Tasty Tuesday: National Pumpkin Pie & Fruitcake Days


National Pumpkin Pie Day is coming up on Saturday, December 25th! Pumpkin Pie is great for any holiday. Growing up, it was ALWAYS at our holiday dinners! As I became an adult and a mother, I often would have fresh pumpkins from around October holidays and I’d roast them and have fresh pumpkin pulp. Canned pumpkin (the pulp not the pie filling) can be used in so many dishes as well. Fresh pumpkin as well as canned can be frozen.

There are quite a few pumpkin pie recipes, different spices, added ingredients, flavors, but I prefer to enjoy the traditional pumpkin pie my mother used to make. So, that is what I am sharing with you today.  A pie crust – either homemade, which I have shared with you this year, or purchase one in the refrigerator section to roll out, or even buy one already in a pie pan in the freezer section of your grocer. They are all fine and taste good. I think fresh baked tastes better than frozen pumpkin pies, and often better than bakery made. But then, I do love to bake!

You’ll need a can of evaporated milk, not sweetened, and the pumpkin of course, but most everything else you should have in your pantry already.

So, roll up your sleeves and make a pumpkin pie or two!


This makes a full 9” pie.


2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 ½ cups solid pack pumpkin (or fresh pumpkin pulp)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 2/3 cups evaporated milk (13 fl. oz. can)

One fluted unbaked 9” pie shell


  1. Mix the filling ingredients in the order given above.
  2. Pour into a pie shell.
  3. Bake in preheated 425 degree F. oven for 15 minutes. Without opening the door, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and continue baking for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool.

This is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe. It’s so easy you can “whip it up” in no time – about an hour and a half total including some cooling.

Topped with whipped cream is my favorite and maybe a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. (I don’t use pumpkin pie spice because I mix my own (above), but you could use the same quantities of pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have the cinnamon, clove, and ginger.)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Enjoy making, baking, and eating PUMPKIN PIE with your holiday meals.


National Fruitcake Day is on Monday, December 27th. I know what you might be thinking, but don’t hate me until you’ve given it a chance! Even as a little girl, this WHITE FRUITCAKE from my Grandma Katy Bosley and my Great Aunt Maggie Goldschein (sisters) has been a favorite! Not as traditionally given so much, I prefer it fresh from the oven, still warm! My grandma and great aunt also made a Dark Fruitcake, which today I do enjoy!

My family didn’t much like fruitcakes, but my grandma lived with us so, of course, we would naturally have her favorite holiday foods as well. That is TRADITION in my heart. You might find yourself wanting to try this sometime and truly enjoy it like I do. It is also good wrapping and brushing it with a rum, brandy, or whiskey every couple of days for flavor, but I still prefer it fresh. Although, every baked good I make I think is generally best served fresh from the oven – or close to it.


2 ¾ cups all-purpose sifted flour

¾ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons nutmeg (ground or grated)

2/3 cup pineapple juice (canned)

6 egg whites, unbeaten

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup Crisco (vegetable) shortening

½ teaspoon almond extract

1 cup quartered candied cherries

1 cup blanched almonds, chopped

1 cup candied citron, cut fine (Can substitute candied pineapple for the citron)

¼ cup orange and lemon peel, cut fine

3 cups coconut, cut fine

1 cup white raisins

½ teaspoon ground mace

¼ cup brandy (if you use brandy, cut the juice to ½ cup)


  1. Sift the first 5 ingredients (dry).
  2. Add shortening, juice, extract, brandy if using, and 3 egg whites. Beat 250 strokes (Remember: They did not have electric mixers back when my grandma and great aunt made this dish.)
  3. Add the 3 other egg whites and beat 25 more strokes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the fruits and nuts, and coconut.  Add batter and mix thoroughly. (Adjust to what you like for fruits and nuts.)
  5. Bake in prepared tins (small or medium rectangle pans), a loaf pan, small angel food cake pan, Bundt pan, or muffin or cupcake pan. Just adjust baking times.
  6. It is always better soaked in brandy, rum, or whiskey. After cooled, brush cake with the alcohol, cover in a clean white cloth, refrigerate. Every 2-3 days do it again.



2 cups brown sugar

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup butter

3 pounds raisins

2 pounds currants

1 pound dates

2 pounds walnut meats

1 cup cooked cranberries

1 cup citron

1 cup lemon and orange rind

1 cup gum drops or candied cherries

10 eggs

1 Tablespoon cinnamon ground

1 teaspoon nutmeg ground or grated

½ teaspoon cloves ground

½ teaspoon allspice ground

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup sour milk

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ cup brandy

Enough flour to make a stiff dough


FIRST, I’ll say this makes A LOT of cake! I’d say have plenty of flour on hand when you make this cake. I try to keep an extra 5 pounds of flour in my pantry all the time just to be sure.  Nothing worse than starting something and not having enough flour.  Many things you can substitute, flour not so much.

Instructions on my grandma’s original recipe are, “This should be mixed.” She didn’t really follow a specific recipe a lot of the time, so I watched as I grew.

  1. Mix (similar to the white fruitcake) sugars, butter/shortening, combine.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, mix.
  3. Combine dry ingredients including ‘some’ flour and combine alternating with the milk and brandy starting and ending with flour. But as you’ve used the dry ingredients that you combined, then add flour so it makes a nice batter.
  4. Add the fruits and nuts or add the batter to them. Combine well but try to not overmix.  Makes for a tough cake, even fruit cake.
  5. Prepare your pans as for any cake (parchment paper helps but not necessary) and pour about halfway up on each of your pans. This recipe makes many cakes, you’ll have gifts galore or freeze and enjoy throughout the year!
  6. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven until done. (Start with 30-45 minutes baking time, let your nose tell you when the cake is baking nice. Then watch – test with a cake tester or long toothpick.)

Grandma’s recipes were never clear, but the results were excellent. 

Diced apples would be a delicious, moist addition to this cake.

This recipe, like the white fruitcake, can be basted with brandy for a few days in the fridge/wrapped, or can be eaten warm from the oven.

Yes, this recipe can be cut in fourths, thirds, or half. You do not have to make the whole recipe.


Bon Appetite’ With Love,

Granni K

To download this recipe, click here.