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The symbol of the harvest season in fall and the dessert passed around most at the Christmas table gets its special day on National Pumpkin Pie Day, December 25. Featuring a pie shell base filled with pumpkin custard, pumpkin pies are garnished and served with various spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. If you missed out on celebrating National Pumpkin Day around Halloween, now is the time to make up for it!
History of National Pumpkin Pie Day
While it is uncertain how National Pumpkin Pie Day celebrations started, pumpkin pie itself has quite a rich history. The name originates from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’. This was adopted by the French as ‘pompon’ and was eventually changed into ‘pumpion’ by the English.
The first pilgrims who settled in the Plymouth Colony may have made a sort of pumpkin pie. With the pumpkins brought to them by Native Americas, the first settlers were able to make a pumpkin custard using milk, honey, and spices. This is also what led to the serving of the pumpkin pie at the first Thanksgiving ever.
In 1651, famous French Chef François Pierre de la Varenne published one of his most important French cookbooks, “Le Vrai Cuisinier François” (The True French Cook). This was translated into English in 1653 and featured a recipe for pumpkin pie under the name ‘Tourte of Pumpkin’.
Recipes for ‘pumpion pie’ made their way into English cookbooks by the 1670s. Experimental recipes lessened, and a more defined version started appearing, with the inclusion of spices. Other optional ingredients included raisins, apples, and currants.
But in 1796 the pumpkin pie really took shape when “American Cookery” was authored and published by American orphan Amelia Simmons. It was the first of its kind to contain recipes more suited to American tastes and had a recipe for pumpkin pudding, which is baked in a crust. It was similar to the pumpkin pie we eat today.
Nowadays, the recipe inspirations for pumpkin pie are endless, thanks to Pinterest and other sources. A staple dessert on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, pumpkin pie really is the perfect holiday treat.
National Pumpkin Pie Day timeline
The first pilgrims in America begin making their own variation of a pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin pie recipes start appearing in English cookbooks, like in Hannah Woolley’s “The Gentlewoman’s Companion”.
The Thanksgiving poem ‘Over the River and Through the Wood’ composed by Lydia Maria Child, features a pumpkin pie.
Starbucks adds the original Pumpkin Spice Latte to its menu.
The world’s biggest pumpkin pie, weighing 3,699 pounds, is made in New Bremen, Ohio.
National Pumpkin Pie Day FAQs
Is there a National Pumpkin Day?
National Pumpkin Day is celebrated on October 26 and focuses more on the pumpkin as a fruit and its uses for decoration in autumn.
Is pumpkin pie healthy or unhealthy?
A single serving of pumpkin pie contains the daily recommended intake of vitamin A and is also abundant in vitamin C, potassium, and iron.
How much of a pumpkin is water?
Because it is a fruit, pumpkins are 90% water.
National Pumpkin Pie Day Activities
Enjoy a large slice
Cut yourself a slice of pumpkin pie and really take your time adding the perfect garnish and add-ons like whipped cream. Sweet indulgence at its finest!
Try a variation
The pumpkin pie filling is now used in other food items as well, such as smoothies and cookies. If a pie is not your thing, try it in a different form but with the same great taste!
Share it on social media
If you’ve baked a pie, discovered a new bakery that makes it best, or tried a new recipe, post it on social media! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #NationalPumpkinPieDay.
5 Pumpy-umpy Facts About Pumpkins
That’s a lot of baking!
The largest pumpkin pie in the world was 20 feet long and arrived at the New Bremen Pumpkinfest. It consisted of 109 gallons of milk, 1212 pounds of canned pumpkin, 2796 eggs, 15 pounds of cinnamon, and 525 pounds of sugar!
It used to be the other way round
In the olden days, pumpkins were mostly used as an ingredient for making pie crusts, rather than used as a filling.
Pumpkins as a remedy
Pumpkins were once famous for curing snake bites and getting rid of freckles.
Only in America!
The traditional American pumpkin is the Connecticut field variety.
The pumpkin wasn’t the original choice for carving
The first jack-o’-lanterns were made using potatoes or turnips! It wasn’t until much later on when pumpkins were considered a more suitable choice.
Why We Love National Pumpkin Pie Day
We have to admit, we have pumpkin fever! We love the versatility in which pumpkin is used in recipes, from sweet to spicy. There is a reason Americans go crazy for the pumpkin spice latte!
Pumpkin deserves recognition
Which other fruit is so iconic that it spans over three big holiday celebrations? Pumpkins are at the center of Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas and deserve their own big day!
Part of tradition
The dinner table is incomplete on Christmas without a pumpkin pie. It gets passed around a lot and is loved by almost everyone. It is a tradition to have pumpkin pie during the holiday season.
National Pumpkin Pie Day dates