I am so excited to share with you how to make the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook Pumpkin Pie just like Ma Ingalls made it! This pumpkin pie is perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner table.

Watch the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook Pumpkin Pie Recipe video

And in this post, I also include links to several other holiday recipes, from making turkeys to make-ahead mashed potatoes, that will bring delicious dishes to your holiday table.

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Little House on the Prairie

As a child, you may have read and fallen in love with the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. But in case you missed them as a child, you may have read them to your children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews.

The Little House on the Prairie books contain delightful stories about the Ingalls family and their experiences with frontier life as pioneers in the American Midwest.

The Little House Cookbook

Did you know there’s also a cookbook that accompanies the beautiful series of Little House books? It’s called the Little House Cookbook from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories by Barbara M. Walker.

This delightful cookbook is filled with authentic pioneer recipes. Along with most of the recipes in the cookbook, Mrs. Walker includes charming related excerpts from the Little House books. This association brings the recipe to life by giving us an image of how Ma Ingalls would have made these foods in her frontier kitchen.

The Little House on the Prairie Cookbook Pumpkin Pie

As we approach Thanksgiving in the United States, I thought it would be fun to make the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook pumpkin pie—just like Ma Ingalls made! Lard and all!

Use Lard to Make a Flaky Pie Crust

If you are new to baking with lard, you will be pleased to know that lard is one of the best traditional fats you can stock in your traditional foods kitchen for all your baking needs. The pioneers commonly used lard as it was easy to source and was relatively shelf-stable.

Ma Ingalls would have most likely used quite a bit of lard in her cooking, including making the pie crust for the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook pumpkin pie.

Butter has a wonderful flavor, and you can always add a bit, as we will do with this recipe. However, for the flakiest pie crust west of the Mississippi, you’ll want to use lard!

How to Buy Lard

Today, you can buy lard at most grocery stores, and if you decide to purchase it already made, be sure to find a good quality lard that has come from the fat of pastured pigs. You’ll also want to choose a brand that is not hydrogenated. (The hydrogenation process damages the lard.)

When I don’t have homemade lard available, I like the Fatworks Leaf Lard. However, once you find out how easy it is to make lard, you’ll want to make it homemade for future recipes!

How to Make Lard

If you are up for trying a truly traditional foods recipe, how about making your own lard? It’s easy to do. You just need to source some pork fat, either back fat or leaf fat.

Back fat, as the name implies, is from the back of the pig. Leaf fat, on the other hand, comes from around the internal organs of the pig, preferably the fat from around the pig’s kidneys.

Leaf Lard is prized by bakers because it creates tender flaky-baked goods with no pork taste or aroma. But don’t worry if all you can find is back fat to render into lard. This type of fat also works well in savory recipes and in those baked goods with strong flavors like chocolate and cinnamon.

Once you have the pork fat, you simply render it in the oven. Learn the simple steps in my How to Make Lard recipe.

Which Milk Should You Use for Pumpkin Pie?

Ma Ingalls’ recipe for making the pumpkin custard for the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook pumpkin pie originally calls for Rich Milk, but what exactly does that mean?

Food historians theorize that Rich Milk was simply the milk and the cream that came directly from the cow that was then shook together to form what we call whole milk or full-fat milk today.

Mary holding a jar of evaporated milk.

Using Evaporated Milk

In case you don’t have whole milk on hand, you can also use half and half or evaporated milk. In the following video, I show you how to make Homemade Evaporated Milk.

Evaporated Milk Versus Condensed Milk

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between evaporated milk and condensed milk? They are both in essence evaporated, but condensed milk is sweetened with sugar during the evaporation process.

As with evaporated milk, it’s also easy to make Homemade Condensed Milk. However, don’t use condensed milk for making your pumpkin pie. It will be too sweet! (Save your condensed milk for some delicious homemade ice cream.)

Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice

The Little House on the Prairie Cookbook pumpkin pie recipe calls for a pinch of spices, basically whatever you have on hand. I’m sure spices were at a premium for the pioneers, so they may not have had much more than a pinch to spare!

When I made this pumpkin pie, I added a teaspoon of homemade pumpkin pie spice. In the following Homemade Seasoning Blends recipe video, I show you how easy it is to make pumpkin pie spice along with nine other homemade spice mixes.

