Vintage Recipes: Pumpkin Pie

I have my go-to pumpkin pie recipe that never fails me, but I am always willing to try new recipes out, or in this case…a vintage “new” recipe. This one dates back to 1927, and was made by PET milk (which is still made nearly a 100 years later). Being 1927, the Great Depression was 2 years away, and much of the United States still lived an agrarian life. People still cooked and baked on wood stoves, and refrigerators were not common, hence canned milk being popular. If you did have money, you might have an ice box. Another thing is…why did it call for steamed pumpkin? Libby wouldn’t start doing canned vegetables until 1929 when they bought out another company. Pumpkin in a can wasn’t a common thing then. Only in the 1940’s did Libby really start pushing canned pumpkin, with a recipe on the cans for pumpkin pie.

Now then, who were these weirdos doing 5/8 of a cup measurements. Yeesh. That equals to 10 Tablespoons give or take. Which in theory is a shy 2/3 cup.

Or just make it easier, and measure the entire can of milk into a 2 cup measurer, and top with water to 1 1/3 cups. Easy peasy. Work smarter, not harder….right? Also…probably I have The Googles to find out that pressing math question, as my children had made themselves scarce.

Being it was 1927 you might notice they forgot both temperature of oven and the time in the recipe. Well…partly due to so many still used woodstoves to bake in, or ovens that were gas powered were all over the spectrum. A moderate oven is 350° in most conversions now. I based my time on how long a pumpkin pie takes normally to bake. I checked at 45 minutes, and then at 55. At 1 hour it seemed done and I pulled it out. Check it near the end to be sure. The take away of many recipes from this time period is that the author(s) expected the person cooking to have a fundamental education in actually knowing how to cook/bake. They were nothing more than recipes jotted down by a grandmother to her granddaughters, so they’d remember the ingredients.

The end results?

A delcious and creamy pie. Be sure to chill it fully before enjoying it. Enjoy living in modern times. Add some whipped cream on top.

Pumpkin Pie


  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk + water to make 1 1/3 cups total
  • 1 unbaked pie shell, if frozen thawed on counter first


Preheat oven to 350°.

Place your pie shell in a 9″ pie pan, then place on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the egg, then add sugar, flour, salt and spices till smooth.

Add in the pumpkin, molasses and milk mixture.

Whisk smooth.

Place pie shell on baking tray in oven, pulled partially out. Pour in the pumpkin filling carefully, it is thin.

Push tray in gently.

Bake for 1 hour hour, or until the pie looks mostly set. Check at 45 minutes, then at 55 minutes.

Let cool fully, then transfer pie pan to a plate and chill.

Makes 1 pie.