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Italian Pumpkin Pie/Zuccata

Italian Pumpkin Pie or Zuccata

Zuccata! That is what my Nona (grandmother) called it. It means pumpkin in Italian. No fancy names for the Italians, they simply called things what they were.

I usually try to simplify recipes because that is what my Hubs are supposed to be about. But, I feel it would be disrespectful to my Nona if I changed this in any way. As you can see in the pictures I am not a master at crust making and but she was, maybe because in Italy she was making pasta and baking since she was five years old. She was only 4'10" as an adult and very little as a child, so she had to stand on a box to reach the table. There was not spoiling of the children them. This is a very rustic dish that came right from her mother's kitchen in Italy.

You not only taste the creamy pumpkin, but little bites of chocolate throughout and the taste of the rum and anise is there also. It is very unique in it's flavors.

I call it Italian Pumpkin Pie for obvious reasons. In my family Thanksgiving or even the month of November wouldn't be complete without this dessert. It's a tradition in my father's side of the family. We love it and I hope you do too. It takes a little more time and a lot of ingredients but, it's once a year and so worth it. Mangiare Buono!

Tips and Suggestions

  • When making crust have the Crisco or butter and milk or water cold, it makes for a flakier crust. The cold pieces of Crisco/butter between in the dough is what makes it flaky.
  • Also try not to use your hands and handle it too much the warmth from your hands will melt the fat in the crust.
  • Use flour to keep it from sticking to the surface where you are rolling out the dough.

Photos of How to Make Italian Pumpkin PIe

Luscious, creamy, pumpkin and chocolate layers.

Luscious, creamy, pumpkin and chocolate layers.

Creamy filling

Creamy filling

Crust in Pan

Crust in Pan

Middle crust

Middle crust

Middle crust in place

Middle crust in place

Second layer of filling

Second layer of filling

Please Vote

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour 15 min

1 hour 10 min

2 hours 25 min

Serves 10 to 12 people

Ingredients for crust and filling

  • FOR CRUST: 6 cups flour
  • 1 cup Crisco, cold
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk, cold
  • FOR FILLING: 2 (29oz.) cans pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 (6oz.) Hershey Bars, Broken in small pieces
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon each rum extract & Anise extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cups raisins
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. FOR CRUST: Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another small bowl. Add the cold Crisco to the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or a fork is you don't have a pastry blender until crumbly.
  2. Then add the milk and eggs, again with pastry blender.
  3. On a floured surface, bring the dough together trying not to handle too much with your hands. If it's too dry add a couple of splashes of very cold water till it's holds together.
  4. Cut off a third of the dough and roll out in a thin rectangle to match the inside of your 13" x 9" pan. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden in color.
  5. Leaving some dough for the top, roll out the rest of the dough and line the inside of your pan leaving some to lap over the sides.
  6. FOR THE FILLING: Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
  7. Place half the filling on the crust, place the already baked layer on top as in the picture and the rest of the filling on top of that.
  8. Roll out the top layer and place on top of second layer of filling and flap over the sides. Don't worry if you have to patch the dough, that is how it always looks. Brush a little milk on top of the crust for a better shine.
  9. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cool before cutting; cover and refrigerate till you are ready to serve it.


Rachel L Alba (author) from Every Day Cooking and Baking on November 24, 2015:

Hi Purl, I think it would be ok. This is the only way I've ever had it, but you could make it one layer and if you want use the refrigerator crust. It's really the filling that so good. Thanks for the visit and comment. I appreciate it.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

Donna Herron from USA on November 24, 2015:

I've never heard of this dish before, but it sounds amazing. Would this recipe work if I halved the ingredients to make a 9 inch round pie and used only one crust for the bottom? Pinned to my recipe board!

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Rachel L Alba (author) from Every Day Cooking and Baking on November 24, 2015:

Thank you Phyllis for the visit and really nice comment.

I also wish you and yours a very Blessed Thanksgiving.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on November 24, 2015:

PS: Pinned and shared.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on November 24, 2015:

I just decided what to bake for the family gathering Thanksgiving Day - your pie looks and sound wonderful, Rachel. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Rachel L Alba (author) from Every Day Cooking and Baking on January 02, 2015:

Thanks for your comments and for looking at my hub. I think it's delicious, but I love pumpkin and chocolate together and the rum flavor just adds to it.


Carrie L Cronkite from Maine on January 01, 2015:

This sounds so good, especially with the rum added to it. I bet it tastes delicious!

Rachel L Alba (author) from Every Day Cooking and Baking on November 26, 2014:

By the way, thank you for sending the angels, I need them.

Rachel L Alba (author) from Every Day Cooking and Baking on November 24, 2014:

It's my pleasure. I wouldn't want my grandmother's recipes to die down. I hope you enjoy it.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 24, 2014: looks almost like a cobbler. I will be passing this one to my friends thanks for sharing.

Angels are on the way to you today ps

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