Pumpkin Pie Made with Real Pumpkin. Gasp!

I don’t know why pumpkin pie is relegated to only shine at Thanksgiving.  I could eat it every day of the year.  ESPECIALLY pumpkin pie that’s made with real pumpkin.  This is a pumpkin pie recipe that’s truly made from scratch.



Jump to Recipe

You can cook pumpkin pie made with real pumpkin. Yes. Sugar pumpkins to be precise. That realization  knocked me right on my ass about a decade ago. 

Before my pumpkin revelation it never occurred to me to do anything other than open up a can of pumpkin when it came time to make a pumpkin pie. I mean that’s what you do. You go to the store, buy a can, open it and let the blob of pumpkin slip out. 

It just never occurred to me for some reason that you could make pumpkin pie by cooking a fresh pumpkin. Until one day I saw a sign. It said: Pie Pumpkins. I’d seen them before of course, but this time it actually clicked – Omgthesepumpkinsareformakingpumpkinpie.

Pie Pumpkins.

Holy crap!  I bought a pumpkin.  I made a pie. I did it again and again, then proceeded to tell EVERYONE that this was a thing you could do.  And it isn’t even much harder than opening a can of pie filling. You just have to bake a pumpkin.

Pie pumpkins are smaller and sweeter than regular old pumpkins which makes them perfect for whipping into a pie. You just need to turn them into pumpkin puree.

How Do You Make Pumpkin Puree?

First things first … like I said, you need a pie pumpkin.  These are the smaller pumpkins you see around.  About the size of a small head.  Like a toddler’s head for instance.

  1. Your first job is to crack off the stem and then cut the pumpkin in half.

Cracking stem off of pie pumpkin to the left of photograph and slicing through the centre of the pumpkin with a chef's knife to the right.

Inside it’ll look just like a squash or a Halloween pumpkin does when you split it in half.

Scoop out all of the guts and fibres … then place face down on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes – 1 hr.

*If the wall of your pie pumpkin is thin you might need 2 of them. If it’s thick it should be enough for a pie*

The pumpkins are done when they’re easily pierced with a fork.

Steaming, freshly baked pie pumpkins on a baking sheet.


When they’ve cooled a bit, flip the pumpkins over and grab a spoon. Scrape the flesh out of the pumpkins and put it into a bowl.

Scooping out cooked pumpkin pie flesh for making pumpkin pie.


One small pumpkin will yield around 3 cups. Plenty for one pumpkin pie. Puree your pumpkin either in a traditional blender or with a hand blender.

Pumpkin pureed with immersion blender in an ironstone bowl.


Blend it until it has a very smooth consistency. Put the pumpkin puree into a swath of cheesecloth and let it drain.

Cooked pumpkin puree straining through cheesecloth and a metal sieve.

About a cup of liquid will drain out of a 2.5 pumpkin, leaving you with around 2 cups of pumpkin.

Lifted cheesecloth full of pumpkin puree, draining into bowl.


Now you have cooked, strained pumpkin just like they sell in cans.  YOU are fantastic. You did it.

A pumpkin is a type of squash.

A few years ago there was a worldwide Facebook-shared panic that somehow squash was making its way into canned pumpkin.  People were completely out of their minds over the thought of this.

Calm down. They’re the same thing. And some squash are so sweet (Delicata for instance) that they make better tasting pumpkin pies anyway.

So when pie pumpkins aren’t in season and you hanker for pumpkin pie, just grab a squash for the job. Incidentally, if a can of pumpkin puree contains “squash” it’ll say so.  You shouldn’t care if it does.


Pumpkin Pie Making Tips
  • Use a sweet squash if you can’t find pie pumpkins (kabocha, delicata, buttercup)
  • In a rush? Use a store bought crust. They’re actually pretty good.
  • Yes you can freeze pumpkin pie! So go ahead and make it in advance if you want. 
  • If your crust is browning too much, cover it with a pie crust shield (or just some tin foil)
  • Store your pumpkin pie in the refrigerator. It’s a custard base so it needs to be kept in the fridge, not out on the counter.

I haven’t given you a recipe for crust because most people have their own crust recipe that they use, but I do want to remind you to blind bake the crust.

