Pumpkin Pie

I spent years avoiding pumpkin pie as most recipes I’ve seen are full of cream, which I can’t eat. But when I went for dinner at The Roebuck, in Borough, South London, with head chef Jareth Mills, that changed.

Jareth, who contributed two recipes for Leftover Pie, had specially made a pumpkin pie for me, and I was sad not to be able to try it.  Mr Pitt obliged, of course, and declared that it was delicious and that we really shouldn’t miss out on this wonder.

Here’s my cream free and (fairly low sugar) version of a pumpkin pie – the version that I made yesterday at the fabulous Cogges Manor Farm Pumpkin Festival.

I used a 20cm quiche dish.

For the pastry

  • 120g plain flour
  • 60g butter, cubed
  • 1 dessert spoon of caster sugar

For the filling

  • 250 to 350g pumpkin flesh, scooped out with a spoon or cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 pint of milk
  • 1 dessert spoon of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice (or just ground cinnamon or ground nutmeg)

To make the pastry, put the flour and butter in a large bowl. Rub together until it is mixed to the consistency of breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and use a knife to mix in 1 tablespoon of water. At this point sprinkle in the caster sugar. Gradually add another tablespoon of water, mixing until it all comes together into a dough. I keep coaxing it together with the knife and then when it is almost all bound together I gather up the last bits by wiping the ball of dough around the bowl. Knead it gently to get it smooth, then flatten the ball and roll it out and smooth it into your flan dish.  Cover the pastry with some baking parchment (I use a reusable baking parchment), then cover with ceramic baking beans if you have them, or cover with another over proof plate to stop the pastry from bubbling up.  Part bake at 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6 for 15 to 20 minutes until it just starts to turn golden.

To make the filling, cook the pumpkin flesh in a little water for 15 to 20 minutes to soften it, then strain well, gently pressing the water out of the pumpkin.  Keep the water for pumpkin soup. Once drained, push the pumpkin flesh through a sieve to make a purée (or use a hand blender). Beat the egg in a jug and then beat in the caster sugar. Add in the milk, stirring gently so it comes together smoothly then stir in the spice.  Gradually add this mixture into the pumpkin flesh, stirring to get a pourable consistency.

Pour your filling into your pastry case and bake at 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 for 45 to 50 minutes until the filling has set.

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Anna Pitt

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