Diner Pumpkin Pie – 1940’s Recipe

Diner Pumpkin Pie by Double Stop Bake Shop

I hope you’ll try this recipe for Diner Pumpkin Pie! It was served at my Great Uncle’s Diner in Pilot Point, Texas, John & Ruby’s, back in the 1940’s. I found his handwritten recipe with no title, and I could tell it was for delicious pumpkin pie filling. It called for 6 cups of pumpkin! Enough to make about 4 pies, so I scaled the recipe down to make one pie. Ginger and cinnamon spice up the filling, and it has a little touch of molasses. The molasses adds a rich color and flavor, and really sets it apart from any other pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. I think you’re going to love this one! I know I do. Thanks, John! I’m so glad you scribbled this recipe down! Bake a slice of history and enjoy! Be sure to check out my Fall Baking Playlist here. This recipe call for a crust made with shortening (a delicious & flaky, easy to handle pie crust), a popular choice back then, but if you’re craving an all butter pie crust, try my Buttery Pie Crust recipe by clicking on my Southern Sweet Potato Pie!

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Diner Pumpkin Pie by Double Stop Bake Shop

Diner Pumpkin Pie - 1940's Recipe!

Pumpkin Pie Recipe served at my Great Uncle's Diner, JOHN & RUBY'S, in Pilot Pint, TX in the 1940's.
Course Dessert, holiday baking, Special Treat, Tea Time


Diner Style Pie Crust:

  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. shortening (for an all butter pie crust, see my Southern Sweet Potato Pie recipe)
  • 3 3/4 Tbsp. water, room temperature

John's Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. evaporated milk, or whole milk

Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted


For the crust:

  • In a mixing bow, stir together the flour and salt. Cut the shortening into the flour using a blending fork or pastry blender forming pea size crumbles. Drizzle in the room temp water. Gently mix the dough together being careful not to over mix. Bring the dough together in a ball using your hands. Roll out to fit anstandard size 9 inch pie plate. Crimp the edges of the dough and set aside. (See video for how to mix the dough.)

For the filling:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, ginger, salt, cinnamon, and flour. Whisk in molasses. Whisk in eggs until fully combined. Add milk and whisk to combine.
  • Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 and bake an additional hour. All ovens are different, so keep check on the browning. You may need to add a foil pie crust shield around the edge to prevent over browning. When a knife tested in the middle comes out clean, its all finished baking. Allow to cool fully before serving.

For the topping:

  • In a chilled mixing bowl, whip together the heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until nice and thick. Chill until ready to serve. Add a large dollop of cream to each slice of pumpkin pie and top with a little extra cinnamon and ginger. Enjoy!
Keyword Classic Pie Crust, Diner Pumpin Pie, Diner Style Pie Crust, Pumpkin Pie, Whipped Cream Topping

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