Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pumpkin Pie

Sweet Short Pastry
Buy it if you must but it is so simple to make:

75g butter
3 tsp water
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg yolk (save white for pie filling)

Beat together in food processor until a blob forms. Don't try to roll into a flat sheet, just take clumps and press into your pie dish. Prick bottom of pie crust with a fork in several places.

I usually make three times the pastry and filling recipe which is plenty for two 20cm pie dishes. Any pastry and filling left over can be used in ramekins to make mini-pumpkin pies like this:

Pumpkin Pie Filling
Use this as a starting point and make up your own variations. Provided there are enough eggs to make a custard, the mixture is very forgiving:

1 cup pumpkin pulp (eg butternut or Jap/Kent)
1 egg (plus whites left over from the pastry)
1 dessert spoon flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg and ginger
2 tablespoons sugar

Blend together in food processor or big bowl until smooth.
Pour into base and cook 40 minutes at 200C (400F).

This makes a golden coloured pie like this:

If you use molasses/treacle instead of golden syrup and use brown sugar, you get a darker pie like this:

Other variations include adding grated fresh ginger and Chinese five spice. And I have it on good authority that cracks and pooling of sugar is the hallmark of a good pumpkin pie...

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