Who says you can only have pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving?
And mulled wine at Christmas??
Or turkey at .... actually, I don't like turkey, I'm happy to only have it only once a year.
My point is I hate food rules! So one Friday night in late January found me in my kitchen, flagrantly disregarding the Thanksgiving rule and making pumpkin pie for a friend who I hadn't seen in 7 years and who would be visiting early on Saturday morning. It was my first pie and I chose pumpkin pie because I had it once in Canada at Thanksgiving 8 years ago. I remember being very doubtful of it because I didn't think I liked pumpkins and couldn't understand why anyone would use them to make a pie. One bite however, and I was hooked! Well, obviously not so hooked because it would be 8 years before I would have it again.
I intend to make LOTS of pies this year and this was a great start! I have one more tin of pumpkin puree (For readers in the UK, Waitrose stock tins of this around Autumn every year) and instead of experimenting with cupcakes and muffins, I might just save it for another pie.
I used a shortcrust pastry recipe from Lorraine Pascal's 'Baking Made Easy' TV show. I found it very crumbly and had to patch lots of it together in the baking tin. I think perhaps I could have added 1 more tablespoon of water. The pumpkin custard that goes in the pie is the recipe on the tin of Libby's pumpkin puree.
Short Crust Pastry
250g/9oz plain flour
125g/4 1/2oz cold butter, cubed
2 free-range egg yolks
large pinch salt
1-4 tbsp water, if needed
1 - Put the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse to make breadcrumbs
2 - Alternatively use your hands and rub the butter and flour together in a bowl until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (I used this method)
3 - Add the egg yolks and a pinch of salt, and stir together with a knife. Press the mixture together into a ball. If the pastry feels very dry, add a little water, but try to avoid adding water if you can. (I added 2 tbsp water)
4 - Once the pastry is all pressed together, wrap in cling film and pop it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes
5 - After 30 minutes, remove the pastry from the fridge and set it aside to warm up a little (if you use it straight from the fridge and try to roll it out, the pastry will just be a hopeless crumbly mess)
6 - Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
7 - Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface to the thickness of half a £1 coin and use it to carefully line a 20 x 30cm/8 x 12in rectangular fluted tin. Homemade pastry is often quite crumbly. Don't be alarmed by this. You can always patch it together in the tin.
8 - Take a small ball of the pastry (the size of a £1) coin and use it to gently ease the dough down into the tin. Press the handle of a wooden spoon against the pastry all round the edges to coax it into the fluted grooves. Trim off the excesses around the top. Put in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or until firm
9 - Remove from the fridge. Take a piece of baking paper slightly larger than the tin and scrunch it up, then unscrunch it and line the tin with it. Fill it with baking beans or dried beans and 'blind bake' in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the pastry feels sandy to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside.
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 x 425g can of pumpkin puree
171g granulated sugar (I used brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
234ml evaporated milk
1 - Oven should be on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
2 - Combine filling ingredients together and pour into pastry case
3 - Bake for 40-50 minutes (turning pie tin round halfway) or until a knife inserted near the centre comes out clean.
4 - Allow to cool
I served mine with double cream, flavoured with vanilla and icing sugar and whipped until thick.