Pumpkin Pie


I’ll admit to having been rather rude in the past about this popular American staple, but I am now a convert. Perhaps the secret to this ‘special relationship’ is because they have looked after so many of my favourite people. Trick or treat? Try it and see…

Banish any memories of pappy nothingness: the secret to this is in the spicery – keep tasting it as you mix, is my advice. If you can’t get your hands on a pumpkin, try using butternut squash.

You need:

  • pack ready-rolled shortcrust pastry (because life is too short and there is probably a small person getting impatient)
  • flesh of a pumpkin, chopped, string and seeds removed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 100g golden syrup
  • a good slug of rum
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 3 medium egg yolks

Steam your pumpkin chunks until they are soft, then mash or puree them in a  food processor. (Syphon off a bit of puree for the Little Pea’s lunch.) Sit the puree in a clean cloth-lined sieve over a bowl and leave it to drip for an hour or so.*

Preheat the oven to 200c. Put a baking sheet on the oven shelf to warm up.

Roll out your pastry, nice and cold from the fridge onto a floured surface so that it is about 4mm thick. Roll it on greaseproof paper so that you can move it easily.

Unfurl the pastry to fit over a 20 cm tart tin and press it in gently, making sure it comes up the sides. Chill in the fridge for 10 mins or so, just to firm up again.

Fill the pastry case with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake  on the tray for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for another 5 mins. Remove from the oven and turn it down to about 180c.

Squeeze the remaining juice from your puree and put it in a mixing bowl. Add the golden syrup, spices, rum, egg yolks and cream and mix well. Pour into the pastry case and return the pie to the oven for 30-35 mins, until the filling is set, with a wobble. As you can see, I might have left it in ever so slightly too long… tant pis.

Serve warm from the oven or cool (it seems to get even better after a few days) with ice cream.

*You will be amazed at how much juice results. Keep this for your  super juice evening cocktail



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