The Super Secret Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This is the story of my grandmother’s super secret pumpkin pie recipe.

Growing up, our small southern church had a pot luck dinner EVERY Wednesday night (or so it seemed) in addition to the Sunday afternoon ones. Lots of times, my grandmother would bring her pumpkin pie.

My grandmother’s pumpkin pie was famous.

grandmas pumpkin pie

Personally, I wished all the church ladies would quit making a big deal over the pumpkin pie so my grandmother could do something important like bake something chocolate instead.  But no… every single time her pie was greeted with enthusiasm.

Oooo look!  Miss Rachel brought her punkin pie again.

(No, that wasn’t a typo.  “Punkin” is a legitimate flavor of pie. It’s like “pumpkin” on smaller.)

Get thee behind me PIE… you KNOW I’m on a diet.

(I can’t explain it either.  Apparently mis-quoting bible verses to include a reference to pie was funny back in the day.)

Y’all, I can’t tell you if her pie was any good or not.  As a kid, if it wasn’t chocolate, I wasn’t interested.  I never ever had a slice of that pie.

All I can tell you is that people always asked my grandmother for her recipe and she’d just smile and tell them it was a family secret.

As you can imagine, our family holiday feasts always included a pumpkin (and pecan) pie baked by my grandmother.  My mom and my aunt often asked for the recipes.  She would just smile and tell them it was written down in her recipe box and they’d be able to find it after the funeral.

(Translation for those who don’t speak southern old lady:  OVER MY DEAD BODY.)

After my grandmother had reached the end of her pie baking days (but several years before the funeral) my mom and I traveled to spend Christmas with my brother and his new wife in Seattle.  My mom was nervous because she had pried the secret pie recipe out of my grandmother and was going to be baking it for the very first time in my brother’s kitchen.

My brother was understandably excited because he actually LIKES pumpkin pie.

Me? I would have rather been eating her equally delicious chocolate pie.

On Thanksgiving eve, my mom started to panic because she realized she COULD NOT find the recipe my grandmother had written down.  It was NOWHERE in her luggage.

We had all the ingredients, but no clue how to make the pie.  None of us had ever made pumpkin pie before, so we didn’t even know where to begin.

My mom took a deep breath and called my grandmother.  She hoped Miss Rachel would be well enough to dictate the recipe to her over the phone.

super secret pumpkin pie recipe

Pumpkin Pie Recipe Revealed!

My grandmother started chuckling when she heard my mom’s predicament.  She asked my mom if we had followed the recipe exactly as written and bought Libby’s brand pumpkin.  (We had, much to my “all organic everything” sister in law’s dismay).  Then she asked my mom if the can happened to have a recipe printed on the label for pumpkin pie (It did.  Every single can I’ve ever checked has the recipe.)

Honey, just follow what’s on the label.  That’s what I did over fifty years ago.  It’s never changed and it’s the best pumpkin pie recipe there is.

Yes.  You read that correctly.  The super secret pumpkin pie recipe my grandmother swore she’d take to the grave was the one off the back of the can of pumpkin.

Only the week before, my mom had been entrusted with my grandmother’s super secret pie crust recipe (“Just by the frozen one and put it in your own pie pan.  Be sure and re-crimp it so it looks like you did it yourself.”)

It was the best pumpkin pie my mom has ever made.  Or so they tell me.  I was busy eating the chocolate cake.

In case you didn’t buy the right brand of canned pumpkin (or lost the label in some strange canned pumpkin incident), Libby’s has it on their website.  (I would have linked to their video tutorial that is advertised on the can, but um… the link wasn’t working.  Eeeeek!!!)

Don’t tell her I told you, but I’m pretty sure the pecan pie recipe is the one on the bottle of kayro syrup.  Shhh!!!!

super secret pumpkin pie recipe

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. Ha! That’s the EXACT recipe my mom used and that I now use myself when making the pumpkin pies. Well, except my mother did actually make her own piecrust. I’m not to that level yet and much prefer your grandmother’s pie crust method. Someday, I’ll attempt the pie crust. Can’t go wrong with that Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe though.
    Jean recently posted..Saturday Success Stories, November 23My Profile

    • I’m about to make my very first pumpkin pie. I’d use my grandma’s pie crust “recipe” but I don’t even own a pie pan! How can I own every other size pan to bake things in and not even own a pie tin? I LOVE pie.

      • I have pie pans but I usually just use the store tin so I have one less dish to worry about retrieving. One thing about that pie recipe to note is that it makes a lot of filling! My mom always baked a small custard size dish of pumpkin on the side along with the pie. I still have her custard dish that I’ll be using when I make mine. Good luck with your pie! I’m sure it will be great.
        Jean recently posted..Saturday Success Stories, November 23My Profile

        • I was looking up recipes for chocolate pumpkin pie. One version involves adding melted chocolate chips to the regular pumpkin pie filling. Sounds perfect for any “extra” filling.

  2. This is so cute. Just like my kids are forever wanting to know how to make our chocolate chip cookies, but the recipe is on our Toll House Chocolate chip bag.

    Loved the drama of this story. Makes you miss home and family all the more.I’m like you given a choice of chocolate or pumpkin, I’m going to choose chocolate for sure.
    Crystal Green recently posted..Redeeming Love Book ReviewMy Profile

  3. Too funny! I have made your Grandma’s super secret pumpkin pie on several occasions then. It is the recipe I use 🙂 I hope you and your family have a lovely Thanksgiving.
    Jolene recently posted..1,000 giftsMy Profile

  4. Hahaha! I love this! The super secret family recipe, eh? Are the fine people at Libby’s perhaps distant relatives?
    Reminds me of when I make my very popular holiday fudge. When asked for the recipe I admit it is the “Never Fail Fudge” recipe on the jar of marshmallow fluff.
    Mo recently posted..5 Ways I Stay Connected With Loved OnesMy Profile

  5. That is funny. Kind of reminds me of the Friends ‘nest-e-lee” story. Still a great pie though. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    QueenMomJen recently posted..Practically Perfect PromotionMy Profile

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