Sunday, 27 June 2010

Pumpkin pie

Does it count as part of your five-a-day if you have it for dessert?
Who cares? I made pumpkin pie anyway.

Even the small cuts of pumpkin from the supermarket are too much for two people to eat in one meal. So I chopped it all up at once and microwave-steamed a "crown cut" of pumpkin (about 1kg). It's served me well for dinner during the week, but now it's time to use up the rest.

Pumpkin pie is surprisingly easy, and very delicious... especially in winter. I adapted my recipe from the Women's Weekly.

I make it easy on myself by using pre-made frozen pastry sheets, but you could make your own shortcrust if you're feeling really enthusiastic! This time, I didn't have any shortcrust so I've used puff pastry. Oh well. It's really just an edible bowl for the deliciousness inside anyhow. Plus, I never eat the pastry.

You'll need:
  • Frozen shortcrust pastry (or make your own!!)
  • 500g or 1 and a half cups of mashed pumpkin. Don't worry if it isn't perfectly pureed.
  • 3/4 cup of cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (about 30ml) of maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
Firstly, I blind bake the pastry. This means that you line the dish, set the oven to 200 C, then put something heavy in the dish so the pastry doesn't take over during cooking. You can get special porcelain beads, but if you layer some baking paper over the pastry and fill it with dry rice that will work (though the rice will be unusable afterwards).

It will take about 20 minutes until the pastry is largely cooked. While this is cooking, mix together the pumpkin, cream, and spices. I never have fresh cream, as it goes off faster than I can use it. You can buy 1 cup tins of cream in NZ - this is perfect for this recipe, just keep the little extra for serving. Don't stress if you have different spices to this recipe, just use whatever you like or have. If it smells good to you, use it!

In another bowl, mix the brown sugar, maple syrup and eggs really well. Then mix this thoroughly into the pumpkin goo.

Take the pastry case out of the oven, and let it cool a bit. Turn the oven down to 180 C.

When the pastry is cool, fill it with the wet mixture, and bake for between 45min to 1 hour (check when it gets close to the time). If it doesn't jiggle in the pie case, then it's done.

If anyone knows how to make gluten-free pastry, let me know... then this dish will be delicious and safe for even more of you!

6 comments:

  1. Yum! We had pumpkin pie on our winter dessert menu last year, which was served with vanilla bean ice cream & a caramel or toffee sauce (it gets changed so frequently, I keep losing track). Yours looks good & hearty!

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  2. Thanks Nigel! I hadn't thought of using a sauce like that, but there's always next time...

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  3. Hey Kat! I have come across a recipe that I was given in French (when I was there) that was similar but not the same, it was more like pumpkin patties that were fried coated with sugar and what-have-you. It seems like it was similar to what you have made only without the pastry.

    Cheers! :-)

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  4. Wow, Sam, that sounds like something I would love to eat ;-)

    If you have the recipe, I'd love to give it a try.

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  5. I once made a sweet shortcrust gluten free pastry using an assortment of non-wheat flours (I think rice flour featured heavily, but there were others too - mum has some odd stuff in her cupboards from years of freaky experimental dietary fads!). Suffice it to say, the dough lacked elasticity, but I found that adding honey helped bind it. It was very, very sticky to handle but it held together okay, and had a pleasantly unique flavour for a pastry. I used it to make mince tarts and, in hindsight, using golden syrup or molasses may have complimented the flavour better (then again, perhaps the lightness of the honey flavour was more approrpiate given how rich fruit mince is). It's basically a case of mucking around and adding stuff until it holds. I have, however, heard that adding xanthum gum (probably available from a health food store) does the same thing without mucking with the flavour but I didn't have any around to play with.

    ~* Ness (from work - can't log into Google account)

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  6. Thanks for the suggestion, Ness. It might rekindle my interest in eating/making pastry!

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