Pumpkins have been a part of autumn and Halloween since I was a tiny little lady in a witches hat going trick-or-treating. Pumpkin carving, little plastic pumpkin lanterns and dinky chocolate pumpkins filled with smarties and enough sugar to sweeten a river were just the half of it.
But until just a couple of weeks ago, I’d never actually eaten pumpkin (I kid you not). Which means I’d never eaten pumpkin pie. And BOY have I been missing out.
I came home from work one cold autumn evening to find my very wonderful boyfriend, Alex, had decided not only to make homemade scotch eggs with venison sausage and duck eggs (PHWOAR!), but pumpkin pie too. And not only had he made this heavenly pie, but he’d made it properly; with freshly-roasted pumpkin that he’d pureed himself. Yes, he is indeed a keeper.
Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with buying pumpkin puree, or cheating in general, but it sure does feel pretty special when you’re tucking into a slice of heaven to know it’s been made completely from scratch.
I have to say; I think I’m in love with this pie. L-O-V-E.
Truly, I am. It’s like some clever little soul decided to go around plucking all the best bits of autumn; the golden hue of cripsy leaves, winter spices that warm you from the inside, the brazen colours of seasonal vegetables that brighten up the darkest mornings – and brought them all together in a beautiful juxtaposition of delicate crumb and smoothest creaminess.
Sorry….I drifted off there. Seems to be a little drool on my keyboard. Where was I? Oh yes…
Alex’s Proper Pumpkin Pie
For the pastry case
- 260g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 110g unsalted butter
For the filling
- 600g fresh peeled pumpkin
- 240ml evaporated milk (we used light)
- 180g caster sugar
- 40g light muscovado sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- Grease your pastry case
- Put the flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer and beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy crumb texture and the ingredients are combined. Add 1 tbsp water and beat until mixed. Another another tablespoon until you have a smooth, even dough.
- Wrap in clingfilm and leave it to rest for 30 minutes. Chill in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.
- While your pastry is resting, preheat the oven to 180/160 degrees (fan oven) and prepare your pumpkin.
- Peel and cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and pop it in a baking tray. Pop an inch of water in each of the ‘bowls’ of pumpkin, cover with foil, and roast for 40 minutes until super soft.
- Once it’s ready, drain off the water, and blend to create your pumpkin puree.
- Pop the puree, evaporated milk, sugar, egg and spices into a large mixing bowl, and combine – either by hand with a wooden spoon, or with an electric mixer if you’re not in the mood to get hands-on.
- Dust a clean surface with flur and roll out your pastry with a rolling pin. Fold the pastry over the rolling pin and lift it into your tin, smoothing off the edges with a small sharp knife for a neat finish.
- Fill with your divine-smelling pumpkin mixture, and bake for 30-40 minutes until your filling is just about set – you should have a little wobble left.
Now sit back, relax, and help yourself to a generous slice of pure autumnal bliss. There are 10-12 servings here, but I guarantee it won’t last long.