Essential baking for Autumn time in the US, this pie is delicately set and spiced with a good crisp crust. A big dollop of boozy maple cream on the side really complements the flavour of the pumpkin.
1 hour 45 mins
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
For the pastry: plain flour for rolling | 350g ready-made shortcrust pastry For the filling: 3 eggs | 100 g light brown soft sugar | 50 g caster sugar | 1 tsp vanilla extract | 1 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ginger, mixed with 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg | 120 ml double cream | 120 ml milk | 2 tbsp maple syrup | 425 g pumpkin puree (see tip below) | pinch of salt For the cream: 150 ml double cream | 1 tbsp maple syrup | 1 tbsp bourbon or whisky
WHAT TO DO
- Lightly flour the work surface, then roll out the pastry until large enough to line a 23cm pie tin (one with a lip is best). Use the tin as a guide for size, and try to keep the pastry as round as you can.
- You can either use the rolling pin to lift the pastry into the tin, or try this method: dust the top of the pastry with a little flour, then fold it first in half, then into a triangle. Lift it into the tin, then unfold.
- Press the pastry against the edges of the dish, then trim off the overhanging pastry with a sharp knife. Prick the bottom all over with a fork, right down to the metal. Crimp the edges, if you like, pushing the pastry between your thumb and forefinger to make deep, V-shaped indents. Repeat all the way round, then chill the pastry for 15 minutes, or longer if you have time.
- Preheat the oven to 190 C (170 C fan/gas 5). Put the tin on a baking tray. Tear a sheet of foil large enough to completely cover the pastry, edges and all. Pour in baking beans to cover the base, mounding them up a little towards the edges. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Check under the foil; if the pastry looks dry and set, remove the covering. If not, bake for another 5 minutes. When ready, carefully spoon out the hot baking beans, then remove the paper or foil. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until it is golden and feels sandy. If the edges colour before the base is ready, cover them with foil.
- Make the filling while you wait. Beat the eggs, saving 1 tablespoon to glaze the pastry case later. Beat the rest of the filling ingredients into the egg to make a thin custard.
- Now we need to seal the pastry as the filling is so runny. Brush the pastry all over with 1 tablespoon of reserved beaten egg, then bake for 2 more minutes, until shiny.
- Pull the oven rack out a little. Pour the filling into the crust, without letting it overflow, and slide the oven rack back in.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges have risen slightly and the centre wobbles gently. Leave to cool in the tin. To make the cream, whip the ingredients together until just thickened.
Serve the pie at room temperature or chilled, with the cream.
To make the pumpkin puree, roast large chunks of pumpkin with just a little oil for 30 minutes at 200°C (180°C fan/gas 6), or until softened. Puree or mash well, then pass through a sieve until smooth. Allow to cool.
Recipe Jane Hornby What to Bake & How to Bake it