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Cinderella Pumpkin Pie

The magic to this pumpkin pie boils down to fresh ingredients (and a cute backstory).

I first going to share an anecdote from how we came up with the name of this recipe: Last fall was bad for pumpkins. We had rain and squash bugs in full force and the shortage made national headlines (Illinois is the leading U.S. grower). Even I wasn’t able to harvest a single pumpkin from my traditionally sprawling backyard pumpkin patch. My daughters were crushed, and I have to admit, I thought my pumpkin pie dreams were over.

Then, one morning, my oldest daughter came into the house and told me a plant was growing in our compost pile. Sure enough, a few weeks later, a brilliant orange orb of goodness volunteered itself for the esteemed privilege of becoming my traditional pumpkin pie.

I’ll never forget the day my youngest came barreling into the kitchen and exclaimed, “Mama! Where is my little orange punkin?!” The look on her face when I told her the pumpkin turned into pie was priceless. She registered shock, then confusion, then glee as she jumped up and down saying, “The punkin turned into pie! Just like Cinderella’s! And now I can eat it!”

And of course, that’s just what she did.

Here’s how you can make some fall magic happen in the kitchen this year, too – just maybe wrap things up before midnight.

Cinderella Pumpkin Pie



  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose organic flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 5 tbsp. cold butter, cut into little squares (neat trick: you can also freeze your butter and then grate with the large side of a cheese grater – it becomes the perfect size!)
  • 5 tbsp. cold water



  • 1 small organic sugar pumpkin (or “pie” pumpkin)
  • ¾ cup organic brown sugar or cane sugar
  • 2 ¾ cup organic whole milk
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt




  1. Mix the flour and salt together.
  2. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter, if you have one, or your cold hands, if you’re like me. You’re looking for a coarse crumb texture – little bits of butter are perfectly fine and add to the flakiness of the crust.
  3. Add your water a tablespoon at a time. You want your dough to stick together, but not be sticky.
  4. Form your dough into a ball and flatten it with the palm of your hand.
  5. Roll the dough out until it’s larger than your pie plate – my pie plate is 9 inches in diameter, but has very high sides so I rolled my dough out a little longer. You can always trim the edges later.
  6. Gently fold your dough in half and place in your pie plate, unfolding and pressing it along the bottom and sides, and crimping the edges.
  7. When you’re done, put the pie plate in the fridge.



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut your sugar pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place your pumpkin halves cut-side down on a cookie sheet. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when a fork pierces them like buttah.
  4. Remove and let cool, then scoop the flesh away from the skin. You should end up with about 2 cups of pumpkin.
  5. While the pumpkin is cooling, make your own evaporated milk by simmering the whole milk in a saucepan until it reduces down to 1 ½ cups of milk. Voilà!
  6. Mix the pumpkin, eggs, sugar, salt and spices in a large bowl.
  7. Slowly add your homemade evaporated milk. Stir well to combine.
  8. Pour the mixture into the chilled pie crust.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 50-60 minutes, checking your crust for brownness. You’ll know your pie is done when the filling solidifies in the center. You can insert a toothpick or knife in the middle and if it comes out clean, the pie is ready.


Let the pie cool for a little while before covering and putting in the fridge until dessert time.

Recipe adapted from Surviving the Stores.

JENNIFERJennifer Ludwigsen is a homesteading mom in Crystal Lake, freelance copywriter, blogger at Flaws, Forgiven and recently became a Food Shed Co-op board member. Reach her at


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