This site uses affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Making Pumpkin Pie Without Evaporated Milk

How to make a pumpkin pie without evaporated milk.

Evaporated milk is something that has always mystified me. Milk is liquid, and yet this is evaporated milk. Wouldn't that make it a solid? Or invisible? Ok, all joking aside, evaporated milk is heat-treated to remove some of the water, making it more concentrated as well as shelf-stable.

The ingredients in evaporated milk are milk, dipotassium phosphate, carrageenan, and vitamin D3. I know that carrageenan is a thickener, but I've never even heard of dipotassium phosphate. But evaporated milk is a kitchen staple so I've always had a couple of cans in my cupboard. Well, almost always.

A few years ago I was going to make pumpkin pie from a fresh pumpkin, but didn't have a can of evaporated milk. I used fresh goat milk instead, reducing the amount a bit since fresh pumpkin has more liquid than canned pumpkin. It worked fine.

Photo by Mary Woollard, used with permission
This year, on the day before Thanksgiving when I pulled out all the ingredients to make my pies, I realized I was out of evaporated milk again. I thought I had a can in the cupboard but I couldn't find it. I did a quick Google search on how to replace the evaporated milk in pumpkin pies:

This blogger at Mama's Weeds used 3/4 cup heavy cream instead of the can of evaporated milk. She added an extra egg to help the pie set up.

Someone at My Recipes suggested using regular milk plus 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch to firm up the pie.

The Healthy Home Economist uses coconut milk instead of evaporated milk.

GourmetSleuth says that for 1 cup of evaporated milk, you can substitute 1 cup half-and-half, 1 cup heavy cream OR 1 cup whole milk.

The Anytime Gourmet suggested using 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, or a combination of 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk as a substitute for a 20-ounce can of evaporated milk.

I had half-and-half on hand, so I used 1 cup of the half-and-half and 1/2 cup of whole milk. I could have used half-and-half for the entire amount, but I wanted to save the other cup in the carton for broccoli and cheddar soup later in the week.

Our pies were super-creamy and rich. Delicious! We'll be eating rich, creamy pumpkin pies from now on and I won't have to remember to buy evaporated milk.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at: 
  Facebook | Pinterest | Subscribe via email