The Story of Pumpkin Pie


The history of Pumpkin Pie actually goes back to Europe in the 1500s when pumpkin was stewed with sugar and spices and wrapped in a pastry.

The French recorded the first recipe in 1651:  Tourte of Pumpkin - Boile it with good milk, pass it through a straining pan very thick, and mix it with sugar, butter, a little salt and if you will, a few stamped almonds; let all be very thin. Put it in your sheet of paste; bake it. After it is baked, besprinkle it with sugar and serve.

The Native American tribes grew squash and pumpkins. They roasted or boiled them for eating. They  brought pumpkins as gifts to the first settlers, and taught them about their many uses.  The Pilgrims may have eaten pumpkin that first Thanksgiving but there was no pie because they had no ovens.

American Cookery
1786 by Amelia Simmons
( There are only four known copies of this book in existence )

By the 1670s recipes for pumpkin pie appeared in many English cookbooks which the colonists would most likely have had access to.  It was not until 1796 that the first American cookbook was published and written by Amelia Simmons.  It was the first cook book to develop recipes for foods native to America.  Her pumpkin puddings were baked in a crust similar to present day pumpkin pies.

Pompkin Pudding No. 2. One quart of milk, 1 pint pompkin, 4 eggs, molasses, allspice and ginger in a crust, bake 1 hour.

This recipe by Esther Allen Howland appeared in Economical Housekeeper 1845