Dark, rich, and creamy, this recipe has been handed down in my family for several generations, a treasured secret. To this day it's far and away the best pumpkin pie I've ever tasted. As with many heirloom recipes, it's simple and straightforward, and simply can't be beat.
3Peel the label from the bottom inch or two of the pumpkin can, and carefully place the can on an electric burner.
Pour the canned milk into the empty pumpkin can. Fill the milk can with water, then add the water to the milk in the pumpkin can, to within 1/4" of the top of the can.
Warm the milk, in the can, on medium-low heat, until scalded (small bubbles will form around the rim and a skin will develop across the surface of the milk).
4Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients into the eggs and pumpkin in the mixing bowl.
Stir with a wire whisk until combined and smooth.
5Slowly whisk in the scalded milk until thoroughly combined.
6Ladle/pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared pie crusts.
Bake 10 minutes at 425*. Then reduce oven temp to 350* and bake an additional 50 minutes.
When the pie is done you'll see it bubbling under the surface. Do a toothpick or knife test -- it should come out clean when the pie is done.
Do not overbake -- it'll ruin the custard!
Remove the pies to a trivet or cooling rack and cool to room temperature before serving.
Serve, if you wish, garnished with whipped cream or ice cream. (best garnish is a slice of my apple or pecan pie!)
1) If you don't want to use the can method to scald the milk, just scald it in a saucepan.
2) This also works with a milk alternative, like coconut milk or almond milk.
1 fresh 5-pound pumpkin = about 4-1/2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 pound fresh pumpkin = about 1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 15-ounce can pumpkin = 1-3/4 cups mashed pumpkin
1 29-ounce can pumpkin = 3-1/2 cups mashed pumpkin
*This recipe is easily made gluten free by using your favorite gluten free pie crust (I recommend Pillsbury GF pie dough!) and a good GF all purpose baking flour (I like Bob's Red Mill brand).