Thanksgiving Traditions: Marjean Watson’s pumpkin pie

The secret is in the sugar, or at least it is in the Reusser family. When it comes to making pumpkin pie, no one does it better than Marlene Reusser of Perry Township, with the exception of her daughter, Marjean Watson of Massillon, who has taken over the family tradition of baking the Thanksgiving pies.

The secret is in the sugar, or at least it is in the Reusser family. When it comes to making pumpkin pie, no one does it better than Marlene Reusser of Perry Township, with the exception of her daughter, Marjean Watson of Massillon, who has taken over the family tradition of baking the Thanksgiving pies.

Yes, plural. When the Reussers get together for Thanksgiving dinner, 60 to 70 family members gather.

“Our pie crust is part of the secret,” said Marjean. “It comes from our cousin Karen Volak. You make it right in the pie pan.”

As for the filling, she said, like so many other families who use Libby’s pie filling, they do too, but with a twist.

“We actually use the recipe on the back of the 100 percent Libby’s pumpkin, but, when it comes to the sugar, we add more,” she said.

Marjean heaps her sugar, adding more than the recipe calls for. However, her mother uses 1 cup rather than the 3/4 cup the recipe calls for, making the dessert even sweeter.

“That is basically it,” she said. “Karen started this tradition maybe 35 years ago, and my mom got the recipe from her.”

RECIPE:

Pie:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell

Crust:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk

Pie: Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Crust: Cut dry ingredients into a pie pan and make a hole in the center. Add the oil and milk and mix with a fork and form into a pie shell. Bake at 450 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes.