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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!


Pumpkin pie

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
2 eggs
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!


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10 Responses to “My first home-made pumpkin pie”

  1. Mel says:

    This looks delicious and I’ve always wanted to try Pumpkin Pie. Will definitely attempt this myself one weekend!

  2. Hannah says:

    One of my food dreams is to have a lovely slice of pumpkin pie. When I was in the States on exchange a few years back, I made the mistake of thinking that eating a can of that pre-spiced pumpkin would be almost the same experience. It really wasn’t… maybe one day I’ll overcome my fear of pastry and make this!

  3. Emily says:

    Mel: Yes give it a go, it was really delicious. Just make sure you adjust the quantities of pumpkin if you are making it in a deeper dish – don’t want to run out of filling! I would have liked my pie to be deeper, but unfortunately don’t have a deeper dish. I have since bought one though!

    Hannah: have a go at pastry, it is amazing how much one can improve (check out my disaster here – http://itpleasesus.com/2009/12/14/salmon-en-croute/). I think the thing is, don’t be too scared of overworking it, and add in more water if it is too dry to hold together. Also, if you want to make a crustless pie you could also try this (http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/detail.aspx?ID=141287) – though looks a bit freaky!!

  4. Gem says:

    Way too hard for me, but wow, it looks gorgeous. I love how there seems to be quite a few people who are very anti-Donna Hay. I must confess I really liked her stuff – looooong time ago, when she did Marie Claire cookbooks. After a while her recipes seemed to resemble one another.

  5. Emily says:

    Gem: that is exactly my problem with Donna Hay – it’s all very artfully arranged and photographed but after a while it’s all the same. I don’t need a full page spread with photo telling me to pour hot milk over chocolate to make hot chocolate!!!! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Damian says:

    I would be pleased to partake in a piece of your pumpkin pie – it looks delightful. I have always been tempted to use real pumpkin but have only ever used the pumpkin in a can. If you ever want to buy pumpkin in a can but don’t want to schlep out to USA foods I believe they sell it in Thomas dux, Richmond.

  7. Saskia says:

    Would be interesting to see how the canned version compares to the actutal pumpkin version.

    I guess the real advantage of having to go to a USA food store (I went to one in Bentleigh) to get canned pumpkin is the opportunity to stock up on crazy US candy!

    • Emily says:

      Damian: yes I would be interested to see how the ol’ canned stuff compares… good tip on Thomas Dux.

      Sas: I am secretly quite keen to go to the American store and stock up on peanut butter related candy and maybe oggle some of those crazy sugar and chocolate laden breakfast cereals!

  8. Kelsey says:

    Hi all!

    I have used both tinned pumpkin and fresh, the difference is in the texture I find. The American tinned pumpkin is less watery than steamed pumpkin so the result is a denser (often less fibrous) pie. Roasting your pumpkin (in a baking paper pocket to reduce browning) gives a similar result.

    Sas: Costco (Melbourne’s exciting new addition) stocks “peanut butter related candy” on mass!

    Girls I am new to your Blog but I sure will be following from now on.
    Some really great recipes!

    Now alas! back to exam study.

    • Emily says:

      Thanks for the info on canned vs fresh. Will definitely try the roasting method – I presume roasting makes it sweeter too..

      Peanut butter related candy sounds amazing, need to schedule a visit.

      Thanks for stopping by and all the best with the exams!

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