As those of us here in the southern hemisphere are about to farewell the summer... it's time to enjoy that delicious indulgent pie that defines the introduction of Autumn so well. The beautiful dark orange and earthy colours, it's rich and moist stickiness and burst of aromatic gingerbready spices all bundled up in every heavenly mouthful.
So before thinking of words like 'carb laden' and 'love handles'.... let's focus on all the good that makes this AMAZING dessert worth every bite. Pumpkins are FULL of beta carotene which is a bonus for the eyes and packed with potassium and fibre keeping our bodies clean and balanced.
This recipe adapted from 2 recipes I came across here and here was an absolute hit and with my soulful touches of creative decorations, it came out perfectly and had me feeling super chuffed and proud of myself. Mind you... it DID have me busy beeing away in the kitchen for most of the day.... but it was definitely worth it.
Wonderfully rustic and buttery crust
Decorations that say Hello Autumn
Sticky, gooey.... goodness
Shortcrust pastry and decoration ingredients (from Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay):
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
150grams cold butter cubed
2 - 3 tablespoons ice cold water
Add the flour and caster sugar into a food processor and process lightly. Then gradually add the cold butter cubes whilst the processor is still on. Once mixture is a crumbly texture add the water a bit at a time while the processor is still on. Once it forms into a ball of dough, lightly knead together and wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven 180 degrees celsius.
Also grease a 23cm spring form pan on the base and around its sides. Cover the base with baking paper.
Then remove dough from the fridge and roll out the dough between baking paper to about a 2mm thickness. Then gently place the rolled out dough into the pan and if need be fill up the sides using bits of broken off dough. Using fingers blend into the dough in the pan. If there is left over pastry dough, roll out and make pretty shapes out of it using cookie cutters or your own designs.
Place baking paper on top of the pan and cover base with baking weights. Ensure the baking paper spills over the sides of the pan so it covers the pan's edges.
Blind bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the baking paper and weights and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Then leave to rest and cool.
If you have the left over dough shapes bake for about 5 minutes until lightly golden. Then leave to rest.
Pumpkin pie filling ingredients:
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (I baked some kent pumpkin then mashed it up and let it cool)
1 cup full cream milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
good pinch of salt
In a bowl blend together the pumpkin puree, spices, vanilla extract, salt and sugar. Once combined add the eggs and milk. I used an electric beater and found the mixture flying everywhere! If you do this beat on low until a little frothy on the surface.
Pour pumpkin mixture into the pie crust in the pan. Bake at 180 degrees celsius. Check pie at 50 minutes. If it is still undercooked bake for a further 20 - 30 minutes depending on your oven. It is ready once the filling is set and a tiny bit wobbly in the middle. Once you insert a knife about 5 centimetres in from the crust's edge and the knife comes out clean it's ready!
Once cooled decorate with your short crust pastry decorations... you'll be chuffed as me and getting out the camera too xo