It seems like you can hardly find a pumpkin pie recipe that doesn’t call for evaporated or sweetened condensed milk. Pumpkin pie is actually a fairly healthy dessert, especially if you cut back on the sugar a bit and use maple syrup instead. It’s filled with things Weston A Price highly recommends eating like eggs, dairy, pumpkin and lots of healthy warming spices.

I prefer my pumpkin pie without crust, so I bake it in individual ramekins or a one casserole dish. Real cream, whipped up with some fresh ginger and maple syrup, tops it all off for the perfect Thanksgiving or anytime treat!

I like my food with lots of flavor so I usually double the spices in any recipe I’m making; this one is no different. You will also find that using freshly ground spices really helps bring out the flavor of each spice. Freshly grated ginger tastes so much different than powdered ginger. I’d also recommend using sweet cinnamon instead of regular cinnamon if you can find it. I get mine at Mt Rose Herbs, many stores carry it in their hispanic section. The flavor of sweet cinnamon pairs much better with sweet things, it’s more mellow than regular cinnamon.

I’m not big on really sweet stuff, this recipe has less sugar than most so it won’t taste like the recipe from the back of the can of pumpkin. I reduce the sugar in mine to 1/2 or even 1/4 cup. If you like your pie on the sweeter side increase the sugar to one cup.


15 oz. pumpkin puree (homemade puree will yield a lighter pie)
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup cream
1 tbsp brandy (optional)
3/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of freshly ground cloves

whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsps maple syrup
1 tsp ground ginger (freshly grated is best)
1 tsp brandy (optional)

Heat oven to 325°F* In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, cream, and brandy. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves. Whisk the sugar mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Divide the filling among ramekins (the total number will depend on the size of your ramekin, you could also use wide mouth half pint mason jars as well).

Bake until center is slightly jiggly and wet, about 1 hour. Cool completely on wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving (they taste best if made the day before and are refrigerated overnight). Whip cream until soft peaks. Add the maple syrup, ginger, and brandy and continue to whip until medium-firm peaks. Spoon over pie and serve. If you’d like sprinkle some minced crystallized ginger on top for garnish and extra flavor.

*To bake in a pie shell, heat oven to 425. Pour filling in pie shell and bake pie at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack and serve with whipped cream.

Pumpkin pie is my favorite thing that comes across the table around the holidays. I’ll pass up just about any other kind of sweet in favor of it (except for maybe an extra spicy gingerbread man). I always double this recipe because one batch never lasts long around here. I’ll admit to eating this for breakfast if I have it in the fridge and not feeling the least bit guilty about it. This would have to be my favorite holiday sweet.

What is your favorite holiday sweet?

15 Responses to Real Pumpkin Pie

  1. Mich says:

    I do like a good pumpkin pie & although we dont celebrate Thanksgiving as we are in the UK; its always something I make come autumn/winter with my homegrown squash.
    Must admit I’ve never made it using condensed milk; that must make it so sweet!

  2. daisy says:

    This looks like a great, clean recipe. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  3. Melissa says:

    I’ve never made it with condensed milk either, but have used plenty of sugar. Thanks for posting this one- If I can get hubby to eat this recipe then that would be awesome b/c the boy loves pumpkin pie! And I wouldn’t feel so bad about him eating this one!

  4. Allison says:

    I LOVEEEEEE pumpkin pie and next time, I am for sure trying your recipe. It sounds fantastic!!! I never realized there was a ‘sweet’ cinnamon. I will have to look into that.

  5. Eliza J says:

    I love pumpkin pie and like you, make it without a crust. I found a recipe several years ago by Martha Stewart and have used it ever since…and yes, it is a wonderful breakfast food! The picture of the ramekins above makes my mouth water ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. goatpod2 says:

    I like pumpkin pie with a little bit of cool whip, my Grandma always made her pumpkin pies with butternut squash though.


  7. Donna B. says:

    Yes. Yes, and yes!
    Pumpkin Pie is also my favorite treat… ever!
    And I also agree, less on the sweet side is always better. Last night I actually made some [from scratch] ‘pumpkin pie filling’ topped brownies! Mmmm… I used half of the sugar the recipe called for, and I also double the spices! Mmmm. Can’t do wrong with a flavorful dessert!
    I said this before over on Dabbling – but I cannot get over making single-serving sized portions of this in ramekins… Brilliant!
    I gotta rummage some yard/estate sales, see if I can find any…

  8. whit says:

    Yum! Thank you for the recipe! Around here, we like our pumpkin pie with a ginger flavored pie crust & struesel topping, but we can’t make that every day of the year, eh?

    My favorite holiday treats are eggnog, tamales, and manicotti.

    Wishing you and your family a joyous and tasty Thanksgiving.

  9. Well, you just covered my two favorites: pumpkin pie and gingerbread. Must be the spices.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  10. I love making individual pumpkin puddings in little ramekins during the winter. I made sure I bought three little sugar pumpkins at my farmer’s market this fall (though I ended up giving away two.) My best recipe comes from Moosewood Lodge Cooks Low Fat. Moosewood is a vegetarian restaurant nearby in Ithaca, NY. I will definitely be giving your recipe a try. Thanks!

  11. KimH says:

    Yum.. sounds delightful to me.. I use evaporated milk in mine to make it creamy but not sweetened condensed milk.. gag.

    I made & canned some pumpkin butter not too long ago and I decided that was my pumpkin pie.. good enough for me. 😉

  12. Victoria says:

    Working on my pie shell now…next time i’m going the ramekin route! Today I’m trying do prep a lot, so I can be as chill as possible tomorrow. Hope you have a fabulous thanksgiving!

  13. Texan says:

    I will try your recipe for your crustless version :O), it sounds very good!. I too use a lot more of the spices than a recipe calls for as we like our pumpkin pie spicy. I tried using coconut milk today. I am hoping its going to set. I am having to cook it a bit longer it seems to get the knife to come out clean.. I hope it works :O).

  14. For American recipes, I typically cut the sugar in 1/2. For German recipes baked to suit the American palate, I typically double the sugar. So you’re right on the money here.

    I just posted something on German pumpkin cheesecake, which is what we’ll be having tomorrow. No evaporated milk in that one! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *