Friday, October 18, 2013

Elvy's from scratch Pumpkin Pies

I don’t have any photos of the pumpkins, sliced through their middles, gently collapsing in a jellyroll pan, because I can’t find my *!!#%  camera.  It would have been so appropriate to the season, and beautiful too!

The reason I can’t find my camera is, so far, this has been challenging month. I do have a photo of  some of the Tex-Mex feast my son-in-law had at his surprise 40th birthday party, so I hadn’t lost the camera yet.

It was a surprise for me too, but due to things I cannot mention, the party was changed from my daughter’s, mother-in-law’s house, to hers a few weeks before the occasion, and I got to be the caterer for around fifty people.

A week later, in the middle of the cold our two-year-old, twin grandsons had been happily giving everyone, I got the same little boys for five days while my daughter and her husband went to Dallas TX for a Redskin/Cowboy football game (it's a mixed marriage)
I know, they are adorable, and it's a good thing they are, too.

My grandsons are back home now, and I’ve had a few days to rest up (the last time I was that tired was after giving birth), yet still can’t find my camera.

Anyway, since I can’t show you, I’ll tell you.

Pie pumpkins are smaller than the regular ones you cut up for Halloween, and it’s easy to scoop out their seeds and strings, bake them (I put them on parchment paper; makes for easier cleanup) in a 350 degree oven for an hour.  The flavor of fresh pumpkin is an improvement over canned, but not such a major one you couldn’t use canned. I encourage you to try baking them though, just to see how easy it is, and how good they are. Your friends, and spouses will be amazed by your skills.

Ingredients for two pies:

·         Two unbaked, single crusts, in deep-dish pie pans

·         4 cups of pumpkin (a little less is okay)

·         4 large eggs

·         2 cans evaporated skim milk

·         2 ½ cups dark brown sugar

·         2 teaspoons good quality cinnamon

·         1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger *

·         1 teaspoon nutmeg

·         1 teaspoon cardamom

·         1 teaspoon allspice

·         1 teaspoon salt

I’ve tweaked this recipe for years, which began with the one on the Libby’s canned pumpkin label, and this one everybody loves. It's not bland, like too many pumpkin pies, and two will be gone in no time for any good sized group.  

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees, reduce to 400 after fifteen minutes.

Use a mixer to blend all the ingredients, scrape bowl, and when everything is one color, pour into pie crusts and bake 45 to 50 minutes.  Turn pie pans at the 30 minute mark. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, it’s done. Some homemade whipped cream, with a little vanilla and maple flavoring, is wonderful on top.

                *GREAT TIP –Keep fresh ginger on hand without worrying it will go bad. Freeze it in one piece, in a freezer bag. Use a micro plane style grater whenever you need some, you don’t need to peel it, or thaw it, only grate the amount you need.  

You can find more recipes like this, along with a great story, in my book: 



Love on a Half Shell

A shell is a hard object—tough. It can withstand the ocean’s pounding for long stretches of time.
A shell is also cupped. It can hold tender things, protect them and allow them to grow.
Meet Rae Greene, a thirty-something woman who has made a few mistakes and doesn’t flinch from acknowledging them. She’s a tough cookie with a good heart, and she’s just been handed her sister’s kids.
Three parts love, two parts grit…the perfect recipe to save a family.


  1. Hi, Elvy! You always make your recipes sound so easy and DELISH! I hope you find the camera soon, but they are becoming so inexpensive since smart phones are beginning to push them out of the market. The twins are a pair of cutie pies indeed. I hope "Love on a Half Shell" is doing well for you. Take care!

  2. How cute are they! (You crack me up...mixed marriage.) :-) I think I'll actually try this recipe..although how I'll possibly determine the quality of cinnamon is beyond me. And I have no idea where to get fresh ginger. In fact, I'm not even sure I knew such a thing existed! Wish me luck. I'll need it!! :-)

  3. Thanks Denise -
    Leah - fresh ginger is near the onions in about every grocery store. Look for some with shiny beige skin, they are small, twisty sort of things, and don't buy inexpensive cinnamon, because the cheap stuff has very little flavor.

  4. I love Pumpkin Pie, but it took awhile. When I was younger, I loved sweet potato pie, but I met a man who is pumpkin crazy. So I started baking and I stand before you a pumpkin convert.
    Great post as usual! :-)