Apart from Halloween, the best thing about this time of year has to be pumpkin pie, although of course the two go hand-in-hand. I usually use the flesh from my Halloween pumpkin to make the pie, but I also get a few tins of Libby’s pumpkin puree in too, partly for convenience, and partly from the narcissistic joy it gives me to buy something with my name on it. It’s not very easy to find in the UK, so I get mine online from www.americansweets.co.uk.
You can make the pastry yourself if you want, but I prefer to cheat and use a ready-made pie case as they’re much less likely to burn or go soggy. Here’s the recipe that I use:
What you’ll need:
2 x ready-made pastry cases (around 8in diameter)
4oz/110g/1 cup light soft brown sugar
A good pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1 large egg
14oz/450g/4 cups canned or fresh pumpkin puree
1/4 pint/150ml/just under 3/4 cup whipping cream
What to do:
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C/gas mark 5 (170 degrees if using a fan oven). If using fresh pumpkin, boil the flesh until soft and then drain. Make sure that it’s as drained as is possible, otherwise you’ll end up with far too much moisture in your mixture. Next, mash it up with a potato masher.
If you’re using tinned pumpkin, then you can skip to straight to the easy bit. Mix together the sugar, salt, cinnamon, mace and egg and beat with a fork. Once it’s all mixed in well, add the pumpkin and the cream and mix together until it’s all combined. Dollop it carefully into the two pie cases and even the mixture out with a spatula. Bung in the oven for about 35-35 mins until the filling looks slightly firm and the pastry is just beginning to go golden brown. Leave to cool. Serve on its own or top with cream (there’s usually some leftover whipping cream if you’ve bought a big enough pot).