Pumpkin Pie


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    two 9 inch


Appears in

Great Cooks and Their Recipes

Great Cooks and Their Recipes

By Anne Willan

Published 1977

  • About

This recipe, labeled simply “pompkin,” is in fact a pie, though Amelia Simmons includes it in her section on puddings. Her first version, containing large amounts of cream, must have been for parties and the second, made with milk and molasses, for everyday. Despite its bitterness, blackstrap molasses was often used for sweetening, since outside areas where sugar and maple syrup were produced, it was far cheaper. Molasses (known to the English as treacle) was one of the main bones of contention during the War of Independence, along with rum, for the British insisted on placing a high import duty on the raw product. As John Adams said: “I know not why we should blush to confess that molasses is an essential ingredient in American independence.”

No. 1. One quart [pumpkin] stewed and strained, 3 pints cream, 9 beaten eggs, sugar, mace, nutmeg and ginger, laid into paste No. 7 or 3, and with a dough spur, cross and chequer it, and baked in dishes three quarters of an hour.

No. 2. One quart of milk, 1 pint pompkin, 4 eggs, molasses, allspice and ginger in a crust, bake 1 hour.


For the Pastry

  • 12 oz/3 cups/375 g flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 oz/½ cup/125 g butter
  • oz/ cup/75 g shortening or lard
  • 3 fl oz/6 tbsp/90 ml water, more if needed

For the Filling

  • pints/3 cups/750 ml heavy/double cream
  • 4 eggs, beaten to mix
  • pints/3 cups/750 ml cooked, puréed pumpkin
  • 8 oz/½ cups/250 g sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • Two 9 inch/22 cm pie pans/tins


  1. To make the pastry: sift the flour into a bowl with the salt, add the butter and shortening or lard, and cut the fat into small pieces with a pastry cutter or two knives. Rub in with the fingertips until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in the water to form large crumbs, then press them together, adding more water if necessary to make a dough that is soft but not sticky. Chill for 30 minutes.

  2. For the filling: beat the cream with the eggs into the cooked pumpkin and stir in the sugar with ginger, nutmeg and mace. Heat the oven to No 4/350°F/ 175°C.

  3. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry, line the pie pans/tins, and fill with the pumpkin mixture. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut two ¾ inch/2 cm bands; reserve them. Cut the remaining pastry into narrow strips and decorate the tops of the pies with a lattice. Lay the reserved pastry bands around the edges of the lattice to hide the lattice edges. Bake the pies in the heated oven until the filling is firm, about 1 hour.