Classic Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie has been a staple of our Thanksgiving table for as long as I can remember. Light and silky smooth, it’s the perfect counterpoint to a heavy holiday meal. This recipe has been adapted from Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cookbook–a cookbook that is well-worn in my mom’s house!


Everyone knows I can’t resist decorating a pie, so although pumpkin pies don’t typically have fancy toppers, I decided to experiment. For this particular pie, I added a braid around the edge and baked that with the pie.

I used mini cookie cutters to cut assorted shapes out of the leftover pie dough and bake them on a cookie sheet. Watch them carefully so they don’t over-brown. I put mine into the oven at the same time as the pie and they took about 12 minutes.

Later, once the pie was cooled, I carefully positioned my cut-out shapes to make a pretty design.



  • Unbaked 9-inch pie shell
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. molasses
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. allspice
  • pinch of mace
  • 2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 c. evaporated milk


  1. Prepare the pie shell. [My personal favorite is Ina Garten’s version.] Brush lightly with an egg white.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Beat the eggs with the sugar, molasses, salt, and spices until well-blended. Add the pumpkin and milk and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust and bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for at least 30 additional minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.
  5. Enjoy!

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