Sure, a quick trip to the grocery store or bakery could land you an average pumpkin pie — that’s the easy route. But for an adventurous twist, why not craft it in your own kitchen?
Molasses in pumpkin pie is like a warm, sweet hug to your taste buds, adding a rich depth of flavor that elevates the pie from simply delightful to utterly divine. Its sweet, smoky undertones mingle with the earthy essence of pumpkin, creating a harmonious melody of flavors that dance gracefully on the palate, embodying the cozy essence of fall in every bite.
Here’s the sweet scoop: whipping up a delicious pumpkin pie with molasses is a breeze, whether you opt for shortcuts like a prepared pastry mix or frozen pastry shells, or go the traditional route. The deep, rich molasses syrup infuses a delightful zest into your homemade pumpkin pie, adding that old-fashioned charm.
Below, we have collected some classic recipes to try — and you can find even more great pumpkin pie recipes here.
Text & old-fashioned recipes below were adapted from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) November 16, 1941; The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) November 16, 1967; Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi) December 18, 1967; and The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) November 16, 1961.
1. 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… An’ now for my Pumpkin Pie receipt…” – It’s old-fashioned pumpkin pie with molasses!
“Here’s the way to get the best pumpkin pie ever!” says Aunt Jenny.
2. Different ways to spice up your old-fashioned pumpkin pie crust
If you have tired of ordinary pumpkin pie with molasses 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 with molasses, 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.
ALSO SEE: 8 ways to make pumpkin spice mix at home
3. West Indian pumpkin pie with molasses 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.
4. 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
5. Beautiful and delicious additions to old-fashioned 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 pumpkin pie with molasses with a tiny bunch of green grapes.
DON’T MISS THIS: Classic pumpkin pie recipes: The ultimate collection