There’s always room for pie

Usually when September hits the count-down to Halloween starts. Planning goes into turbo mode – scrolling through google to pin down what to dress as, creating the usual Facebook event page for the annual flat party and decorations draping the flat. I love Halloween.

This year however Halloween isn’t even phasing me. Rummaging through cupboards, searching under beds, double checking cupboards again – my Halloween spirit is nowhere to be seen.

Even a perfectly orange, symmetrically sphere pumpkin sitting on my kitchen work top ready to be carved by my flat mate didn’t lure me into the depths of Halloween. The carving starts and my eyes are suddenly drawn to the bowl full of pumpkin insides making a bee line for the bin. A movie style “NOOOOO!” rumbles in my brain as I dart after the pumpkin, taking the bowl from my flat mate “I’ll use these”.

The thought of that wasted pumpkin gave me shivers and I had to intervene to make them go further. Let’s say that was part of my Halloween spirit making a return.

It’s no secret that the insides of a pumpkin may reek like an old bag of rubbish and the easy option might seem to chuck it away – but refrain from getting rid and use as an ingredient for your next kitchen creation.

In my case, I made an autumnal pumpkin pie.

Oozing with sweet goodness and ideal for a dinner party desert for 8 or a weekday night pick me up – this recipe isn’t too costly and is straight forward (despite the many steps below).

 

What you’ll need:

 For the shortcrust pastry:

  1. 125g plain flour

  2. 55g butter

  3. 3 tbsp cold water

  4. 1 tsp caster sugar

  5. Pinch of salt

For the filling:

  1. 650g pumpkin

  2. 140g caster sugar

  3. 175ml milk

  4. 25g butter (melted)

  5. 2 eggs (beaten)

  6. 1 tbsp icing sugar

  7. 2 tsp cinnamon

  8. ½ tsp salt

How to make

Starting off the filling:

  1. Put the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover in water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes

  2. Once cooked, drain the water and put aside to cool

For the shortcrust pastry:

  1. Put the flour, salt, sugar in a mixing bowl and add the butter

  2. Rub together with your fingertips until you’re left with a rough bread crumb texture making sure there are no lumps of butter left

  3. Add the water and mix with a metal knife until a dough forms. You might need to use your hands to get all the dough together

  4. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.

  5. Whilst the pastry chills, preheat your oven to 180°c

  6. Once chilled, remove the pastry and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 0.5cm in thickness and line the pastry into a 25cm round tart tin

  7. Place the tin and pastry in the oven and chill for a further 15 minutes

  8. Remove the tin from the fridge and line on top with grease-proof paper. Add baking beads to blind bake for 15 minutes (if you’re not a Mary Berry and don’t have baking beads, use pasta shells which does the job). Add to the oven and blind bake for 15 minutes

  9. After 15 minutes, remove the weight from the pastry and bake for a further 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes has passed, remove from the oven and allow to cool

  10. Turn the oven up to 200°c

Continuing the filling:

  1. Take the cooled pumpkin and empty into a mixing bowl. Blitz the pumpkin to make a smooth consistency

  2. Add the sugar, salt, half of the cinnamon, eggs, butter, milk and combine

  3. Pour the mix into the pastry casing and bake for 10 minutes

  4. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 180°c and bake for a further 40 minutes until the filling has a slight wobble to it and allow to cool

  5. Once cooled, remove the pie from the tin. Add the remaining cinnamon to the icing sugar and dust the pie

  6. Serve chilled with ice cream or creme fraiche and enjoy.

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