Halloween Treats... How to Make the Best Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is an American favourite normally consumed at Thanksgiving, but Halloween in England is a perfect time to enjoy this delicious treat as well. While some recipes use canned pumpkin, having the real thing handy can make a tremendous difference to the pie’s flavour, and the combination of the sweet flesh with the spicy cinnamon really is to die for.

Ingredients:

For the pastry…

  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g butter
  • 1 egg-yolk
  • A few tbsp. of cold water

For the filling…

  • 750g pumpkin, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 175g light muscovado sugar if you have it, if not then just ordinary caster
  • 2 medium sized eggs
  • 142ml pot of double cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Firstly, make the pastry. Add the butter (cold, and cut into small pieces) to the flour in a large mixing bowl and rub together gradually, sifting it through your fingers until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Then add the yolk and bring the pastry together. If it has not all combined, add small amounts of the water bit by bit until it reaches a homogenous and roll-able consistency. Place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to chill.

Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin and place in a large saucepan. Fill it up with water, cover with the lid and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for around 15 minutes, until tender.

While this is happening, take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out until it is about ½cm thick and large enough to cover a 9inch tart case. Using the rolling pin, place carefully into the (greased) tin and bake blind (using greaseproof paper and baking beans) for around 25 minutes, taking out the paper and beans half way through so that it can brown.

Once it is taken out to cool, you should have your pumpkin ready and drained. If you have a food processor, then place it in there with the remainder of the ingredients and blitz until smooth. If you don’t, then push it through a sieve into a large bowl and, using a wooden implement, mix in the sugar, eggs, cream and spices thoroughly.

(Photo Credit: Simply Recipes)

Pour into the pastry case and bake in the oven for around 1 hour until the filling has set. Don’t worry if it puffs up in the middle, it will sink as it cools. Remove from the tin when it is done and allow to cool properly.

Serve with whipped cream or crème fraiche!