Marge was a pie maker extraordinaire. She made pies and other desserts for the restaurant she and Elmer had in Leavenworth. I swooned over the first pie I remember her making: fresh apricot with a struedel topping. She was a great mother-in-law! Marge was big on family traditions, a trait treasured by her children to this day. 

Below is Marge's tried and true version of pumpkin pie. We have pumpkin pie every November 9 on Bob's birthday, again for Thanksgiving, and sometimes on Christmas day. We always use this recipe-it's tradition! 

My variation on the recipe below is twofold:
First, I roast my own pumpkin in a 350 degree oven in a roasting pan, pricking it like a baked potato and roasting until it gives easily when pierced with a sharp knife.  Cool, cut open, and clean out the seeds and stringy bits around them. Scrape the meat into a food processor and blend until smooth. My favorite pumpkin variety is Winter Luxury, but other 'sugar pumpkin' varieties work too. Leftovers can be used in soap and/or frozen for a future dish.

Second, I substitute heavy cream for the evaporated milk. This was a happy accident once, when I realized at the last minute I didn't have a can of evaporated milk. It is such an amazing improvement I have never looked back....

winter luxury pumpkinOne Pie 
2 cups pumpkin (small can)
1cup brown sugar
1tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk 
For 2 pies, use a large can/2 cups of pumpkin and double the rest of the ingredients.
Mix all together well, fill pie pan, bake @450 x 10 min, then 400 for 30-45 min until knife comes clean; mine always takes longer, but don't cook longer than 1 1/2 hrs. When you jiggle it it should hold together. It will set up more as it cools.