How to Make a No Roll Pumpkin Pie

The Little House on the Prairie Cookbook Pumpkin Pie calls for making a traditional pie crust that needs to be rolled out.

In case you’d rather not roll out your crust, be sure to check out my easy Pumpkin Pie with a No Roll pie crust. It’s so easy and so tasty that you may never make a traditional pie crust again. And if you have never made a traditional pie crust, this recipe is an excellent place for beginners to start.

Thanksgiving Recipes

See all →

Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu Recipe

Surprise yourself and your family and friends with this easy and memorable French Pot-au-Feu recipe made with turkey necks.

Different Ways to Make a Turkey for Thanksgiving

If you have a small oven or simply find a big turkey unwieldy, I show you how easy it is to roast two small turkeys instead of one large turkey. And there’s a bonus…you get 4 turkey legs!

If you have an Instant Pot and want to cook a turkey breast in it, watch my How to Cook a Turkey Breast in the Instant Pot video. I contacted the manufacturer to get all the tips and tricks so I could do this the right way and share it with you!

Make Turkey Bone Broth After Thanksgiving

Don’t forget to save your turkey carcass and all the scraps to make some of the best bone broth you have ever had! And you have options on how to make your turkey bone broth.

You can make any bone broth on the stovetop, but for an easier preparation, try making your turkey bone broth in the Instant Pot or the slow cooker.

Grind Your Own Flour with the Mockmill

I used all-purpose flour to make my Little House Pumpkin pie, and you can too. But if you want to make your own flour for your pumpkin pie dough, you can grind your whole grain with a grain mill.

After grinding your whole grain, you can use the flour as-is in its whole grain form or sift out the bran and the germ to make your own homemade all-purpose flour!

Why I like the Mockmill

After I did A LOT of research on the different types of electric grain mills, I decided to buy a Mockmill. And am I so happy I did! The Mockmill is a very affordable and beautifully-crafted German-made mill that stone grinds grain with settings ranging from 1 to 10—fine to coarse ground grain.

And I have great news! The folks at Mockmill are very kind to offer my viewers and readers a discount on the variety of grain mills they sell.

You can see me unbox and try out the Mockmill 100 Grain mill in the following video.

Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List

If you’re making the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook Pumpkin Pie, something tells me that you’re a budding or an experienced traditional foods cook. Yea!

And wherever you’re at in transitioning from a processed foods kitchen to a traditional foods kitchen, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more for your Four Corners Pantry.

And if you’re looking for a printed book full of my traditional foods recipes that shows you how to create a traditional foods kitchen, be sure to order your copy of my new book, The Modern Pioneer Cookbook.

Order YOUR COPY Now!

The Modern Pioneer Cookbook

Seasonal ingredients, traditional techniques, and nourishing recipes. Over 85 traditional, from-scratch recipes! Discover for yourself how you can use simple ingredients and traditional techniques to cook the modern pioneer way.

More Dessert Recipes

Here are a few more dessert recipes that are perfect for the holidays.

Kitchen Academy Videos

Are you looking for more traditional foods videos? If so, I invite you to join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy. Members of this optional paid YouTube community get access to exclusive videos, live streams, and other members-only perks. Plus, your YouTube comments include a special members-only badge.

In the following members-only video, I talk about Ten Staples for the Traditional Foods Kitchen.

Kitchen Academy Videos

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Stay in Touch with Mary’s Nest

  1. Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for Traditional Foods Videos (Free) - When you subscribe, be sure to click on the notification bell that will let you know each time I upload a new video.
  2. Subscribe to Mary’s Traditional Foods Newsletter (Free) - Get a free 36-page eBook for signing up: How to Stock Your Essential Traditional Foods Four-Corners Pantry.
  3. Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy (Optional Paid) - For more detailed videos and exclusive members-only perks, join my YouTube membership community.
  4. Order The Modern Pioneer Cookbook (Optional Paid) - Get a printed book of Mary's nourishing recipes from a Traditional Foods Kitchen. This bestselling cookbook is published by Penguin Random House with their DK imprint.

I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!

