Preparing a Historic ‘Pumpion’ Pie Recipe From 1670

Max Miller of Tasting History, who previously shared a 1796 recipe for “pompkin” pie, reached back further into history to find the earliest version of the dessert known as a pumpion pie from 1670. The recipe comes from “The Queene-like Closet” by Hannah Wolley.

So today we are making one of the first recipes for that dessert: pumpion pie. That’s right, a recipe so old that they hadn’t even added the ‘k’ yet. Pumpion pie…Today’s recipe comes from the 1670 cookbook  “The Queene-like Closet” by Hannah Wolley.

Miller also shared the interesting history of pumpkin pie.

Now the first recipes that I could find for ‘pumpkin pie’ came from the Opera di Bartolomeo Scappi from 1570.  …Anyway Scappi has several different recipes for pumpkin torts or cakes or pies the meaning is kind  of nebulous at that point. One of them has pumpkin   and onions so kind of savory, and then one of them is made with pumpkin and creamy cheeses, and eggs and sugar and kind of sounds like an early pumpkin cheesecake.

He also breaks down why there couldn’t be pumpkin pie at the first Thanksgiving feast.

… All I’ll say for now is that they were definitely not eating pumpkin pies or any pies at  that first Thanksgiving because they didn’t have any flour for crust, they didn’t have any sugar  for filling and they didn’t have ovens for baking. In fact, they were rather woefully unprepared for  their trip to the New World. But while they didn’t eat pumpkin pie, they did eat pumpkin because the Wampanoag/Wôpanâak had been growing them in the area for centuries, and they not only ate the pumpkin, but they used  the pumpkin itself as a serving vessel. Kind of like a pumpkin bowl,

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.