How To Blind Bake
  • Line unbaked pie with parchment paper, then fill with beans, dried peas, lentils or actual pie weights.
  • Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  • Remove parchment and weights, then bake for another 5 minutes.



Classic Pumpkin Pie


Top with Maple Syrup Whipped Cream and enjoy!


Here's the best thing. You can make this pumpkin puree then freeze it to use whenever you want!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin pie
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 pieces of pie
Calories: 329.86kcal
Author: Karen


  • 2 cups Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 can evaporated milk 12 ounces
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsps. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves You can also substitute with allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 pie crust

Pumpkin Puree

  • 1 pie pumpkin 2.5 lbs


Pumpkin Puree

  • Cut pie pumpkin in half and scoop out the guts. Cook face down on a greased baking sheet until fork tender. 30-45 minutes.
  • Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and puree with an immersion blender.
  • Strain the puree through cheesecloth. Around 1 cup of liquid should come out over a few hours.
  • You now have pumpkin puree!

Pumpkin Pie Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Add sugar, salt, spices and lemon zest to bowl and mix.
  • Beat the eggs very well and add them to the bowl of mixed ingredients.
  • Mix in YOUR HOMEMADE pumpkin puree and evaporated milk and combine well.
  • Roll out pie crust and put in pie plate.
  •  Blind bake your pie crust.  To blind bake: line your pie crust with parchment paper, fill with pie weights, rice or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F. Remove parchment paper and weights, then bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove blind baked crust from the oven and fill it with the pumpkin mixture.
  • Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 F and bake an additional 40-50 minutes.  If the crust starts to darken, cover it with tin foil for the remainder of the bake.
  • The pie is done when the centre reaches a temperature of 175 F. A knife should come out *almost* clean.  Just a speck or two of filling on it. 
  • Let it cool and set up on a wire rack.


  • Use a sweet squash if you can't find pie pumpkins (kabocha, delicata, buttercup)
  • In a rush? Use a store bought crust. They're actually pretty good.
  • Yes you can freeze pumpkin pie! So go ahead and make it in advance if you want. 
  • Pour your filling into the prebaked pie shell on the counter until almost full.  Then put the pie in your oven and pour the rest of the filling in. This lets you get the pie as full as possible without the chance of spilling.
  • If your crust is browning too much, cover it with a pie crust shield (or just some tin foil)
  • Store your pumpkin pie in the refrigerator. It's a custard base so it needs to be kept in the fridge, not out on the counter.
  • Use a Pyrex pie plate.  It might not look as good as a vintage metal one, but they work better.  You'll get a better crust with Pyrex.


Serving: 1piece (1/8th of pie) | Calories: 329.86kcal | Carbohydrates: 53.31g | Protein: 7.74g | Fat: 10.84g | Saturated Fat: 4.46g | Cholesterol: 78.16mg | Sodium: 306.82mg | Potassium: 644.33mg | Fiber: 4.48g | Sugar: 30.28g | Vitamin A: 19695.56IU | Vitamin C: 23.1mg | Calcium: 205.94mg | Iron: 2.59mg

Tools For Successful Pie Making


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Pumpkin Pie Made with Real Pumpkin. Gasp!


  1. Barb says:

    I have made these pies for the last 3 years. They are delicious. So bummed that I can not find pumpkins anywhere by me. Everyone has been out since the beginning of Nov. I am being told. Can I use canned pumpkin in your recipe?

    • Karen says:

      Use squash! You’ll never ever know the difference. They’re the same thing really. I don’t know where you are or what kind of grocery stores you have but these are the ones you should use if you can; Kabocha squash, Delicata Squash (also known as sweet potato squash), or Buttercup squash (which looks similar to Kabocha). Really any squash will work fine. ~ karen!

  2. Karra Schultz says:

    Thank you! Real pumpkin pie has been in our family forever! We never use canned pumpkin bc it tastes very different from using a fresh pumpkin. I also wanted to add that our pie never looks orange like your pics. It comes out as a tan/brown so I’m not sure what makes pies look orange unless it is made with canned.

  3. Nora says:

    I love your thorough and very clear explanations and illustrations. This sure makes me want to run out and see if I can still get a pie pumpkin.

