promptly at 9am with watching the classic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, during which time we’d enjoy homemade oatmeal.  Then in the afternoon, we’d make our way over to my grandparents’ house, where football was on the tv, but we also played a family game of football outside.  I was the only girl out there with my dad, boy cousins, and uncles, but I knew how to hold my own.

Then came the best part: the food!

Most of the recipes I now make as an adult when hosting Thanksgiving dinner are recipes that have been passed on from my family.  This includes my mom’s sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole, my grandpa’s homemade gravy, and my favorite part of all…my grandma’s highly esteemed cranberry mold.  This dish is the highlight of every Thanksgiving meal I’ve had in my nearly 40 (shhh don’t tell) years on earth.  With that, I have added my own favorite recipes over the years, like The Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes, Paula Deen’s crockpot mac-n-cheese, and many others.

But the area where I love to shine?

This year, I decided to try something I’ve never done, and that is make a pumpkin pie entirely from scratch, including the pumpkin puree.  As a mom, I’m so excited to now have a child of my own with whom I can share all of my favorite traditions, but I also love making new traditions together.  I am certain that this delicious pumpkin pie will now be an annual tradition for my son and me.  We did a trial run a few weeks ago, and it was a great activity for doing with kids.


Karter is only four years old, but even at a young age, there were jobs I could give him, such as scraping the pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkins, lining the pumpkin shells on the baking tray, pouring the ingredients in the bowl, and pressing the buttons on the mixer.  In the end, he was SO proud that he helped to create the pie.  When my husband came home from work and I told him we made a homemade pumpkin pie, Karter was quick to brag that he helped!  Then Karter, of course,  got to help with the grand finale: tasting our delicious work…and let me tell you, it truly was DELICIOUS!  Now that we’ve tested and approved this recipe, I am certain we will be adding it to our Thanksgiving spread this year.


Do you want to try it too?

Check out the recipe here, and be sure to comment to let us know how yours turned out.  We’d love to see photos of your littles helping you in the kitchen too!

Pie Crust Ingredients (you can skip this and buy a premade refrigerated or frozen pie crust if you prefer!)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling out
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter cold and cut in cubes
2 tablespoons– 1/4 cup ice water

Pumpkin Pie Filling Ingredients
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
15 ounces homemade pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin puree (I highly recommend homemade…super easy and directions included)
12 ounces evaporated milk

Homemade Pumpkin Puree
unbaked pumpkin


How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • First cut off the stems of your pumpkin and cut it in half. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and scrape out any stringy fibers inside the pumpkin.
  • Put all of the pumpkin seeds into a bowl.  You might want to use these later to make some amazing pumpkin seeds to snack on.  There are many yummy recipes for this!
  • If you have a larger pumpkin then will fit on your baking sheet, cut the pumpkin into wedges.
  • Place the pumpkin on to a baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet with pumpkin in to the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  • Keep an eye on the pumpkin for the last 10 minutes or so, so you do not over cook the pumpkin. The pumpkin is done cooking when the skin begins to shrivel and the pumpkin flesh is tender and can be poked easily with a fork.
  • Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let it cool until it is cool enough that you can touch it.
  • Remove the pumpkin flesh from the pumpkin skin. Discard any parts of the pumpkin flesh that are tough.
  • Add the pumpkin flesh to a food processor or a high-powered blender. Using the puree option, puree the pumpkin flesh until it is smooth.
  • Once done pureeing, if the pumpkin puree is a bit dry, add a few tablespoons of water and mix well until it is smooth. Be careful not to add to much water to it; you will want to add the water little by little.
  • This makes enough puree for the equivalent of two 15 oz cans!      

How to Make Homemade Pie Crust

  • In a large bowl, blend together the flour, sugar and salt.
  • With a pastry cutter or fork, work the butter and flour mixture together until it looks like small pebbles.
  • Add the water, little by little, and mix with your hands until the dough comes together.
  • Divide the dough into two equal balls and press flat onto plastic wrap.
  • Chill the dough for at least an hour.
  • Lightly flour your working surface and roll out your dough, turning it a few inches after a few rolls to achieve a round shape.
  • If it starts to stick add a little extra flour. It should be a little larger than your pie plate.
  • Roll the dough around your rolling pin to easily place the dough into the pan.
  • Using a pairing knife or kitchen shears to trim the dough to a one inch over hang.
  • Fold the dough under and seal to for an edge.
  • Using your finger tips and knuckles crimp the edges.  You can even use a butter knife to make a fancy pattern if you’d like.

How to Make Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in small bowl.
  • Beat eggs in large bowl.
  • Stir in pumpkin puree and sugar-spice mixture.
  • Gradually stir in evaporated milk and vanilla.

How to Make the Pumpkin Pie

  • Spray the pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Put the pie crust into the pie dish. Then pour pumpkin pie mixture into pie shell.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate.
  • I recommend serving with Cool Whip or whipped cream!
Thanksgiving is such a great time for tradition.

If you don’t have many traditions, this is the perfect time to start creating them with this recipe.
I hope you love this pumpkin pie as much I we do!  (And Thanksgiving calories don’t count, right?)