Little House on the Prairie Cookbook Pumpkin Pie

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Pie Crust Chilling Time: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Learn how to make the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook Pumpkin Pie just like Ma Ingalls made it! (Recipe adapted from the Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker.)



Pie Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups All-purpose flour Have extra flour on hand for dusting the dough before rolling it out.
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Lard, preferably cold
  • 1/2 tsp Butter, preferably cold You will need additional butter to grease the pie plate. Alternatively, you could also use lard.
  • 1-2 tbsp Cold water

Pumpkin Pie Custard Filling

  • 2 cups Pumpkin purée You can make your pumpkin purée homemade by stewing raw pumpkin until cooked, or you can use canned pumpkin. A 15 ounce can of pumpkin purée equals 1 3/4 cups, so you will need an additional 1/4 cup of purée from a second can.
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2/3 cup Maple sugar You can substitute 2/3 cup of light brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of maple flavoring.
  • 1 1/4 cups Milk, whole (full-fat) The original recipe calls for "Rich milk." It is believed to be equivalent to whole milk or full-fat milk. Or you can substitute half and half or evaporated milk. Any of these will work. Regardless of what you use, the amount is the same.
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice The original recipe calls for cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, or "a pinch of whatever you have."


Instructions for Making the Pie Crust

  • Place the flour and the salt into a medium mixing bowl and whisk to incorporate the salt.
  • Add the lard and the butter to the flour mixture and blend in the fat using a pastry cutter, two knives, or two forks. The mixture should look like coarse sand with pebbles in it.
  • Add the cold water starting with only one tablespoon. If the dough begins to come together do not add any more water. You can test this by pinching some of the dough between your fingers. If it stays together, it does not need any more water. If it is still too dry to stay together, add more water one teaspoon at a time.
  • Dump the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. Using your hands, bring the plastic wrap up and around the dough and shape it into a disk. (See video.)
  • Use the plastic to wrap the dough and then refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes. You can refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 6 months.
  • While the dough is chilling, prepare the pumpkin pie custard filling and set it aside. (You can refrigerate this mixture while you roll out your dough, but I did not.)
  • Grease the pie plate well with butter or lard and set it aside. (If you want, you can refrigerate your greased pie plate while you roll out your dough. This is what I did.)
  • Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and unwrap it from the plastic wrap. Place the dough on a floured surface and dust the top of the dough with flour.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is 2 inches larger than the diameter of the pie plate. (See video.)
  • As you roll the dough, start from the center and roll out to the edge of the dough and after two or three rolls, rotate the dough to prevent it from sticking to the floured surface. If it is sticking, add additional flour for dusting.
  • Once the dough is rolled out, transfer it to the pie plate using the rolling pin and place the dough into the pie plate.
  • Using your fingers, gently press the pie dough into the pie plate and trim off any extra overhang, leaving only one inch of dough hanging over the edge of the pie plate. (See video.)
  • Tuck in the one-inch dough overhang around the rim of the pie plate.
  • If desired, crimp the rim of the dough using the index finger or knuckle of one hand and the thumb and index finger of the other hand. (See video.)

Instructions for Making the Pumpkin Pie Custard Filling

  • Place the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat well using a whisk or a fork.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the eggs and mix them together well.

Instructions for How to Make the Pumpkin Pie

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Pour the pumpkin pie custard filling into the prepared pie crust and place the pie into the preheated oven. (I placed my pie on the rack in the lower third of my oven to ensure the crust would bake sufficiently since we did not pre-bake the crust. However, this specific placement was not mentioned in the original recipe, so you can place your pie on the middle rack of your oven if you want.)
  • After 10 minutes, lower the oven temperature from 425°F to 350°F and continue to bake the pie for an additional 30-40 minutes until the crust is a golden brown and a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.
  • When fully baked, remove the pie from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve. (The original recipe says to not chill the pie before serving. However, I did chill the leftovers, and the crust held up quite well the next day, so you could possibly make this pie a day in advance.)



Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-the-little-house-on-the-prairie-cookbook-pumpkin-pie/
Learn how to make homemade lard at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-lard-the-right-way/
Copyright © 2021 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved
Course: Baked Goods
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Little House on the Prairie Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie
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