Pumpkin Pie

You probably take pumpkin pie from canned pumpkin for granted. You’re there, the can is there, there’s a pumpkin on the label… open it and mix it up with spices to make a pie, right? Ah, but a pumpkin pie made from a fresh pumpkin tastes so much better than the glop that was processed last year! Here’s how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and fully illustrated. And it is much easier than you think, using my “patented” tips and tricks! This makes a light, fluffy pumpkin pie with a fresh, traditional pumpkin pie taste. I can assure you that this will be the best pumpkin pie you’ve ever made! This is also a great thing to do with your kids! Children just love pumpkins: growing them, carving them, and making a pie from them! And who cares if Libby’s says there will be a shortage of canned pumpkin this year? As long as you can find a pumpkin or a butternut squash, you can make a BETTER pumpkin pie!

You will need
850 g pumpkin, chopped
350 ml cream
190 g brown sugar
Half tsp salt
3 eggs and 1 egg yolk
1 tsp cinnamon
quarter tsp nutmeg
quarter tsp allspice
the zest of 1 lemon
1 short-crust pastry base, ready made
1 roasting tin
1 spoon
1 fork
1 pie mold
1 jug
1 hand blender
aluminium foil
parchment paper
about 500g of beans to weigh down the crust
Step 2: Preheat the oven
Set the temperature to 180ºC or gas mark 4.

Step 3: Roast the pumpkin
Tip the chopped pumpkin into the roasting tin and cover it tightly with aluminium foil. Put the tin on a low shelf in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes (this is the first stage of creating the pumpkin puree).

Step 4: Prepare the pastry base
Gently lay the pastry crust on the pie mold and carefully press it down to form the shape of the pie. Remove any excess pastry from the edges. Now using a fork, lightly jab the bottom of the base various times. This will prevent the pastry from rising.

Put the parchment paper over the top of the pastry and pour the beans on top to weigh it down.

Step 5: Bake the pastry
Place the pie mold in the oven with the pumpkin and bake for 20 minutes.

Step 6: Remove from the oven
When the pastry crust is golden brown, take it out of the oven. Test the pumpkin to see if it’s done by piercing it with a fork. It needs to be completely soft to make the puree. Remove it from the oven and discard the foil. Take the beans off the pastry and leave it and the pumpkin to cool.

Finally, raise the temperature of the oven to 210 degrees centigrade or gas mark 6.

Step 7: Make the pumpkin puree
Spoon the cooked pumpkin into the jug and using the hand blender, blend into a puree.

Step 8: Prepare the pie filling
In a large bowl mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, lemon zest and salt. Now, whisk the eggs, add them to the other ingredients and stir. Pour in the pumpkin puree and cream and stir well.

Step 9: Bake
Pour the filling into the pastry crust, almost to the top. Carefully place it into the centre of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 160ºC and bake for a further 35 minutes.

Step 10: Remove from the oven
When the pie is fully cooked remove it from the oven and allow it to cool and set.

Step 11: Serve
The pie can be eaten warm or cold and served dusted with icing sugar and with a dollop of whipped cream.