After Paddy had burned out his final candle and lit his final Halloween evening, it was time for his cheeky little grin to meet it’s demise. I wanted to make sure he was put to good use and it seemed only fitting that he should be turned into something sweet and delicious, so after Halloween weekend drew to a close, I tried my hand at that all American classic, the Pumpkin Pie.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this treat was to make and although skeptical at certain points within the baking process, (at one point GB tasted the pumpkin mix and said it was like watery mashed potato) Paddy didn’t let me down and transformed into a very tasty little cake in the end.
The Pie itself can be eaten warm or cold and tastes a little like a banoffee pie, a sweet toffee like goo on a pastry base. With the addition of cinnamon, bake this and I guarantee your house will be smelling like Christmas all night long. If that’s not incentive enough I don’t know what is.
I used the BBC Good Food recipe for the mix which was simple and easy, with few ingredients. You can of course buy shortcrust pastry but I’d always recommend making your own so below is my version…
125g plain flour
a few tablespoons of cold water
750g Pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
140g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs beaten
25g butter, melted
1 tsp icing sugar
1. Put the flour in a bowl and add the butter, cutting into small chunks
2. Rub the butter and flour together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs and all the butter is blended
3. Add the sugar and mix
4. add a few tablespoons of water and bring the mix together with your hands to create a dough. Knead slightly until formed into a ball.
5. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 mins or so
6. In the meantime chop your pumpkin (aww!) into segments and peel, then cut up into smaller chunks until you have enough to weigh 750g (about the size of a small pumpkin)
7. Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 15 mins until it feels soft (as soft as you would boil your potatoes for mash). Drain and leave to cool.
8. Once your pastry has rested, remove from the fridge and begin rolling out until around 2cm thick.
9. Grease a baking tin or pastry case and using your rolling pin, gather up the pastry and roll out onto the tin. Push into the corners and trim the excess around the edges, making a fluted pattern if desired.
10. Cover with greaseproof paper (or tinfoil if you don’t have like me) and fill with baking beans (yay finally getting to use the ones GB bought me! P.S if you don’t have beans I’ve recently learnt that rice also does the job)
11. Bake blind for 15mins at 180C, then remove the beans and paper and cook for a further 10 mins until the base is golden brown. Leave to cool.
12. Take your soft pumpkin and blend using an electric whisk/ food processor or simply push it through a sieve.
13. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinammon, then add in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk to create a batter type mix.
14. Add in the pureed pumpkin, mixing to combine it all and then pour the mixture into your pastry case, filling it right to the top.
15. Bake for 10 mins at 220C then reduce to 180C and bake for a further 40 mins. Check its ready by inserting a fork or skewer in the middle and if it comes out clean, it’s ready! (I took mine out a little early but it still tasted good, just a bit more gooey, so it just depends on your preference).
16. Leave the pie to cool slightly then cut into slices, dust with icing sugar or cinnamon and serve.
The American’s sure know a thing or two about dessert!