The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

You're Never Too Busy to Bake a Pumpkin Pie

3 min read

Evoke the spirit of generosity with a homemade pie, even if you’re just “too busy.”

We will soon be home for the holidays; Thanksgiving truly marks the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year. It is a celebration founded on the kindness of the human spirit, on welcoming others into our homes with open arms and appreciating all we have to be grateful for in our lives. As we anticipate the approach of the holiday weekend, we reminisce about the gathering of familiar faces around the dining room table.

This simple happiness of just being together embodies what thanksgiving is truly about. We also remember all the culinary delights to look forward to, particularly the homemade pumpkin pie.

The holidays can be a stressful time, there seems to be a never-ending list of things to do, people to visit, and gifts to give. In the midst of all this hurry, the tradition and fun of baking seems to have fallen by the wayside. I have included a recipe for the traditional pumpkin pie, with a few shortcuts I have created to remove some of the stress while keeping all of the reward intact. Being busy need never be an excuse not to bake from scratch.

This recipe is simple, foolproof and within reach of even the novice baker. The time you save will certainly give you plenty of opportunity to accomplish all that you need to get done, while also contributing a homemade dessert to end your holiday meal on a splendid note. This recipe for ginger pumpkin pie was first given to me by my friend Kate Wiles, whose home my family and I visit for Thanksgiving every year.

I have adapted this rich pie with my addition of a gingersnap crust. I find that a cookie crumb crust is far less time consuming than making pastry, and the crisp ginger creates a sharp but sweet contrast with the creaminess of the pumpkin. This pie will fill your kitchen with a hint of cinnamon and emerge from the oven a satisfying burnt-orange hue. When you place this beautiful confection at the center of the table, all will bask in its languorous wake.

I hope this simple recipe will become part of your holiday tradition, and allow you to contribute something to the celebration of this merry feast. The holiday season is meant for baking: to fill your home with happiness and home-made treats.  You may find yourself overwhelmed with things to do around this time of year. Despite the rush, allow yourself the time to enjoy preparing this pleasant pumpkin pie that all your friends and family will surely be thankful for.


For the crust:
1 ½ cups gingersnaps
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the pie:
15 ounce canned pumpkin
2 eggs
½ pint heavy cream
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


This recipe makes one pie for a nine inch pie plate, but is easily doubled, or even tripled if you are baking for a large group of people. To make the crust first place the cookies in a large Ziploc baking, and beat with a sizeable textbook (I used “Critical Terms for Literary Study,”)  until the cookies have become fine crumbs. In a bowl mix the crumbs together with the melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9inch pie plate. Put the pie plate into the freezer for about 10 minutes while you prepare the pie filling. In a large mixing bowl, add in the canned pumpkin, eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix with a wooden spoon until a smooth texture is achieved. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake in the middle rack of a 350 degree oven for one hour. Let cool completely before serving.

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