Carnation’s famous pumpkin pie: The traditional Thanksgiving dessert (1959)

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Carnation's famous pumpkin pie The classic '50s Thanksgiving dessert

Carnation's famous pumpkin pie: The traditional Thanksgiving dessert (1959)

The traditional  pumpkin pie is still the best (1959)

Pumpkin pie remains a seasonal dessert, even though few of us make it with fresh pumpkin any more, and the canned product is available the year around. Somehow we associate it with harvest time, November and Thanksgiving. Somehow it tastes best at this season!

No cook has ever been able to improve upon the taste of pumpkin pie as made in the traditional way. Many have tried. I’ve tasted pumpkin pie with orange or lemon or wine in it, with mincemeat or pecans, with pineapple or applesauce, and somehow my reaction is this: Why don’t we let a perfect pie just be itself?

Even the chiffon and frozen versions aren’t as good as good old pumpkin custard pie, the kind great-grandma, grandma, and ma made, the Thanksgiving dessert that is a favorite and best of all!

The kinds and proportions of spices may vary a little, and one cook may prefer evaporated milk to milk or cream for her pie. Another may make it with brown sugar instead of white, and the amount of pumpkin is variable, too. The trimmings — whipped cream or candied ginger or cheese — don’t matter much. But let pumpkin pie be pumpkin pie, I say!

A helpful trick to avoid spilling the uncooked filling as you carry the pie to the oven is this: Don’t fill the crust full before you put it in the oven. – Mary Meade, Chicago Tribune

Carnation’s famous pumpkin pie recipe

Carnation's famous pumpkin pie: The traditional Thanksgiving dessert (1959)

Carnation's famous pumpkin pie recipe

Carnation's famous pumpkin pie recipe

Yield: 1 9" pie (8 servings)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

The sure way to a cream-smooth pumpkin pie...


  1. Mix filling ingredients until smooth. 
  2. Pour the filling into unbaked pie shell. 
  3. Bake in hot oven (425 F) for 15 minutes.
  4. Lower temperature to moderate (350 F) and continue baking about 35 minutes or until the custard is firm.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 53mg Sodium: 208mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 30g Protein: 6g
Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

Dark & delicious: 5 ways to to make old-fashioned pumpkin pies with molasses & brown sugar

Carnation’s famous pumpkin pie recipe card (1950s)

Carnation's famous pumpkin pie recipe card (1950s)

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