Pumpkin pie never made it to the table at my house for Thanksgiving. We loved going out to pick pumpkins. They even made great decorations. As an adult, I saw no need to actually bake a pumpkin pie. That is until I became a mom to a daughter who insisted that pumpkin pie was the way to go. I don’t know when it began. Blame it on Charlie Brown and his great pumpkin. Maybe all the TV shows that ended with a happy family sitting down for a slice of pie are to blame. All I know is that when I grew up, the only pie worthy of my mom’s table on Thanksgiving was the Sweet Potato Pie. So I feel like a traitor every time my daughter asks me if we could bake one.
The Pumpkin Pie Debate
Next to collard greens, a good sweet potato pie is at the top of the list of “must be able to do” if you want bragging rights during the holidays. As a teen, I remember hearing my mom and her girlfriends talking about the best sweet potato pie they ever had. I remember visiting friends who had pies lined up on the kitchen counter ready for the crew that would soon come through and devour them. We scoured soul food restaurants all over NYC in search of the perfect slice of pie with spices that let you know that the chef knew what he or she was doing. I have zero memories of searching for pumpkin pie. The big debate seemed to be that Black people loved to make and eat sweet potato pie. Pumpkin pie was for other people.
Baking is Great Family Time
Shows like Chopped Junior and Master Chef Junior have gotten many kids interested in being in the kitchen. I think that’s great. More time together is a good thing for young people. I love how you can sneak in reading and math while making something yummy. A few weekends ago, I invited my Godson to come over to bake with us. He was proud to take a whole pie home to his mom. I wonder if she will felt like a traitor too.
This pumpkin pie recipe is easy and requires many of the items we always have in the pantry. You can make this recipe vegan by swapping the eggs out with an egg substitute. You can also swap out the sweetened condensed milk with oat, almond or soy but you will have to compensate for sweetness by adding some to your recipe or you can buy it already made.
I hope you have as much fun as we did. Just don’t tell Grandma!
Organic Pumpkin Puree – 1 16oz can + 4 oz
Sweetened Condensed Milk- 1 14oz can
One Ready Made Pie Crust-
Brown Sugar- 1/4 Cup (Optional)
Cinnamon- 1 tsp
Vanilla Extract- 2tsp
Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Add pumpkin puree, milk and seasonings to a large bowl. Gently beat two eggs in separate bowl and add to the mixture. Use a hand mixer to blend all ingredients together. Unroll your pie crust into your pie pan or if it’s a ready made crust already in a pan just pour your mixture into it. Wrap your pie edges in foil or a pie crust shield and bake for 35 minutes. Check to see if it’s done and allow the pie to cook for 5-10 more minutes or until your knife in the center comes out clean.
Let the pie cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream or go with a plant-based option.
LA Dunn is a plant-based advocate who will secretly bake pumpkin pies and not tell her mother. If you have 20 minutes, check out an episode of The Black Girls Eat Podcast. Sign up below for news and updates regarding Black Girls Eat.