The Ultimate Pumpkin Pie

The only pumpkin pie recipe you will ever need! This ultimate pumpkin pie from Sophie Grigson's 100 Vegetarian Feasts makes for the perfect autumnal dessert.

My Kitchen Table: 100 Vegetarian Feasts
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Introduction

This recipe for pumpkin pie was given to me many years ago by Frances Bendixon, and it's still the one I use every autumn.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1.25kg (2lb 12oz) wedge of pumpkin (or other winter squash, or 3 large butternut squashes), cut in half, seeds and fibres removed
Oil, for greasing
2 large eggs
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp salt
250ml (9fl oz) double cream
125ml (4fl oz) maple syrup, or to taste
For the pastry:
225g (8oz) plain flour
A pinch of salt
115g (4oz) chilled butter, diced
1 beaten yolk
Iced water

Essential kit

You will need a deep 23cm (9in) pie plate or tart tin, and a food processor.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Place the pumpkin on an oiled baking sheet, cut-sides down, cover with foil and bake in the oven until soft (this could take up to 2½ hours).

Leave the cooked pumpkin to cool, then scoop out the pulp and whizz in a food processor until smooth. Tip into a colander lined with a double layer of muslin and leave to drain overnight to eliminate any wateriness.

Next day, sift the flour with the salt. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk and enough iced water to form a soft dough. Mix quickly and lightly, and knead very briefly until smooth.Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Bring it back to room temperature before using.

Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Line a deep 23cm (9in) pie plate or tart tin with the pastry. Use a fork to decorate the rim. Prick the base with a fork and chill until needed.

Beat the eggs, then beat in the pumpkin purée, followed by the spices, salt and cream. Add the maple syrup gradually, tasting as you do so (if you use a sweet squash, you may not need all of it). Add extra spices to taste then pour the mixture into the pastry case.

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