Living in Canada I was thrust into the world of pumpkin pie especially on Canadian Thanksgiving, which happens to be today. This seasonal staple is such a big part of North America’s food culture that you get pumpkin pie flavoured ice cream, coffees, cereal, alcohol, even Kit Kats. I made the mistake of trying a store-bought pie which had the texture of wet sand but I was talked into trying a homemade pie and then I realised what all the fuss was about. The beautiful spices and smooth pumpkin texture is addictive. Served with whipped cream and a cup of coffee it’s the perfect autumnal dessert.
Pie Shell Pastry
325g plain flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
230g unsalted butter cubed
4-8 tbsp ice water
425g pumpkin puree
300g sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
optional: pinch of ground cloves
- Put the flour, sugar, salt into a food processor and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter then press the pulse button for 1 second every 3 seconds to create a crumb. You don’t want to heat the dough and the pulse button helps to keep it cooler. Every 10 pulses add a tablespoon of water until the mixture forms crumbs that stick together like wet sand when pressed.
- Tip the crumb out and knead just enough to form a large ball then divide into two. Cover and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to an hour.
- Take the dough out and let it rest for 5 minutes before rolling out the dough on a flour dusted marble slab (or cool surface) until it’s the thickness of a pound coin.
- Grease a pie dish then lay the pastry over and shape to the dish then prick the bottom with a fork. Trim off any excess then pinch around the outside to create a fluted edge.
- Scrunch up a piece of greaseproof paper and place over the pie dish then fill with ceramic beans. Place the pie shell in a 200°C (180°C Fan) oven on a middle shelf for 10 minutes. Remove the greaseproof paper and beans and let the pastry cool before adding the filling.
- Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl then add the spices and whisk thoroughly. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk into the egg mixture then add the sweetened condensed milk and fold into the filling using a spatula.
- Pour the mixture into the cooled pasty shell then place in a 195°C (175°C Fan) oven on a middle shelf for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and place foil over the pastry edges to stop them browning further.
- Turn the oven down to 180°C (160°C Fan) and cook the pie for another 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the filling.
- Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting into it then serve with whipped cream.