I have always, always wanted to make a pumpkin pie. It’s one of those uniquely American cultural phenomena that has always fascinated me. In Australia, pumpkin isn’t really used in sweet dishes. It’s a vegetable – we roast it, make it into soup, or risotto, but we don’t make pies or pancakes out of it. And we definitely don’t have pumpkin spice lattes. Australians like their coffee au natural.
As a result, pumpkin-flavoured desserts (especially those that mix pumpkin and chocolate!) have always fascinated me. Despite my fascination with these dishes, I had never before made one, mostly because canned pumpkin purée is extremely hard to find in Australia (like I said, we don’t do pumpkin desserts). Making homemade pumpkin purée seems kind of time-consuming, and I’d always been put off by the prospect. And so, my pumpkin pie dreams have lain dormant, languishing in the dark storeroom of my mind marked ‘Someday’.
Today I finally bit the bullet. I decided against making an actual purée of pumpkin and instead just roasted and mashed it. The result is that the filling of the pie is a little more wet than some of the other pumpkin pies I’ve seen online. It’s less like a custard and more like an impossible pie. I was really pleasantly surprised by the taste – it’s not unlike gingerbread, really. There’s also a nice contrast between the sweet, smooth filling and the cispy, biscuity pastry that prevents it from being too mushy. This pie only lasted 48 hours in my house – that’s three servings of dessert (there’s a little insight into how I figure out the amount of serves in each of my recipes, it’s basically just however long it takes my family to finish eating it).
If I make this again (which I’m planning to, maybe around Thanksgiving), I might try making it with brown sugar or even adding a brûlée to the top to create more texture. I’m also wondering if it would be good with a splash of brandy in the filling…too much? I dunno.
Let me know what you think of this recipe and how it’s different from your family’s pumpkin pie recipe. I’d love to hear some international perspectives!
serves 6 – makes one 20cm pie
1 quantity Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Pastry Dough from Gluten Free Homemaker
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup caster sugar
1.5 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp each allspice and ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 200ºC. Cut pumpkin into wedges, removing seeds. Place in a roasting tray and cover with foil (shiny side down). Roast for 30-40 minutes or until fork tender. Allow to cool completely.
- Once pumpkin has cooled, preheat oven to 160ºC. Roll out prepared pastry dough between two sheets of baking paper until it reaches around 3mm thickness.
- Lay rolled out pastry over a 20cm pie dish, and press into the dish until the pastry covers the bottom and sides of the dish. Trim off any excess pastry and reserve for later.
- Prick holes in the bottom of the pastry dish using a fork, and blind bake for 10 minutes (you can fill the dish with baking beads if you wish but it’s not all that necessary).
- While the pastry is blind baking, transfer cooled pumpkin to a bowl and mash until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, sugar, maple syrup, and spices until combined. Add mashed pumpkin, and whisk again until the pumpkin is completely mixed in to the liquids. By now, the pastry should have finished blind baking. Remove it from the oven and allow to cool slightly (remove baking beads if using).
- Roll out the reserved pastry between two sheets of baking paper, and use cookie cutters to cut out decorative shapes to add to the sides of the pie.
- Pour pumpkin mix into the centre of the pastry. Stick pastry cutouts around the sides of the pie as desired (don’t put them over the liquid mixture – they’ll just fall in). If you have any leftover shapes, you can put them on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them with sugar, and bake them later once your pie has cooked (they’ll take approx. 15 minutes to cook at 160ºC).
- Bake the pie for 40 minutes or until the filling has set. It will still be quite a wet filling but shouldn’t be runny – stick a skewer into the centre and if any liquid leaks out, return the pie to the oven.
- Allow pie to cool before serving. Serve with cream.
Keeping time: 3 days.