An Experiment for Thanksgiving "The Original Pumpkin Pie"

A Baking Social Studies Experiment for Thanksgiving

While contemplating new ways to make some meaningful traditions for my family's Thanksgiving celebrations I stumbled across the idea of the original pumpkin pie.  A confection that supposedly was most likely made by the first Europeans settling into soon to be America.  Well, of course, I had to try it.  At the least it would be a fun experiment and maybe, it might make a fun new tradition for my family.  According to online research, this was a culinary "favorite of George Washington."

"1621 - Early American settlers of Plymouth Plantation (1620-1692), the first permanent European settlement in southern New England, might have made pumpkin pies (of sorts) by making stewed pumpkins or by filling a hollowed out shell with milk, honey and spices, and then baking it in hot ashes. An actual present-day pumpkin pie with crust is a myth, as ovens to bake pies were not available in the colony at that stage." ~ From What's Cooking America This site goes on to explain the evolution of pumpkin pie into what we know today.

So the kids and I tried baking a pumpkin like this yesterday.  We scraped out the seeds, cleaning the pumpkin as best we could.

original pumpkin pie 001

Then we made the custard. Each kid cracked 3 eggs with no shells going into the bowl!  Next we added lots of whipping cream, spices, molasses and sugar.  Then we poured the custard mixture into the pumpkin.

original pumpkin pie 004

  We used this recipe to bake a whole pumpkin, and there are lots of similar other ones online.  We did find that taking the lid off the pumpkin was essential in getting the custard to set up.

original pumpkin pie

Last night I sneaked a little bit of our completed experiment  and thought had an interesting taste.  My five year old looked on with an odd mix of interested horror and excitement while I was doing my sneaking.  Even though she refused a bite and I am looking forward to seeing if she will venture to try our experiment today.  The results may lead our family to a new tradition, or maybe not!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Results Are In~

Some of my family really liked the pumpkin and custard but it was certainly not the favorite part of our feast.  The custard part tasted surprisingly like pumpkin pie even though there was no pumpkin actually in that part.  Would I make it again?  Maybe someday.  It was certainly worth the time and effort to do once.  My family was fascinated by it and it was fun to have a bit of history in our home.

Shared On: Foodie Friends Friday