Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays of the year. I love that there’s no gift giving, and that it goes by almost unnoticed in the shops (or perhaps that’s just because I’m in the UK where it’s not celebrated). In any case, no Thanksgiving meal would be complete without pumpkin pie, and while my preference (strangely) is for the slightly fake-tasting store-bought variety, this homemade recipe is a close second. Boasting a lovely spicy flavour, this pumpkin pie is guaranteed to warm your belly and leave you feeling content with the world.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160º fan/350ºF.

What you’ll need:

For the pastry:
175g plain flour
85g cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
40g icing sugar, sifted
2 egg yolk
1 ½ tbsp cold water

For the filling:
675g freshly scooped pumpkin
4 eggs (3 whole plus 1 yolk)
115g dark brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
¾ tsp ground allspice
¾ tsp ground cloves
¾ tsp ground ginger
500ml double cream (415ml for the pie and 85ml to whip and top)

What to do:

If you haven’t already, preheat the oven to 180ºC/160º fan/350ºF.

This pie marked my first experience using a food processor to create pastry, and I can’t believe how effortless it was. Measure your flour, icing sugar and butter directly into the food processor and blend until you have a crumb-like mixture. Add the egg yolks and water and blend again. Remove the dough from the food processor, mould it into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Leave to rest in the fridge for 30-60min.

While you’re waiting for your dough to relax, weigh out your pumpkin, pop it in a covered saucepan with about an inch of water, and steam it until it’s mushy (this should take about 20 minutes). Once it’s lost its stiffness, drain in a sieve and squeeze out any excess water.

In a separate bowl, gently whisk the eggs (both the whole eggs and the yolk). Then, combine the cream, sugar and spices in a saucepan and heat to a boil. Simmer for about 30 seconds then remove from the heat and set aside.

Depending on how quickly you’ve moved, your dough should be nearly ready to roll out. Lightly dust your surface and rolling pin with flour, and roll your pastry into a sheet big enough to cover a 10-inch (relatively deep) pie dish. Transfer your pastry to the dish, press it into the bottom edge and trim off any excess pastry around the top.

Next, pour your cream mixture over your whisked eggs and add the pumpkin. Whisk the mixture until it’s relatively smooth (don’t worry if you still have strands of pumpkin).

Pour the filling into the unbaked pastry case and bake for approximately 40 minutes (the filling should be very slightly wobbly when it’s removed). Cool on a wire rack.

I prefer to serve the pie warm with a generous dollop of whipped cream, however, it’s entirely delicious and acceptable to serve it cold.



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