Roberta’s Recipes: Pumpkin Pie

As I’ve said before, dear friends, autumn is a wonderful season; it offers lots of special culinary treats, too, and one of the best of them is pumpkin pie – ideal all through October, November and even December, from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas. It does take a bit of time to do, but it’s also a lot of fun, a great pastime on a grey and rainy day!

I’ve put together a recipe made with a real pumpkin, not tinned pumpkin flesh, and also with a good old-fashioned homemade pastry. Take your time for this, it’s really worth it! It’s a great treat for the whole family; and if your household only consists of one or two, you might consider giving some of it to the neighbours, too – a lovely way of making friends…

The ingredients you’ll need are

for the pastry: 350g flour, 150ml vegetable oil, 1tsp salt

for the filling: 700-800g pumpkin flesh (one small or half a medium pumpkin), 2 eggs, 200g sugar, 250ml milk, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

for the whipped cream: 150ml double cream, 2tbsp sugar

And here’s how to do it: Cut the pumpkin into 2-3 chunks, cook in water for 30 minutes, then take out and let cool down for at least 30 minutes.

Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds, cut it into pieces and put them in the blender. Put the puree in a sieve and drain it for 15 minutes.

Mix flour, salt, oil and 4tbsp water in a bowl with a spoon, then shape the dough into a ball with your hands. (If it’s too dry, add some more oil, if it’s too thin, add some more flour.) Press about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of a baking tin (a spring clip tin will come in very handy for this!), roll the rest into a long sausage and work it up the side of the tin all around with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Clean the bowl, then beat the eggs in it with a whisk; add sugar, milk, spices and the pumpkin puree. Pull your oven grill rack out, put the tin with the pastry on it, slowly pour the pumpkin filling into the tin and carefully push the rack back; bake for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180° and bake for another 45 minutes.

Take the pie out and let it cool for about 2 hours; meanwhile, whip the cream and sugar with a whisk or hand mixer. Now here is where another little kitchen gadget comes into the game, cheap but very effective: a cream syringe. It comes with nozzles of various shapes, and it’s got countless uses in both cooking and baking – for shaping cookies, filling donuts, decorating buffets with sweet or savoury garnish, and of course for decorating cakes and pies with whipped cream, like here! Simply fill the whipped cream into the syringe with a spoon, screw the top on and press…

Enjoy your pumpkin pie, dear friends, and enjoy autumn – a magically beautiful time of year!

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