Vincent Price’s Pumpkin Pie – A Vintage Halloween Recipe Test

Posted on Oct 30 2013 - 5:00am by RetroRuth

Well, since tomorrow is Halloween we thought we would do things up right around here and make a recipe from Vincent Price! And yes, it is because the Vincent Price Cookalong is going to be this Monday, November 4th. We are pretty excited around here, and so we decided to celebrate with pie.


Vincent Price’s pumpkin pie, to be exact.

Pumpkin Pie 3

Pumpkin Pie 1

Pumpkin Pie
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
  • 1½ cups canned or mashed cooked pumpkin
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  1. Make the pie shell with a high scalloped edge (*Ruth's Note: Or use a deep dish pie plate), refrigerate for several hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl (with a pouring lip if you have one) combine the pumpkin with the eggs, then the cream, sugar, salt and spices. Blend well and pour into the chilled pie shell.
  4. Bake for 15 mins, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 50-65 minutes more, or until knife inserted in center of the pie comes out with only a few flecks clinging to it.
  5. Chill before serving. Makes about 8 servings.


Now, I have to admit there isn’t actually anything creepy or spooky about this pumpkin pie. Unless you don’t like mace. Then it’s pretty terrifying.


Actually, for me it was pretty scary. It turns out I need to improve my reading skills, because I had NO IDEA this recipe called for mace instead of cinnamon. None. Until I was making the recipe. Measuring the spices, actually.

“Oh, son of a…”

“What? Did you cut yourself?”

“No, I’m just an idiot. This pie doesn’t have any cinnamon in it. It has mace instead.”


“I need mace for the pie.”

“You’re going to…mace…the pie?”


“No. I need mace the spice for the pie. Instead of cinnamon.”

“What the heck is that?”

“It’s like this weird little covering from around nutmeg, all ground up.”

“Oh, thank God. I thought you had finally lost it and you were going to mace the pie.”


So it was a late night trip to the store for me, where I purchased a $10 container of ground mace. Yippee.

On the positive side, this is the first time I’ve ever made a pumpkin pie without cinnamon. Also, this is the first time I’ve made a pumpkin pie without evaporated milk. Up until this point I had just been cranking out the recipe on the back of the Libby can every year at Thanksgiving.


Interestingly, this pie was much, much more orange than my normal pie. Probably because mace is considerably lighter in color than cinnamon!

“So, what’s this going to taste like?”

“I have no clue. You’d better get tasting!”

“Put the mace in my face.”

Tom TastesIMG_3928

“This is pretty good.”

The Verdict: Pretty Good

The flavor of mace was strong and spicy, but not too strong. We didn’t even actually miss the cinnamon, as the mace has the same sort of spicy taste as cinnamon. The pie had a great, silky texture, much lighter than pies made with evaporated milk. Overall a good pie, and not scary at all. Unless, of course, you are a pumpkin.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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16 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. celia October 30, 2013 at 9:46 am - Reply

    I use a mix of half and half and whole milk in my pumpkin pie, evaporated milk is not yummy. I also add a splash of bourbon. Because YUM.

  2. Jenny October 30, 2013 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Oooooh – this looks GOOD and I am getting EXCITED! Bourbon. Yes!

  3. Eartha Kitsch October 30, 2013 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Now you need to find a bunch of mace related recipes to use up that expensive mace. Yum! 🙂

  4. Beth October 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    I never knew the source of mace. Thanks for the lesson and the recipe. Tom looks like a happy guy.

  5. Dan October 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Yummy yummy mace. And very traditional! Here are links to two recipes from my favorites, the Two Fat Ladies, who were very fond of mace. One is mitton of pork, a terrine of pork, bacon, and stuffing, and the other is parsnips roasted with mace and brandy. Both are good autumn/holiday recipes. Pair the two of them with Mr. Price’s pie, and you could have a fully mace-themed dinner!

    • RetroRuth October 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      Dan! I learned about mace from the Two Fat Ladies! I loved that show so very, very much.

      • celia October 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm - Reply

        I loved that show too and now I am sad. “CLARISSA!”

  6. Meem October 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    The most daring thing I have ever done with pumpkin pie was make pumpkin from scratch instead of a can. Also, we made that squash pie out of that funny looking ugly thing. Tasted good though. I did the Libby recipe on it I will have to try some whole milk and half and half and Bourbon!!! Thanksgiving here we come!!!

  7. SnoKat October 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    I remember having home ec. in school (yes I’m old) and after Halloween our teacher made us take the pumpkins that had been decorating the room and make them into pies. It was a bad idea all around. First, those were not PIE pumpkins. Second, making 14 yr olds cut up and cube and cook pumpkin is evil. All I could think is “this is such a waste. Everyone just opens a can!!” They were horrid pies. Because we had to do it all by hand including mash the pumpkin. They were lumpy, unflavorful, horrid pies. I indeed learned a lesson; Home Ec teachers just like to do things the hard way.

  8. Sara In AZ October 31, 2013 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Ooooohhhhh, that looks SO good…..I seriously want to make one of these for Thanksgiving!

  9. Jenn Hubbard November 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    I have a recipe for lentil stew that uses mace. But since it only calls for 1/8 tsp. each time, this mace has been a faithful companion of mine for a long long time.
    (Yes, I know you’re supposed to replace spices more frequently than I actually do …)

  10. boston baker boy November 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    I’m so happy you went out and bought mace (even if it was $10). It really does have a rich and unique flavor. I sub it in for nutmeg from time to time when I want a spicier flavor profile.

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