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Pumpkin Pie

by Heather Thomas from The Squash and Pumpkin Cookbook

A classic American dessert recipe from Heather Thomas, this pumpkin pie is flavoured with ginger, clove, and nutmeg, and topped off with lashings of whipped cream.

From the book

Introduction

No Thanksgiving celebration feast would be complete without a traditional pumpkin pie, and many people now bake it for Halloween, too.

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Ingredients

butter, for greasing
1 small dessert pumpkin, approx. 500g/1lb 2oz
150g/5oz (¾ cup) soft brown sugar
2 large free-range eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
grated zest of 1 lemon
240ml/8fl oz (1 cup) evaporated milk
whipped cream, to serve
For the shortcrust pastry (pie crust):
200g/7oz (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
A pinch of sea salt
100g/3½oz (scant ½ cup) chilled butter, diced

Essential kit

You will need: a 23cm/9in tart tin (pan) and a baking tray.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Lightly butter a 23cm/9in tart tin (pan). Line a baking tray (cookie sheet) with baking parchment or foil.

2. Cut the pumpkin in half horizontally and remove the seeds. Place the pumpkin halves, cut-side down, on the lined baking tray and bake for 30–40 minutes, or until tender. Remove and leave to cool.

3. Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in 3–4 tablespoons cold water with a palette knife until the mixture forms a dough. Mould it into a ball, wrap it in cling film (plastic wrap) and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the tart tin, pressing it into the sides. Level the top. Place a sheet of baking parchment inside and fill with baking beans. Bake ‘blind’ for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and beans. Return the crust to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the base is golden brown. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

5. Scoop the roasted pumpkin out of the skin – you want around 300g/10oz pumpkin. Place in a food processor and blitz until smooth.

6. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and egg yolk. Stir in the spices and lemon zest. Add the pumpkin purée and stir in the evaporated milk.

7. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 45 minutes, or until the filling sets. Don’t worry if it’s still a little wobbly – it will firm up as it cools. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 1–2 hours.

8. Cut the pie into slices and serve with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon. It will keep well in the fridge for 24 hours.

Tip: If you are pressed for time, you can cheat and use canned pumpkin (one 450g/1lb can) and a shop-bought pie shell.

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From the book: The Squash and Pumpkin Cookbook

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