Pumpkin Pie

Welcome to the pièce de résistance of my pumpkin baking, the crowning glory you might say – Pumpkin Pie! This is my third year of making this pie. The past 2 times I used ready made pastry, with varying results. I feel like I have mastered pastry now after making Key Lime Pie and Tarte Tatin successfully, and can say with confidence that I don’t think you’ll find me buying ready made shortcrust ever again! I don’t remember exactly how I made the filling each year, probably different ways each year knowing me! But this year it had a lovely custard flavour and was very yummy. Pumpkin pie is ‘Marmite’ food – you either love it or you hate it!

There are several different ways to make short crust pastry (or you can buy it ready made). I chose this method because I have used it before and it’s worked really well for me. I started with 350g plain flour and 170g butter.

I rubbed the butter into the flour with my hands until it formed fine crumbs, as above. This is quite a relaxing thing to do as it takes a few minutes.

I added in two eggs and used an ordinary cutlery knife to bind the mixture together. Once it started to formed a dough I got my hands in there to form it into a ball.

I kneaded this briefly for a couple of minutes on a floured surface until it looked like the above photo. Smooth and well combined. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 1 hour.

Meanwhile I made the filling by slowly heating 275ml double cream, 75g soft brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp ground ginger. You can also add 1/2 tsp cloves or allspice if you have it.

In a separate bowl I beat together 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk. I poured the heated cream mixture into the eggs, whisking as I poured bit by bit. I then added a full can of pumpkin puree (425g) and whisked till combined.

I rolled out the pastry till it was bigger than my loose bottomed pie tin (about 22cm).

I placed it in the tin, pressing around the sides. Make sure the edges hang over a little as the pastry will shrink slightly. I used a fork to pierce all over the bottom to prevent air from getting trapped.

Line the pastry with baking paper and baking beans (or dry rice if you don’t have baking beans).

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 10-15 minutes until the pastry started to brown around the edges, I then removed the baking beans and poured in the pumpkin filling.

I popped the pie back in the oven for about 35 minutes. Until the filling firms up and goes a nice rich orange colour. I roasted a few pumpkin seeds in oil and used them to decorate the centre of the pie. You can decorate any way you want.

I also made these cute little ‘taster’ pies with leftover mixture and pastry. These are best done in a cupcake baking tray, but there wasn’t one to hand at the time so these silicone cupcake cases were a handy replacement.

And so ends my pumpkin baking fun. I’ve used all the pumpkin puree I bought this year, with some great results, and new discoveries about baking with pumpkin. I’m ready to move onto other Autumn baking now and maybe even start thinking about…dare I say it…Christmas baking!

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