A Tale of Two Pies

We always have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving – it’s a tradition. My recipe uses the crust recipe I got from my mother and the filling that I am embarrassed to admit came from an ad for Libby’s canned pumpkin! Martha has a recipe for Traditional Pumpkin Pie on page 82 of November Living. It was time for a pie-off.

First I made my own crust. This is a simple, no hassle crust. I dump 1 1/3 c of  flour, 1 stick of butter, 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar in the Cuisinart and process till it looks like meal. Then I gradually add 1/4 c ice water until it forms into a ball. I roll it out (and it rolls out smoothly and easily) and pour in the filling and bake. Easy and reliable.

Next I did Martha’s crust. Martha calls for 2 1/2 c flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and 2 sticks of butter. Then you add 3-4 tbsp cold water. Quite different than mine – twice as much butter and almost twice as much flour and much



less water. Martha directs you to chill it for 1 hour before rolling it out. I did that. I rolled it out and it was a giant mess. It ripped and shredded all over the place. I ended up having to patch it in places once it was in the pan.

Then Martha says to freeze the pie shell for 15 minutes. When you take it out, you prick it with a fork, put parchment paper inside it and fill it with pie weights. Then



you bake for 15 min at 375. Take it out and remove the pie weights and parchment paper and bake for another 15-20 min until it is brown.

By the time I did all this, my pie was completely done. I was feeling a bit annoyed at how complicated Martha’s process was. Thank goodness I have two

Martha's crust baked


ovens though or I would have been in trouble! That turkey needed to go in while all this was happening!

Next, let’s take a look at the 2 fillings. My fabulous Libby’s pie is made up of 3/4 c white sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, 2 eggs, 15 oz pumpkin and 12 oz evaporated milk.

Martha’s filling is 3/4 c brown sugar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp ginger, 3/4 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp vanilla, 3 eggs, 12 oz evaporated milk and 15 oz canned pumpkin. Again, different than mine. She uses an extra egg, brown sugar instead of white, and nutmeg instead of cloves. The cornstarch is extra also.

My pie

My pie

My pie bakes at 425 for 15 min then you reduce the temp to 350 and bake for another 40-50 min. It was done exactly on time.

Martha’s pie bakes at 325. The recipe says 50-55 minutes. WRONG! That pie was not done for a good hour and a half, and that was only after I got annoyed and cranked the temp to 350!

Martha's pie


Both pies looked good. Martha’s was a little taller than mine.

I made the family do a taste test. The results were split. I loved Martha’s crust. Yes, it was a giant pain to make it, but it tasted terrific. I would make it again. I liked my filling better. It had a stronger flavor and tasted more like pumpkin to me. So in the future I would make her crust with my filling.

Mine- left, Martha- right

Mine- left, Martha- right

The rest of the family was split also. Mini-Martha liked my pie. Teen daughter liked Martha. Mr. MarthaAndMe liked both.


One Response to A Tale of Two Pies

  1. Sounds like you out-pied Martha. I guess not all of her stuff works easily, though she does make it look so simple on her show.

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