Breaking News

How To Make A Pumpkin Pie – Recipe

A step-by-step guide to making a pumpkin pie fit for the Thanksgiving or Christmas table
Felicity Cloake’s pumpkin pie: not just for Halloween, or even just for Thanksgiving... Photograph: Dan Matthews/The Guardian. Food styling: Jack Sargeson


If you’re about to swipe away from the page in annoyance, thinking this recipe might have been useful three weeks ago, remember, pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween, they’re for life. Or, at least, autumn – and, if you’re American, Thanksgiving in particular, where pumpkin pie is as much part of the celebrations as deep-fried turkey and sweet potatoes with marshmallows (I know, I know), and considerably less likely to get lost in translation.

Prep 25 min
Cook 90 min
Makes 1 x 20cm pie

For the pastry (or use 300g ready- made shortcrust pastry)
170g plain flour
1 pinch salt
100g cold butter
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg yolk

For the pie filling
1 small culinary pumpkin or medium butternut squash (see step 1)
1 pinch salt
145g maple syrup
3 tbsp golden rum – optional
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves (or 5 cloves, ground)
2 large eggs, beaten
150ml evaporated milk

1 Pick your pumpkin

This pie depends absolutely on using the right pumpkin, so don’t be tempted to use the watery innards of your Halloween jack o’lantern, should you still have them hanging around. Instead, search out a decent cooking variety such as crown prince or red onion squash, which are available at greengrocers, farm shops and markets, or use a butternut squash.
Not all squashes are made equal: choose only a decent cooking variety such as crown prince, red onion or butternut.

2 Prepare the pumpkin

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Cut the pumpkin into halves or quarters, depending on its size, and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. To roast the seeds at a later date, clean them first, then boil for five minutes, drain and dry. Toss with a little oil, and bake, spread out on a tray, in a 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4 oven for about 10 minutes.

3 Cook the pumpkin

Roast the pumpkin for half an hour, until tender, then peel and puree. Leave to drain while you make the pastry.

Arrange the pumpkin skin side up in a roasting tin just big enough to fit it all in one layer, then scatter over two tablespoons of cold water. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the flesh is tender all the way through, then remove and set aside to cool slightly. Turn off the oven unless you’re using ready-made pastry.

4 Puree the pumpkin

Once the pumpkin is a comfortable temperature to handle, peel off and discard the skin and scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Whizz until you have a smooth puree, then transfer to a fine sieve set over a bowl or the sink. Leave to drain while you make the pastry (or for about half an hour if you’re not).

5 Make the pastry

Grate butter into the flour, rub it in, then add sugar, egg yolks and a little water. Stir to bring together into a dough.

Sift the flour into a bowl, stir in the salt, then grate in the butter. Rub in with your fingertips, until the mix looks like coarse sand, then stir through the sugar. Mix the egg yolk with two tablespoons of iced water, and sprinkle half of this over the dough mixture. Stir until it comes together into a firm but not damp ball – add a little more of the egg yolk mix, if need be.

6 Prepare and line the tin

Roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin, then use to line a greased tart tin and trim the edges.

Grease a 20cm tart tin. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick, and use to line the tin. Prick all over with a fork, and chill for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4, then line the case with greaseproof paper and baking beans or rice.

7 Blind bake the pastry

Fill the case with beans or rice, and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and bake again for 10 minutes.

Bake the pastry case for 15 minutes, then remove the hot paper and beans, and bake for another five to 10 minutes, until the base is pale golden. While the crust is baking, put 250g of the pumpkin puree into a bowl with a pinch of salt, and discard the liquid that has drained from it.

8 Finish the filling

Stir the syrup, rum and spices into the pumpkin puree, then add the eggs, followed by the evaporated milk.

Stir the maple syrup, rum (if using; most dark spirits or liqueurs will work here, incidentally) and spices into the pumpkin puree. Taste for sweetness, adding a little more syrup or spice if you think it necessary, then beat in the eggs. Slowly whisk in the evaporated milk until it’s a thick, creamy consistency – you may not need it all.

9 Fill the tart and bake again

Pour the filling into the case, bake until slightly wobbly in the centre, then cool before serving with cream.

Pour the filling into the blind-baked pastry case, and bake for about 40 minutes, checking on it from half an hour onwards, until the filling is set, but still slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for at least an hour before serving, so the filling has time to set.

Source: The Guardian