What is Thanksgiving without an old-fashioned pumpkin pie? Why, it isn’t Thanksgiving at all! Even if you serve pumpkin pie just once a year, let that one time be Thanksgiving.
You certainly may buy your pumpkin pie at the food market or bakery. That’s that easy way. But for the fun way, make it yourself. Pumpkin pies are quite simple to make with or without shortcuts, such as prepared pastry mix or frozen pastry shells.
Molasses adds a marvelous zest to old-fashioned pumpkin pies. Here are some classic recipes to try! (PS: You can find even more great pumpkin pie recipes here.)
Beautiful and delicious additions to a pumpkin pie with molasses & brown sugar
Do your creation justice by serving it as prettily as possible: Use a sharp knife to cut pumpkin pie pieces evenly, and garnish attractively.
Pastry cut-outs as shown below are a nice addition. Cut leftover pastry as plain (triangles) or as fancy (pumpkins or leaves) as you wish. Bake on a cookie sheet until golden. Use alone or on whipped cream.
Whipped cream is the perfect partner for your old-fashioned pumpkin pie with molasses. Forget calories for this once, and top the cream with chopped nuts, a perfect pecan half, chocolate curls or a fresh grating of nutmeg if you decide not to use the pastry cut out. If you just can’t stand the whipped cream calories, serve your molasses pumpkin pie with a tiny bunch of green grapes. Further embellish the grapes by dipping in beaten egg white, then in granulated sugar for a frosty effect.
Different ways to spice up your old-fashioned pumpkin pie crust
If you have tired of ordinary pumpkin pie and want to try your hand at one a wee bit different on this holiday, begin with the crust. A chocolate-flavored crust is a perfect mate for the golden-orange pumpkin. You may also use a graham cracker crumb, crushed spiced wafer, or gingersnap crust for the pumpkin chiffon filling.
For pumpkin pies, which are baked in the pie crust, you may choose to add 2 tablespoons finely-chopped pecans or black walnuts to your pie crust before you roll it out. This gives a marvelously different flavor.
For still another classic pie crust, you can add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to make a spiced pastry shell. Sift spices with flour before cutting in shortening. If you use a pastry mix, sift spices over broken pastry stick before adding liquid. Mix well.
West Indian molasses pumpkin pie recipe (1967)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
1 slightly beaten egg
2 tablespoons dark molasses
Mix in a bowl the sugar, flour, salt and spice. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk. egg and molasses. Stir until smooth. Pour into a 9-inch pie pan lined with unbaked pastry made with pie crust mix or from a pastry recipe. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until firm. Makes one pie.
Dark spiced old-fashioned pumpkin pie recipe with brown sugar & cognac (1967)
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-vegetable shortening
1/4 cup water
3-1/2 cups (1 pound, 13 ounces) cooked or canned pumpkin
1-1/2 cups firmly-packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt (again)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups light cream
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Combine flour and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening until uniform but coarse. Sprinkle with water, toss with a fork and press into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pastry 1-1/2 inches larger than an inverted 9-inch pie plate. Fit into plate and trim 1/2-inch beyond the edge of the plate; fold under to make a double thickness around the edge, the flute the edge. Refrigerate until ready to use. Repeat with other half of the dough, making another shell.
Blend pumpkin with brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, spices and eggs; stir in cream and cognac. Pour into pie shells. Bake in 425 F (hot) oven for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 F (moderate) and continue baking for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Fold sour cream and granulated sugar into whipped cream. Serve as topping for the pies.
If desired, one pie shell and half the filling (3-1/2 cups) make be frozen. For best results freeze and filling separately with filling in a plastic container. To bake, pour thawed filling, into still-frozen pie shell and bake as directed above.
Makes two 9-inch pies
Colonial pumpkin pie with molasses (1941)
“I figure you want this pie for Thanksgivin’ so I’ve made the fillin’ extra luscious by usin’ brown sugar an’ addin’ a little molasses. But to get the FULL enticin’ flavor you must have a tender, flaky, delicate crust. So be sure to use purer Spry, not some ordinary shortenin’ that might give off-flavor crust… An’ now for my Pumpkin Pie receipt…” – It’s pumpkin pie with molasses!
“Here’s the way to get the best pumpkin pie ever!” says Aunt Jenny.
1-1/2 cups canned or cooked pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teapoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons molasses
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pie shell
Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, spices and molasses and mix well. Add eggs and milk. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Bake in hot oven (425 F) 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Serve slightly warm or cold with wedges of sharp cheese.
* Molasses may be omitted, if desired. Canned squash may be used instead of pumpkin.