For the pastry:
- 225g all purpose flour
- 100g butter (cut into small pieces)
- 3 tablespoons of cold water
- Pinch of salt.
For the filling:
- 225g cooked and puréed fresh pumpkin
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 75g soft brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- A generous pinch of ground cardamom
- 3 tablespoons of fresh full cream
- Walnut halves to decorate
Home-made pumpkin pie is delicious and the classic dessert served at Thanksgiving. The pastry crust contains a tasty spiced pumpkin custard. Pumpkins have long been the popular symbol for harvest time.
If you are wondering whether you can justify indulging in some pumpkin pie this year, you most certainly can! Pumpkins are full of vitamins and minerals and one slice of pie will provide you with more than the daily requirement of Vitamin A- which is good for eyesight and gives a boost to your immune system.
As well as being easy to make, the good news is that pumpkin pie can be made up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until it is needed. Having said that, pumpkin pie is a tricky recipe because every American family has their favourite recipe and many of these have been handed down through the generations. A little tip given to me by a stellar American chef is to add a pinch of freshly ground black pepper to the pumpkin mixture – and it really does make the difference!
1. For the pastry
Heat the oven to 200ºC/ Gas mark 6.
Pour the flour into a large bowl, add the salt and stir. Add the butter cubes and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add half the amount of water and mix to form a soft dough – if necessary, add a little more water, but go carefully so the pastry does not become soggy.
Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few moments. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes before using.
Well grease a deep 20 cm tin.
When the pastry has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface and line the tin. Trim as necessary.
Prick the pastry on the base of the tin all over using a fork. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the pastry is pale brown in colour. Cool.
2. For the filling
Adjust the oven temperature to 230ºC/ Gas mark 8.
Whisk the egg with the sugar until it is light and foamy.
Very gently stir in the pumpkin purée, all the spices, a pinch of salt and the cream.
Pour the filling mixture into the pastry case.
Bake the pie for 7 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC/ Gas 3 and bake the pie for a further 40 minutes.
Test the pie to see that it is cooked thoroughly by inserting a skewer into the middle of the pie – the skewer should come out cleanly.
Remove the pie from the oven. Cool slightly before decorating with the walnut halves. Leave the pie to cool completely.
Serve it in slices with a spoonful of whipped cream.