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Thanksgiving is fast approaching here in the United States. Originally a commemoration of the First Thanksgiving (a 17th-century feast between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans), it is now one of the major holidays and, for many of us, the official start of the Christmas season. There was no Black Friday or Cyber Monday during the 19th century. Instead, the Thanksgiving holidays were a time for family to gather together from near and far and share a holiday meal. This usually involved the women of the family cooking a Thanksgiving dinner with roast turkey and all the fixings. Amongst these fixings was one of the most traditional Thanksgiving desserts: pumpkin pie.

Naturally, a British lady like Mrs. Beeton did not include a recipe for pumpkin pie in her famous Book of Household Management. Here in America, however, we had plenty of cookery guides which offered up their version of the holiday classic. Below is an 1843 recipe for pumpkin pie from Mrs. Ellis’s Housekeeping Made Easy. You will note that, unlike Mrs. Beeton, this recipe does not start with the measurements and the suggested cooking times. Nevertheless, if you would like to add some authentic 19th century cooking to your Thanksgiving feast, I encourage you to give it a try.


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This post originally appeared on MimiMatthews.com and has been reprinted with permission.


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Mimi Matthews is the author of The Pug Who Bit Napoleon: Animal Tales of the 18th and 19th Centuries and A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty. Her articles on nineteenth-century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture. When not writing historical non-fiction, Mimi authors exquisitely proper historical romance novels. Her latest Victorian romance The Matrimonial Advertisement can be ordered at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To learn more, please visit www.MimiMatthews.com.