Archive for the Pies Category

Libby’s Pumpkin Pie recipe for Thanksgiving

Posted in American food, Baking, Pies, Recipes, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , , , on 24/11/2011 by libbyplummer

Libby's pumpkin pureeHappy Thanksgiving! Time for turkey, back-to-back NFL games and of course, pumpkin pie. Obviously, we don’t actually celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, but I’ll use any old excuse for some extra pudding.

I’ve named my recipe, somewhat narcissistically, after myself, as it uses Libby’s tinned pumpkin and I do like to have things with my name on (a point illustrated by my gargantuan collection of Tatty Devine name necklaces). Libby’s tinned pumpkin isn’t that easy to find in the UK, so I get mine online from the Stateside Candy Company and you can also find it at Whole Foods.

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. Enough waffling, let’s talk turkey and crack on with the recipe…

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°C/170°C (fan oven)/375°Fgas mark 5. 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 a lazy sod like me and 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).

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Whoopie pies for St Patrick’s Day

Posted in American food, Baking, Cakes, Pies, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , , , on 13/03/2011 by libbyplummer

St Patrick's Day Whoopies PiesI’m not even remotely Irish, but any excuse to drink large amounts of Guinness and eat green-coloured cakes and I’m interested. Who cares about preposterous leprechaun-based stereotyping when you’ve got bright green icing? Not I. That’s why I decided to make my very first batch of Whoopie Pies, with obligatory green colouring, in celebration of St Patrick, whoever the hell he was.

St Patrick's Day Whoopie Pie

I used the basic chocolate pie recipe from the Whoopie Pies book by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell (last year’s birthday pressie from my aunt and uncle), and filled them with vanilla buttercream (coloured green, natch). It may be a tenuous link, but here’s a fantastic pic of aging Irish hellraisers Richard Harris and Peter O’Toole enjoying a sedate afternoon tea and probably trying to reminisce on a hedonistic past that neither of them can actually remember. I like to think that these green-tinged cakes would make the perfect addition to an Irish ex-boozers’ tea party. If you happen to be catering for one.  Cheers!

Richard Harris and Peter O'Toole taking tea

Harris and O’Toole in their hellraising prime:

Richard Harris and Peter O'Toole

Pumpkin pie

Posted in American food, Pies, Seasonal food with tags , , , , , , , on 28/10/2010 by libbyplummer

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).