Grandma’s Magic Pumpkin Pie with Incredible Layers bakes into three distinct, incredibly light, and delicate custard-like layers. Also known in our family as Grandpa’s Favorite Pumpkin Pie, this recipe is a family tradition.
Not sure why, but…
At Thanksgiving, we always have two kinds of pumpkin pie. One is the traditional recipe on the back of Libby’s can of pumpkin and the other is Grandma’s Magic Pumpkin Pie. Her pie is a sort of mildly spiced custard pie with layers. Only a couple spoonfuls of pumpkin are required.
An unappetizing nickname…
This pie is known as “squash pie” in our family because of my tendency to substitute mashed butternut squash for the pumpkin. (It’s a little milder.) Although guests are sometimes put off by the name, it is full of memories and good flavors in our family, so we would rather not share anyway.
The legend behind Grandma’s Magic Pie…
My mom likes to tell the story that she tried many times to duplicate this pie for my dad. Grandma didn’t use a recipe so mom had to guess at the amounts.
Even though she watched her mother-in-law make it, Mom had a hard time getting the same results as judged by how distinct the layers of Grandma’s magic pie were upon presentation. She would often ask my dad if it was as good as his mother’s pie. The answer was usually, “not quite.”
So one day, she secretly asked Grandma to make a pie and presented it to my dad. Again, Dad’s answer was, “not quite.” After that, I think she gave up the whole idea of trying to make it as good as Grandma’s.
How to make Grandma’s Magic Pumpkin Pie with Incredible Layers
- 2 egg whites
- 2-3 tablespoons pumpkin pureé (or baby food butternut squash)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 2/3 c. sugar
- dash of salt
- 1/8 t. cinnamon
- generous pinch of nutmeg
- generous pinch of allspice
- 1-1/2 c. milk (only use 1 cup for 8-inch crust)
- 9-inch partially-baked pie crust
- Whip egg whites until stiff and set aside.
- Combine pumpkin, flour, egg yolks, sugar, salt and spices. Blend milk into this mixture adjusting amount according to the size of pie pan you are using. 1 c. is plenty for an 8-inch pie but you may need more for a 9-inch pie plate.
- Mix in egg whites carefully. Mixture should be completely blended but no more. (I use a hand mixer.)
- Pour into partially-baked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Pie should be set with the slightest jiggle when done. The top should be a deep golden brown. If cooked too long, the filling will pull away from the crust as it cools.
- Allow to cool and refrigerate before serving. If the layers are distinct when you slice it, you did it right!
Regarding the crust:
Use a store-bought crust or your favorite recipe for the pie shell. Bake it lightly before adding the pie crust. By that I mean, the crust should be baked but not browned. To be honest, Grandma did not bake hers before adding the filling. I've tried it both ways and prefer a pre-baked crust.
- KitchenAid KHM7210CU 7-Speed Digital Hand Mixer with Turbo Beater II Accessories and Pro Whisk - Contour Silver
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 217 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 145mg Carbohydrates: 33g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 18g Protein: 4g
This post was originally published in 2009. Updated and republished in 2019.
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