    By the way, a book I have that happens to be on losing weight with a high protein high fat diet and has lots of recipes, expresses the same kind of astonishment about making whipped cream as you do about making pie with a real pumpkin. I quote: ´You won’t believe how simple and easy it is to make your own whipped cream.´ I had to stop, back up and read that again. I couldn’t believe people had to be told that!

  4. Rose says:

    I used to make pumpkin puree in October and freeze it for Thanksgiving pies. I drained the liquid when it thawed. Before I knew about sweet pie pumpkins, I scraped out the insides of Halloween pumpkins before carving them to use for pies. There’s so much sugar and spice in the pies you can’t tell the difference. (That will probably get comments!) In a taste-off one Thanksgiving no one could tell the difference between fresh and canned so now I don’t bother.

  5. Rosiland Ball says:

    Crust question! I have made pumpkin pie for 60 years. Always used the recipe on the bake of the Libby’s Can of pumpkin. It does NOT call for the crust to be blind baked! I always wondered about that – how would the bottom crust get cooked. I don’t blind bake for apple either but pumpkin is all liquid. So when do you blind bake????

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rosiland. I blind bake for most pies. Anything that has a lot of liquid, like most pies do. Like you I haven’t always found it necessary for an apple pie but for something like a pumpkin pie or a quiche I feel like it’s essential to getting a really good crust. :) ~ karen!

  6. Lesley says:

    This is the only domestic goddess thing I do – every Hallowe’en I make about 20 cups of real pumpkin puree, and freeze it in bags of 2 cups each, all ready for pie, or muffins. I’ve also used full-sized pumpkins.

  7. Jen says:

    Once you go fresh, you’ll (almost) never go back. I do this to all my winter squash and freeze it for later. And I recently roasted a Red Kuri squash and I cannot wait to make a pie out of it. The texture was beautifully dry (excellent for adding all kinds of liquids to for a pie) and so sweet. I’m also going to make one from the Long Island Cheese squash I grew and compare them. #gardennerd

  8. Sarah says:

    I have actually done this before. I’d recommend placing your freshly baked pie away from the edge of the counter to cool. I put mind on a narrow run of counter and my cat jumped up to check it out, and landed in the pie. Needless to say, we had pie on all the kitchen walls, the floor and kitty took off running through the house with pie on his butt. It was a disaster! I’ve never made a pumpkin pie from whole pumpkins again.

  9. MaryG says:

    I love your article and the comments. I just want to add that years ago I read that if you use canned ( I said it!) pumpkin to give it a quick purée in the food processor or blender first to make it smoother. It seems there are fine bits of stem and peel in the canned pumpkin…. Also, to freshen up the canned taste of the pumpkin cook it on the stove top over low heat for a couple of minutes. All this does help if you use canned pumpkin. But why bother? I love fresh pumpkin in my pie too! Thanks for this article.

  10. Chris says:

    Here in Australia we don’t have canned pumpkin (or at least I’ve never seen it). And I’ve never seen pumpkin pie anywhere.
    So it’s almost pumpkin planting time and maybe time to start thinking about pie! (There’s only so much soup you can eat!)

    • Karen says:

      Give it a shot! It could be one of those regional things that someone else tries and thinks GROSS, lol. But I don’t think so. ;) More than anything it tastes like fall spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. ~ karen!

  11. It’s interesting to me how we have very different experiences with the same recipe. I absolutely loved this pie. I made it exactly like the recipe, using a sugar pumpkin which I pre-cooked a few days prior. I typically make scratch pumpkin pies when the pumpkins are available & this is my very fave recipe so far. The filling set up beautifully. The flavors are perfect. I prebaked the crust just until it was set, maybe 5 minutes, vs 12 minutes suggested & used a crust guard for the remainder of the baking.

  12. Madison says:

    So I’ve been making this pie for Thanksgiving for three years now. It has now become a tradition for me to make this pie! Every one of my friends and family LOVES that it is made from a real pumpkin! However I do live at 4,900 feet, so if you are at a higher elevation, expect a longer cook time. For me, it is an extra 30 minutes. <3

    • Karen says:

      That’s great! I’m actually making this pie today. For myself. Just because, lol. I’m amazed at the difference in cooking time for higher elevation. Another 30 minutes is huge! Thanks for letting me know. :) ~ karen!

