Step by step: Making a homemade pumpkin pie

Do you have any pumpkins left over from your garden? There is nothing finer than a homemade pumpkin pie, especially when you fill it with the yummy goodness of your very own, homegrown pumpkins. Even if you didn't grow any, you can easily find pie pumpkins, also known as sugar pumpkins, at the grocery store.

You would think that turning a pumpkin into puree is difficult but I'm here to tell you it's easy as can be. I just made a pie yesterday and took photos of the steps, so let's dive into the technique:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place a pumpkin weighing about 5 pounds into a roasting pan, to roast whole. The great thing is you don't have to cut it into halves or chunks which can be tricky to do because of their thick skins.

3. Put pan into the oven and set a timer for 90 minutes.

4. Now you can go do something else or get started on making your pie shell. If you aren't pastry-inclined, you can always buy a pre-made pie shell at the store although I think they have a funky taste to them.

You'll want to make either a 9" or 10" pie shell. I consult with my old Betty Crocker cookbook for the recipe but you can find plenty of tasty recipes on the web.

5. After the 90 minutes are over, the pumpkin skin will look darker. When you touch the skin, it should feel quite soft. Remove from oven and carefully slice it in half. This will help it cool quickly.

6. Remove the seeds and stringy pulp around them; discard. Isn't this easy?

7. Scoop out the pulp, which is usually about an inch thick. Place in a food processor or use a masher to turn it into puree. I've found that a 5-lb. pumpkin will usually yield about 3 cups of puree, which is an ideal amount for a pie.

8. Pour the puree into a mixing bowl and add the ingredients for your pie filling. My all-time favorite recipe is Martha Stewart's "Sugar Pumpkin Molasses Pie" from her "Pies and Tarts" cookbook. Obviously, I don't have the rights to reprint the recipe here but if you do a web search for "sugar pumpkin molasses pie," you'll find many recipes that include a little molasses. The recipe I use calls for eggs, molasses, honey, milk, ginger and cinnamon -- a delightful mix!

Here are links to other potential pie recipes: on Martha Stewart's on's websites.

9. Pumpkin pies usually require about an hour of baking at 375 degrees. You will be amazed at how flavorful a homemade, homegrown pumpkin pie tastes, and everyone you share it with will just love it!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!