I remember four hours of driving in an Idaho snowstorm with four of these pumpkin pies balanced on the back seat of our 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne.
Usually, Grandma Falba cooked the entire Thanksgiving meal, but that year Mom had volunteered to bake the pies and she was pretty proud of the results on that back seat. We lived 67 miles north of Grandma’s house back then, in a mountain town that was usually a 75 or so minute drive from Grandma’s. That day was snowy and blowy and four hours of white-knuckled driving. But those proud pies arrived safely, as did my Mom and I.
Grandma has more than one pumpkin pie recipe in her collection. This first one is from the Standard Figuring Book, and is labelled 1952.
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie
1 #2 1/2 can pumpkin
1 heaped C sugar
5 or 6 eggs (5)
1 qt milk
2 heaped teasp. p. pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
This will make 3 pies if you use the paper pie plates.
I don’t know what she meant by ‘paper pie plates’ but I do remember her pies were shallower, not the deep-dish style that some bakers will make. There were years that we’d buy pre-made crusts at ‘Buttson’s (Albertson’s), and other years she made the pie dough from scratch. The oven temperature and baking times are left for us to figure out, but it’s probably a safe bet to use the same as those listed in the recipe below.
Another pumpkin pie recipe from her collection comes from an old label from a Libby’s solid pack pumpkin can. Libby’s has been printing this recipe on the labels of their pumpkin cans since about 1950, but this label isn’t dated.
Libby’s Pumpkin Pie
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cups Libby’s Pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 2/3 cups evaporated milk, top milk, or light cream
1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell
Mix ingredients in order given. Pour into pastry shell. Bake in hot oven (425° F.) 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to moderate (350° F.) and continue baking 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
For 2 9-inch pies, double this recipe, pour into 2 pastry shells and bake as directed.
Serving Suggestions: Pumpkin pie is delicious served with wedges of sharp cheddar cheese or garnished with whipped cream; chopped nuts; toasted coconut or slivered candied ginger.
I don’t remember ever having cheese or nuts (or ginger!?!) with our pies, just lots of whipped cream or ice cream.
Grandma Falba’s favorite pie for Thanksgiving was a mincemeat pie. None of the grandkids took to that though, and so she always made extra punkin’ pies for us.