  13. Michele says:

    Hi you say cloves like garlic cloves?

  14. Jill says:

    Love the recipe! Any chance you’d be willing to share your pie crust recipe too?

  15. Adama N Pitts says:

    I’m going to try this tonight…What’s an alternative to using the cheesecloth to strain the pumpkin puree?

  16. Victoria says:

    Omg made by own ice cream to go with it, delicious

  17. Victoria says:

    I just took mine out of the oven, I don’t want to wait a couple of hours to eat it lol

    • Karen says:

      That’s it. I’m making a pumpkin pie immediately. If I don’t have the ingredients on hand I don’t know what I’m going to do because I just got out of the shower. ~ karen!

  18. Jenn says:

    Amazing recipe! Definitely the best pumpkin pie my family has every had.

    • Karen says:

      Stop that. Stop that right NOW Jenn. I haven’t made it yet this year and comments like this aren’t helping. I might have to make it this weekend. And it’s all your fault. ~ karen!

  19. Margaret Mendyk says:

    I make fresh pumpkin all the time LOVE LOVE it you. An add as much of the seasonings as you like it taste so gooood! Never go bake to the can. It freezes great,I buy a few extra bake them and freeze for future pumpkin recipe, all winter long.

  20. Hannah says:

    Has anyone used Stevia in place of the regular white sugar?

  21. Laura Bee says:

    Thanks again – pies look fabulous & the lazy pie is going into a trifle tomorrow with cake & cranberry sauce. :)

  22. hannah johnson says:

    Your so awesome!! I am making this right now and it looks sooo good! Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • Karen says:

      I’m just getting ready to roast my own pumpkins for this for Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada)! Good luck and enjoy. Don’t forget the maple syrup whipped cream! ~ karen

      • Adrienne says:

        Hi Karen, I got my sugar pumpkins today and found your receipt and blog. Thanks for that!
        One question: How big is the pie pan? It looks like a 10″ to me but want to be sure before I start preparing. Thanks!

        • Karen says:

          Hi Adrienne! It’s slightly smaller than a regular pie plate because my pie plates are vintage and therefore a bit smaller. BUT the recipe is for a standard pie plate so you’ll be just fine. ~ karen!

  23. BethH says:

    Warning: Contains babble. Do not read if you have a specific question and don’t want to be bothered with reading through all the comments, which I have greatly enjoyed this morning! Hey Karen, have you ever even HAD a garden?! Hahahahaha!

    Okay, so I just harvested my crop of pumpkins, I mean squash, and I grew exactly three sweet little sugar pumpkins this year. Upon contemplating their beauty, I decided to make my first from scratch pumpkin pie, and who else would I turn to for a recipe? I was sure that you had one, and sure enough, you didn’t disappoint! I haven’t done it yet, but am sure the results will be pleasing. It’s amazing how many of us have that marble rolling pin! Thanks for a terrific post, Karen. The step-by-step with pics is priceless. Now, I have to go back and reread the original post because I overlooked all that profanity and want to see if I can pick up any new swear words!

    • Karen says:

      I really should stop posting, clearly I’m not smart enough to have a blog. Or experienced enough. Mainly I should probably just go to bed and nap to get over the disappointment of being me. Don’t forget to strain your pumpkin after cooking it BethH. VERY important! ~ karen

  24. Melissa says:

    FYI pumpkin IS a squash! I live in central IL, where the farmers work hard to grow these “squash” in their fields every year and then they get trucked to the nearby town of Morton, IL. Morton, IL is known as the pumpkin capital of the world, by the way, and I myself will continue to support our local farmers and businesses. Have you ever even grown a pumpkin or even had a garden?

    • Karen says:

      Wow Melissa. You’re so smart. I mean, very hostile and rude, but SO smart. I think that’s the point you were trying to make, right? ~ karen!

