I’m super excited to share this post – my first post from my new self-hosted WordPress site! It’s taken me a fair while to finally make up my mind to make the move and despite a few, very minor teething issues, I’ve come out the other side reasonably intact (fingernails excluded)!
So, to celebrate the move I’m sharing a Thanksgiving recipe – Classic Pumpkin Pie. While we, Down Under, sadly don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I can’t think of anything more worthwhile than sharing food in the spirit of gratitude.
I loved this recipe from UK chef Andy Bates, though I didn’t love the recipe directions which, frankly, were badly edited. I had to connect a few dots here and there, but the result was perfectly scrumptious. I adapted a little, substituting spelt for wheat flour, light muscovado sugar for brown sugar and a more classic American pumpkin spice mix than the one suggested.
The recipe makes a fairly substantial amount of both pastry and filling – certainly enough for a deep dish pie. I used a shallow tart pan and had enough left-overs to make a couple of extra mini tarts and an ample amount of filling to freeze for another time.
I hope you’re suitably impressed to learn that I roasted the pumpkin for the filling – yes, I know… admirable right? The fact is that in New Zealand, we don’t really ‘do’ pumpkin the same way Americans do, so canned pumpkin puree is something I’ve never seen. Anyway, I reckon the flavour you get from roasting pumpkin is second to none and I totally think it’s worth the effort.
There’s not much left to say other than this is a fabulous recipe if you’re looking for a soft, flavoursome classic pumpkin pie. And, there’s really no reason to wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy it!
- 225g (7.9 oz) plain flour (I used spelt flour)
- Pinch of salt
- 75g (2.6 oz) icing sugar
- 150g (5.2 oz) butter, cold & diced
- 1 egg yolk
- Up to a tablespoon of ice cold water, or as needed
- 200ml (6.7 fl oz) evaporated milk
- 200ml (6.7 fl oz) double cream
- 200g (7 oz) light brown sugar (I used light muscovado sugar)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 3 free-range eggs, whisked
- 2 egg yolks
- 700g (24.6 oz) mashed, cooked pumpkin passed through a sieve (I used about 1.5 kilos (3.3 pounds) of pumpkin to yield this amount)
- Softly whipped cream and toasted pecan nuts, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
- In a food processor pulse the flour, salt and sugar to combine. Then add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs (this should only take a few seconds).
- Add the egg yolk, and pulse until combined. Check the mixture - if it's starting to clump a little and holds together when you pinch it, it's good to go. However, if it's still too dry, add a little ice cold water and pulse again for a few seconds, adding tiny increments of water until the mixture starts to hold together.
- Dump the mixture onto your kitchen bench and lightly bring it together into a ball - don't knead it though. Flatten the ball slightly so it forms a disc, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
- Once chilled, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm thickness. Use to line a 28cm tart ring placed on a baking sheet (I allow the pastry to lie over the edges while it cooks; then I trim the top once it's baked - this helps to avoid shrinkage).
- Rest the lined tart ring in the fridge for 20 minutes (personally, I think it needs longer in the fridge - I left it for 2 hours. That way, when it hits the oven, it will be less likely to shrink).
- Line the tart ring with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans to keep the base's shape, and bake blind for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the pastry starts to turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool (you may like to brush the pastry with a little egg yolk to create a seal).
- Turn the oven down to 160°C (320°F).
- In a saucepan, bring the evaporated milk, cream, sugar, salt, and spices to scalding point (just before a boil).
- In the meantime, whisk the whole eggs and egg yolks together in a large heat resistant bowl.
- Once the milk mixture has reached scalding point, gently pour a small amount (about a quarter cup) over the eggs while whisking constantly (this tempers the eggs and ensures they don't curdle). Continue whisking while you add the remaining milk mixture.
- Now, add the pumpkin mix and gently whisk or beat in until everything is mixed.
- Fill the pastry case with the pumpkin mix. Carefully place in the middle of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the mix appears set but not too firm (it should still be a little jiggly in the middle; it will continue to set as it cools).
- Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
- Serve with softly whipped cream and pecan nuts.
**This pie can be made ahead - in fact it tastes even better the following day once the flavours have time to amalgamate.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting