So as an Australian, pumpkin pie isn’t really part of my repertoire. In fact, the first time I had pumpkin pie was about 3 years ago, when an American colleague, J brought it into work. I absolutely loved the texture and mildly spiced caramel flavour. When pressed for the recipe, she explained that she had made a special trip out to USA foods in Moorabbin and picked up the key ingredients – pre-spiced canned pumpkin and graham crackers for the crust. J was unsure whether the pie would work particularly well with ‘real’ pumpkin and so my fantasy of pumpkin pie baking was shelved.
While at the beach-house last weekend, I came across an old Donna Hay magazine (April/May 2008) which had an artful spread on pies, including a pumpkin pie recipe. Now, I am a little anti- Donna Hay (it’s a little too much food styling and a little low on actual recipes) but the article piqued my interest. On a cool Sunday afternoon, I decided to get baking.
The recipe is partially based on the recipe from Donna Hay, with some additions of my own. As an aside, I read quite a lot of recipes that required the pumpkin to be roasted before being pureed. However, the recipe below just requires the pumpkin to be boiled. While I imagine roasting the pumpkin brings out the natural sweetness, I still found this pie to be sweet enough and boiling the pumpkin was a lot less time consuming. If I attempt making this pie with roasted pumpkin I will let you know how it compares.
The final pie had a caramelly flavour but it was not too sweet, and the spices were quite mellow. Adding the decorative rim to the pie was a bit of extra effort, but the baked sugar crust added some much needed crunch (Mr M loved the crunchy rim). We served it warm with ice-cream and it was delicious. I will definitely be making this again!
For the crust:
250g plain flour (or 300g if using spelt flour)
1 tbs caster sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
180g cold unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
80ml iced water (or 120 if using spelt flour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place flour, sugar and baking powder in a food processor and pulse until combined.
- Add butter and process until the mixture resembles sand.
- With the motor running, add the water and vanilla until the mixture starts to come together.
- Turn the mixture onto the bench and form it into a disc.
- Cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the pie:
I used a narrow quiche tin. If you are using a deeper dish you will need to increase the quantities in the recipe.
a 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and chopped (after peeling etc I was left with 420g of pumpkin)
1 quantity of pastry (as above)
1 egg-white (for brushing)
granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup
1/2 cup (125ml) cream
1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees.
- Cook pumpkin in boiling water until tender (about 15 minutes).
- Drain, place in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, roll the pastry out until it is 3 mm thick.
- Line the base of the pie tin and trim the excess pastry. Prick the base with a fork.
- Line the pie with baking paper and fill with pastry weights, uncooked beans or rice:
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights, brush with eggwhite to seal and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Re-roll the excess pastry and cut out about 25 little oval shapes. I used one of the spoons from my measuring set (it had quite a sharp edge) or use a teardrop cutter.
- Brush the edge of the pastry in the tin with eggwhite and stick the ovals on to the edge, in an overlapping fashion. Brush with eggwhite and sprinkle with sugar.
- Add the spices, maple syrup, eggs, cream and sugar to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until combined.
- Place the tin into a baking dish, then pour the pumpkin mixture in.
- Bake for 50 minutes, until just set. The middle should be a little soft, it will harden as it cools.
- Cool in the tin.
- Serve either warm or cold with ice-cream or cream. Yum!