Pumpkin pie

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Pumpkin pie is a dessert pie with a spiced pumpkin-based custard filling. The pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time. In the United States and Canada, it is usually prepared for Thanksgiving and other occasions when pumpkin is in season.

Pies made from pumpkins use pie pumpkins that are about six-to-eight inches in diameter.[1] Pie pumpkins are mostly smaller than jack-o'lantern pumpkins.

History[change | change source]

The pumpkin is native to North America. The pumpkin was an early export to France. During the 17th century, pumpkin pie recipes could be found in English cookbooks, like Hannah Woolley's The Gentlewoman's Companion (1675).[2] But pumpkin "pies" made by early American colonists back then were more likely to be a savory soup rather than sweet custard in a crust.

It was not until the 19th century that pumpkin pie recipes appeared in American cookbooks. It also was not until that century that they became a part of the Thanksgiving dinner. The Pilgrims brought the pumpkin pie back to New England.[3] The English method of cooking the pumpkin took a different course.

In the United States after the American Civil War, the pumpkin pie was resisted in the Southern United States as a symbol of Yankee culture brought to the South. Instead, the Southern United States prepared sweet potato pie.[4]

In popular culture[change | change source]

  • Lydia Marie Child's Thanksgiving poem "Over the River and Through the Wood" refers to pumpkin pie in one of its verses.

Ah! on Thanksday, when from East and from West,

From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored;
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Songs[change | change source]

"There's No Place like Home for the Holidays" makes a reference to homemade pumpkin pie from a man who wants to return to Pennsylvania" "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" says: "Later we'll have some pumpkin pie/And we'll do some caroling" "Sleigh Ride makes reference to a happy feeling "as they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie"

References[change | change source]

  1. "How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie". Pick Your Own. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  2. The Gentlewoman's Companion. Google. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  3. "Dessert with a Past". New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  4. "For Decades Southern States Considered Thanksgiving an Act of Northern Aggression". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  5. "The Pumpkin". Poets.org. Retrieved November 23, 2018.