Sure, you can go buy a frozen pie or use some canned pumpkin (which is not necessarily pumpkin)
But haven’t you ever wanted to try this from scratch? It’s easier than you think!
So, here is one method, but feel free to explore other options.
Step 1: The pumpkin
Buy one sugar pumpkin (might be called a pie pumpkin). These are smaller than the ones you carve into Jack ‘o Lanterns.
Buy more if you you want more pulp, as there are a lot of recipes that use pumpkin pulp.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Cut the top off the pumpkin, then cut it in half, top to bottom. Scoop out that slimy stuff that is holding the seeds, but consider saving the seeds for roasting! Put the cut pieces face down on a cookie sheet, put them in the oven and turn the heat up to 425. Roast for 40 minutes and check to see if a fork goes easily through them. If not, continue to roast and check them every five minutes or so. When they are done, set them aside to cool. Once cooled, scoop them out of their skin, into a bowl or a food processor. Mash until smooth. If you have more than you need for the recipe, you can put it in gallon plastic bags and freeze it. The pulp should last frozen for around a year, except that you’ll no doubt use it sooner.
Step 2 The pie
1 pie crust — Use half this recipe
I will usually precook this for 12 minutes in a 400 degree oven, then set aside to cool a bit.
1/2 cup sugar
2 Cups pumpkin pulp
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Add the eggs and sugar to a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, and milk and mix well, then add the spices and mix some more. Pour into the crust, but do not over-fill. If you have some left over, you can cook it in a ramekin in a water bath, like a custard while you bake the pie. Put some foil over the edge of the crust to keep it from burning.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake 350°F for 50-60 minutes. Test it by inserting a knife to see if it comes out clean. If not, continue baking and checking every ten minutes or less.
Let cool and serve with some whipped cream or pecan topping. Or both! It’s the Holiday season, live a little!