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My Favourite Autumnal Desert: Pumpkin Pie

Written by Ben Abbott on

Becky from Suffolk Secrets shares one of her favourite desert recipes: pumpkin pie.

Before my Mum married, she spent her early twenties working as an au pair for a family in New York State, USA.  During this time she learnt to cook many “American” dishes, but a favourite desert recipe that she brought back with her to Suffolk, was pumpkin pie. This was traditionally served on Thanksgiving Day in the States, but luckily for us, Mum made this delicious dish for us regularly – often using tinned pumpkin when fresh ones were out of season.

There is an abundance of pumpkin varieties currently on sale at your local green grocers or farmers’ market. Friday Street Farm Shop near Snape and Aldeburgh has lots of English varieties for sale including Blue Pumpkins and Turban Squash. I prefer to use ones with a firm flesh like butternut squash or Crown Prince to avoid the pie being too watery."

INGREDIENTS: 
Pastry

12 oz / 350g plain flour
Half a teaspoon of salt
Half a teaspoon of sugar
7 oz / 200g of chilled butter - cut into cubes
4 fl oz  / 125ml of iced water

Pie Filling
1 1/4 lb / 500g of cooked pumpkin, pureed 
2 x medium eggs, beaten
1 x 410g tin evaporated milk
6 oz / 175g dark brown soft sugar
Half a teaspoon of ground ginger
Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon (or more if you like extra spice!)
Half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg (freshly ground nutmeg is much better if you have it!)
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 200 C / gas mark 6.

METHOD:
Prepare and chop pumpkin,  discarding any stringy fibres, seeds and skin. Chop into large cubes, cover with a little water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for approximately 30 minutes until just tender (don’t overcook).
Transfer pumpkin to a colander and drain well - making sure there is no excess water. Once cooled, puree using a food processor or potato masher. Weigh out 1 1/4 lb / 500g of the cooled, pureed pumpkin for use in the pie filling. Chill in fridge.
Prepare pastry by sieving salt and flour into the food processor bowl. On a medium speed, add chilled, cubed butter to the bowl and combine until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Gradually add iced water to the bowl, one tablespoon at a time. Do not add too much water – test by pinching crumbly mixture together – if it holds together, it’s ready. 
Turn out pastry onto a lightly floured board and work gently for approximately one minute, shaping it into a slightly flattened ball. Lightly dust some cling film, wrap pastry and place in fridge for an hour.
Take pastry out of fridge and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Then roll out to 2.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Transfer pastry to a buttered 20cm pie dish, lightly press into all corners, trim and pinch around the edges.  
Combine the cooled, pureed pumpkin, eggs, evaporated milk, sugar, spices and salt in the food processor bowl and mix on a medium speed. 
Pour pumpkin filling into the pastry casing and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the mixture is set.
Serve with fresh cream!
Eat!

Ben Abbott

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