  25. Mackenzie says:

    My daughter brought home a pumpkin seed planted in a cup at the end of her kindergarten year this past May. Never planting pumpkin seeds before, we gave it a shot. That one seed in a cup has yielded 24 pie pumpkins! No, that’s not a misprint. Her one request is pumpkin pie from a pumpkin. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Karen says:

      24??!!! LOL!! That’s INCREDIBLE. Pie pumpkins are one of the few pumpkin/squash types I’ve never grown. Most pumpkin or squash plants only grow 2 or 3 fruit per plant so 24 is hilarious! Good job! ~ karen

  26. Leanne says:

    Hi! This recipe looks amazing. How long will the pie last once it’s baked? Online it says 2-4 days but I wanted to see if you had any ideas since this is a fresh pumpkin. Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Leanne. It’ll last the same amount of time in the refrigerator (it needs to be kept in the fridge) as canned pumpkin. The length of time the pie lasts once baked is based more on the fact that it contains evaporated milk and eggs. Whether the pumpkin is canned or fresh doesn’t have any effect on how long the pie lasts. Hope that helps. ~ karen!

  27. Savannah says:

    Hi, i tried looking for an answer in the comments but there’s just so much babble about everything else. Will the recipe still come out the same if i use a big pumpkin and no cheese cloth?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Savannah! No, like the post says you have to use a pie pumpkin (they’re sweeter and drier) and you have to strain it through cheesecloth because pumpkin is too wet. If you don’t strain it you’ll end up with a watery mess that doesn’t set. ~ karen!

    • Sava says:

      I’ve used the big one numerous times. Just make sure to drain the puree well as it seems somewhat runnier. As well use a blender to puree. Our family has loves homemade pumpkin pie this way for year.

  28. Tristan says:

    We don’t have those pumpkins in Australia ! So I’m using a different one hopefully it taste like home!

    • Karen says:

      It’ll be fine Tristan. Just try to use a dry/sweet pumpkin. A Delicata (sweet potato squash) or Kabocha squash would work well too. ~ karen!

  29. Melody says:

    Karen! The pie turned out great! I made the whipped cream (whipped by hand! Phew!) and it tastes absolutely delicious. My dad was eating it quietly only to say “Wow” every few minutes hahaha. It was a success! :-D I put it in the fridge after it cooled off so it could get firm and it seemed to do the trick. Again, thanks!

  30. Melody says:

    Hello! Thanks for the recipe. I had been dying to make a pumpkin pie from scratch for the longest time. My pie is in the oven right now. I omitted the milk because of my friend’s lactose intolerance. Hopefully it will taste just as good.

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome Melody! I have my fingers crossed for your pie. I’m a bit worried that without the evaporated milk (or any dairy) that your pie won’t set up exactly the way it should. Normally you would substitute the evaporated milk with something else like almond milk and some cornstarch to help the pie set. Let me know how it turns out! ~ karen

  31. Dan says:

    I am made this recipe three times, the first two times I was still tweaking my pie crust recipe so the main flaw was the crust. I recent made it again after many more pie crusts, and I realized for this recipe…
    Prebake the crust with dried beans or pie beads for about 15 minutes at 350.
    It helps the crust set a tad better.

    • Karen says:

      That’s true! I always blind bake my crusts. Looking back on the recipe (it’s a few years old) I have no idea why I didn’t include that! ~ karen

  32. barbara says:

    thanks for this great recipe! Made two pies using this recipe this morning! They look gorgeous and smell incredible. Can’t wait for dessert.

  33. Erin says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I am definitely making this for Thanksgiving.
    I have that rolling pin too! My grandma had while I was growing up and its now too heavy for her. She gave me the cutting board to match too! Happy Thanksgiving!

  34. Linda Raustad says:

    40 years ago I bought a pumpkin for 50¢. I said to my husband,could I make a pie from this?I

    I have been doing this ever since. Yes it does take time,but so worth it. I did find your use of the
    immersion blender immensely helpful. The quickest puree job I ever did. Once you try this,you
    Will never go back to canned!!! The family loves it.

  35. Terry Davies says:

    How long can I store the cooked pumpkin in the refrigerator?

  36. Kindra says:

    My first time making thus from scratch. Followed your recipe… AMAZING! Thank you ☺️

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