I excitedly present Fannie Merritt Farmer’s good old-fashioned American pumpkin pie!
You see, I discovered this frightfully fabulous and easy recipe in my 1909 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book - How Spiffing!
Yet rather interestingly, the origins of pumpkin pie tumble all the way back to the 1500’s, where Medieval cooks served stewed pumpkin, sweetened with sugar, livened up with spice, and enwreathed with pastry – I say, mouth-drooling scrumptious!
Also, there are many early recorded recipes of pumpkin pie, one of which has a French connection - Ooh la la! - Tourte of Pompion - created by Francois Pierre La Varenne in 1653. Then of course, as the years zoomed by, during 1796 a recipe for pumpkin pie appeared in the first known American cookbook by Amelia Simmons, which is very similar to Fannie’s version, although it requires scalded milk, eight eggs, and one may add grated lemon-peel instead of spices.
Oh, and I must say, to all my fellow Brits who are a little shy of pumpkin pie, "Don't be darlings, as I'm absolutely sure you'll adore it!" The texture is very similar to cheesecake, and it tastes utterly divine - just one teeny-weeny mouthful and I guarantee you'll be bouncing around culinary heaven!
Now, darlings, as you're aware pumpkins are a big thing in the US, but sadly the season has passed (September to October) - "Aaah, what a shame," I hear you squawk!
But nevertheless, this classic sweet dish of creamy pumpkin and spices will, of course, be the dessert of choice on every American's Thanksgiving table! But I dare say, in this instance, I believe many will succumb to the convenience of canned pumpkin puree, as Thanksgiving falls in November.
But luckily darlings, here in the UK we're 'smack bang' in the middle of pumpkin season (October to December) - so it's pumpkins galore! And so, one may purchase their round, rippled, orange ball of deliciousness from their local supermarket, farm shop, or maybe you have an allotment plot and grow your own!
Whatever the case, it's nice to know that pumpkin pie has become increasingly popular here in the UK. However, it's just recently come to my attention that many folk pay over the odds for a readymade pumpkin pie at somewhere like Whole Foods Market - an entire tenner or more, I believe! Well, darlings, that's absolute daylight robbery - don't ya think?
Therefore, I invite you to have a jolly good go at recreating Fannie's version - with a bit of a Miss Windsor twist, of course! as it’s a fairly cheap dish to make and will only cost you £4 or £5 in total.
Darlings, and I must say, in this day and age, the kind of pumpkin pie that one has become accustomed to often includes spices such a nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, however, Fannie’s version only requires cinnamon and ginger.
Yet, having re-created Fannie's old-fashioned pumpkin pie a couple of times, I must admit it tasted rather bland - my apologies, Fannie, no offence taken I hope!
So, in order to 'jazz it up' a little I used a heaped teaspoon of ginger and cinnamon, plus a flat teaspoon of allspice. Oh, and please note that I used sweet cinnamon instead of the plain old boring type!
Oh, darlings, and rather worryingly, nowadays the addition of condensed or evaporated milk often takes precedence over traditional plain old cream and milk– a culinary crime, indeed! So please do take heed my dears, and refrain from falling victim to such culinary nonsense – the old-fashioned way is the best way!
Darlings, now it's my intention to encourage all you keen culinary enthusiasts of yesteryear to ‘cook from scratch’. So, without further ado, hop on board and join Miss Windsor for a merry jaunt down memory lane, where you'll learn how to recreate Fannie's traditional recipe for pumpkin pie - using homemade pumpkin puree, I hope!
ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY MISS WINDSOR
Miss Windsor Presents: Fannie Farmer’s Old-Fashioned American Pumpkin Pie!
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr
Serves 8-10 delightful guests!
Search for recipes