Some people might put their noses up at my choice to use shop bought pastry to make this oh so festive pumpkin pie. My response is that life is simply too short sometimes to make pastry and the shop bought stuff isn't half bad. However, I did decide to jazz things up a little and add crushed pecans to the pastry to give it a bit of crunch. That's right ladies and gentleman, not only do I use pre made pastry, I also put PECANS IN THE PIE, NOT ON TOP. It's an unholy alliance. My only regret is that I didn't use any maple syrup, as I feel it would have added the perfect finishing sweetness to the whole thing. If you want to learn from my mistake, add about a tablespoon to the pumpkin puree mixture.
I do hope you enjoy my take on the whole pumpkin pie moment we seem to be having in the culinary world. Remember, you can always go crazy and use a butternut squash, or even sweet potato!
- 350g Shortcrust Pastry, not pre rolled as you want to be able to quickly knead the shattered pecans in
- 40g Pecan Nuts, smashed into smithereens
- 750g Culinary Pumpkin peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks (keep the seeds to roast later, they make a great snack!)
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough and dusting the pie tin
- 140g Caster Sugar
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp fresh Nutmeg, grated
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 Free Range Eggs, beaten
- 2tbsp of Ginger Beer (I used Crabbie's Spiced Orange Ginger Beer to add some depth of flavour)
- 1 tbsp Icing Sugar to dust
1. Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain pumpkin; let cool.
2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
3. Smash up your pecans in a pestle and mortar, you want a mixture of larger and smaller chunks, then knead this into the pastry block
4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 minutes.
5. Line the pastry with baking parchment and add baking beans. Blind bake for 15 minutes.
6. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 minutes until the base is pale and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
7. Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
8. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl to make a puree, discard any stringy bits. Add the ginger beer to this puree mixture.
My secret weapon!
9. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and sieved flour
10. Mix in the beaten eggs, then add to the pumpkin puree and stir to combine evenly.
11. Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C and continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set.
12. Leave to cool and then remove the pie from the tin. Dust with icing sugar and serve plain or with cream.