It’s October and the market is overflowing with pumpkins. Therefore, I couldn’t resist but to get one a few days ago and make this amazing yummy pumpkin pie. Not that you need to have an excuse to make this deliciousness.
A bit of a backstory – pies are not really traditional where I come from, so neither is pumpkin pie. You would maybe use pumpkins in a slightly different version (apart for feeding pigs with them) or make pumpkin soup.
Moreover, we don’t have Halloween so I wasn’t that familiar with this idea up until two years ago. Living in Prague on and off for the last 15 years and being exposed to a big American expat society here, one just couldn’t escape Halloween and all the pumpkin-themed treats that came with it. And I have to admit – I have quickly become a fan!
I used this Allrecipes.com pumpkin pie recipe as a base. Of course I tweaked it a bit, just because. Here’s my take on it.
- 165 g all – purpose flour
- 3 g salt
- 100 g shortening (I used butter, because, well, BUTTER)
- 50 ml cold water
Pumpkin pie filling:
- 490 g mashed, cooked pumpkin (mine weighed around 600 when I scraped it out, so I used the entire thing)
- 150 g cooking cream
- 165 g packed brown sugar (I used two large generous spoons of organic honey from our friend’s family farm)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1g ground cinnamon
- 0.9 g ground ginger (I used fresh ginger)
- 2 g ground nutmeg
- 3g salt
- + lemon zest (the recipe doesn’t call for it but we had some organic lemons from our friend’s garden at hand so why not)
Cut the pumpkin in two, scrape out the seeds and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake for approx an hour at 200 C.
While the pumpkin is baking, prepare the pie crust. I know a lot of people shy away from this, but it could’t be easier, All you need to do is cut the softened, room temperature butter into the flour and crumble between your fingers. The more you crumble, the more it will be coming together. When you have it crumbled into little tiny crumbs of buttery flour, add the water, which will bring it together. Fold into a consistent dough, wrap in foil and put in the fridge.
Let the dough sit in the fridge for about 30 min, it will be much easier to manipulate because of the thickening of the butter in the cold. Then roll out and place into your baking pan, make holes with a fork throughout (this will stop it from inflating) and stick it into the hot oven (250 ºC). Now, if you’re fancy and have pie weighs, use those. If you don’t and have no idea what that is, you’ll have to be resourceful, like me. The thing is, as the butter will start melting due to the heat, your dough will likely start to melt down on the sides of the pan, unless you’ve rolled it out so that it sticks over the edge, which I never do. Dunno, somehow it seems like a waste of perfectly good dough. But there’s a little trick to it – after about 5 min in the oven, quickly take it out and user your fingers to gently push the dough back up. At this point it will be already firm enough not to melt away anymore but soft enough to be manipulated. Aha! Bake for another 5-10 min, until nicely golden and take out of the oven, reducing the heat to 180 ºC.
After the pumpkin is baked (you’ll notice it’s gone all soft and mushy), scrape out the pumpkin meat into a large bowl. Smash some more with a fork and mix well. Then add cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and all the other goodies you think would fit. The recipe above gives strict measurements for flavoring your pumpkin puree but I went with the flow and my taste buds, tasting all the way through combining the ingredients. One hint – make sure your pumpkin has cooled down before you add the eggs because if you add the eggs into hot pumpkin puree you’ll end up with scrambled pumpkin egg dough which is not something you want.
Once you’ve added everything and are happy with the taste, blend it out a bit more with a hand blender, to get that wonderful creamy texture. Pour into the dough and bake for cca 40 min or until a toothpick you stick in the middle comes out clean. It’s always very difficult for me to give exact baking directions, because every oven is different, so if it takes a bit longer or shorter don’t sweat it.
Et voila! No big science here, once done let it cool down a bit (if you resist!) and whip up some whipped cream to serve with. Enjoy!