The first frost of the year killed my pumpkin vines, leaving a few pumpkins still green.  Something about green pumpkins tugged at my mind, and I remembered that The Little House Cookbook (recipes for foods mentioned in the Little House on the Prairie books) I’ve had since junior high has a recipe for green pumpkin pie. It is supposed to taste like apple pie.

The Little House Cookbook calls for homemade apple cider vinegar (or hard cider, or frozen apple cider concentrate), none of which I had on hand, so I went online to see if anyone had other alternatives, or if there were other recipes that I could use.

Apparently the green pumpkin pie recipe is unique to that book, and people have had varying levels of success with it.  One important tip seems to be to cut your pumpkin  thin so that it cooks through.  And Mavis at One Hundred Dollars a Month posted that she had just used her regular apple pie recipe and replaced apples with pumpkin.  She didn’t really say how the pie turned out, though.

I felt that the apple cider vinegar called for in the original was important to give the pumpkins a little bit of the apple flavor and acidity, so I decided to use a combination of frozen apple juice concentrate and storebought apple cider vinegar.  I added that to the apple pie recipe provided by Mavis, as well as making a few other changes.

The pie turned out very well.  I fed it to both my husband and my mother-in-law.  I told them that there was something “special” about the pie, and asked them to guess what it was. Neither guessed that there was anything other than apple in the pie filling.  This is not as unfair as it seems, since my mother-in-law is a big fan of the Little House books, and I loaned her the cookbook not long ago to read.

Here’s the altered recipe I used:

Green Pumpkin Pie

  • one 2.5 to 4 pound unripe pumpkin (I think I used a little more than 2 lbs of the pumpkin I picked) to yield 5 cups of pumpkin slices
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. frozen apple juice concentrate
  • one double pie crust, storebought or homemade (I recommend either Beth Howard’s pie crust or Pioneer Woman’s recipe)*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and strings.  Then quarter it and peel the quarters.  From there, cut the quarters into pieces that resemble apple slices, about two inches long and 1/4″ thick, until you have 5 cups of pumpkin slices.

Place pumpkin in a large bowl.  Add sugar, cinnamon, cream of tartar, nutmeg, flour, butter, vinegar and juice concentrate.  Toss to combine.  Pour mixture into prepared pie crust.  Dot with butter chunks.

Add top crust.  Crimp edges and cut vents as desired.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown, filling is bubbly (a cookie sheet or some foil underneath the pie pan is good to catch drips if it bubbles too enthusiastically) and a knife inserted into center shows pumpkin is tender.

Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

*Pie crust and I have a short but turbulent history together, which is why there is a pie crust recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that is violently x-ed out.  The Pioneer Woman’s recipe was the first pie crust recipe that ever worked for me, and it is nice and flaky.  But Beth Howard’s has the best instructions, uses fewer ingredients, and also turns out very flaky.  Hers gives me the confidence that I can make ANY pie crust recipe now.

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