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Pumpkin Pie

"It's pumpkin pie, not frumpkin fry.". Sorry, I had to write that to get it out of my system. Autumn and Winter, the cold dark days, perfect for all things encased or enveloped in pastry. Whilst Americans are very accustomed to making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, I feel that us Brits don't really give it a chance. The closest we probably get to it are pumpkin spiced lattes which are, well, coffee with mixed spiced chucked in. More and more over the years a display of pumpkins fill supermarkets for Halloween. We're encouraged to dig all of the insides out and carve them into shapes, which is fine, but it's a shame to chuck the flesh away rather than make something of it.

This is where I now turn into the hypocrite as my recipe for pumpkin pie is for those who want to try pumpkin but either can't get fresh pumpkins because they're out of Halloween season or can't really be bothered with the cutting, roasting, and blending. Most supermarkets should now stock tinned pumpkin puree, you need to look amongst the American snacks and sweets. If you do want to make your own puree, by all means give it a go. You don't even need to really use pumpkin, you could cut up a butternut squash and use that (they're actually a little better, don't tell anyone). Cut them up, put them into wedges, put them skin side down onto a baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil and roast in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes. Scoop out the flesh when they're cooked and blitz in a food processor.

This is a simple yet tasty pie to make, so it's worth having fun assembling it. If you really want to go over the top with decorations I would advise you up the pastry quantity as the recommend amount will only do for making the pie case.

Serves 12

Hands-on Time inc. Chilling 70 minutes

Baking Time 70 minutes


160g Light brown sugar

3 Eggs, large

270ml Whipping cream

100ml Sour cream

1/2 tsp Fine salt

1 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp Ground cloves

1 tsp Ground ginger

1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg

Tinned Pumpkin puree (425g)

1/2 tbsp Icing sugar


Rolling pin

20cm Pie tin

Sharp knife

1 Large bowl

Hand whisk

Baking sheet

Remove the pastry from fridge and unfold the clingfilm.

With the dough still between the clingfilm, roll out into a circle.

Take the pie tin, placing the dough inside to see if it's big enough to line the base and sides.

When you think you've rolled the dough out enough, remove the top layer of clingfilm.

Flip the dough over into the tin and adjust so it's centred.

With the clingfilm still on, press the dough into the corners and sides of the tin.

Carefully remove the clingfilm and run a sharp knife around the edge of the tin, cutting off any excess dough. If you need to patch the edges, use the offcuts to do this.

If you want to add flourishes the pie with the remaining pastry, brush the case with milk in order to get your decorations to keep in place.

Place the tin in the fridge to chill for at least 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C(Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3 and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf to heat up.

In the meantime get on with making the filling.

Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a large bowl until light and foamy.

Add 170ml of whipping cream and the sour cream and lightly whisk until combined.

Add the salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg and again lightly whisk until combined.

Finally add the pumpkin puree and give one final light whisk.

Take the tin out of the fridge and pour the filling into the case.

Carefully, and without spilling anything, put the tin onto the baking sheet and leave to bake in the oven for 70 minutes.

The pie will be ready when you give the tin a little shake and the filling has a wobble but not a slosh to it.

Remove the pie from the oven and leave to cool.

Whilst the pie cools, add the remaining whipping cream to the clean bowl and whisk together with the icing sugar until thick.

Either dollop the cream onto the middle of the cooled pie, or allow people to help themselves when you’ve handed out portions.


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