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Thanksgiving 2015: How to make traditional pumpkin pie

No matter how much turkey and heaps of mashed potatoes you eat on Thanksgiving, there’s almost always room for pie. And you definitely don’t mess with pie. 

After all, it’s one of the greatest traditions this time of year. Having a family recipe for pie brings generations together and rekindles warm memories. 

In early October, Betty Plunkett, a Flavor 574 reader, sent her recipe for her Great Grandmother Plunkett’s pumpkin pie. 

“I am 84 years old and have loved pumpkin pie most of my life. My mother-in-law’s recipe that I procured when I was a new bride is the best I have tasted,” she wrote to Flavor 574. “…So then when we were staying overnight at their farmhouse near Pleasant Hill, Ohio, I stayed up past midnight to watch her and write down her pumpkin pie.” 

The recipe is similar to the one found on cans of Libby’s pumpkin, she wrote. 



  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 small can pumpkin 
  • ¾ cup sugar (use half brown sugar) 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 1 ⅔ cups evaporated milk 
  • ¼ tsp. lemon extract
  • ½ tsp. vanilla


  1. Mix all above ingredients except butter and milk. Heat milk and butter until scalded and add to mixture. Pour into pastry shell, sift nutmeg over top and bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. 
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for an additional 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of the pie comes out clean. 

What’s your family tradition when making pie for Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments! 

Follow editor Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron

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