Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Last night, I tried to carve a beautiful pumpkin from an owl design I found on the Martha Stewart website. For nearly an hour and a half I carefully fleshed the pumpkin, marked out the stencil and began cutting. It was a disaster. I don't really know what I was thinking because I've never had dainty hands and I chose such an intricate design. I got so annoyed with the pumpkin that I cut it up into tiny pieces and shoved it in the fridge where it stayed all day until I figured out what to do with it.

Obviously, I needed to make a pie. A couple of weeks ago, Mum bought some Jus Rol pastry and it's been in the freezer since. I've got a thing about only cooking food from the freezer when my parents are away, so I let it defrost in the fridge whilst I was at work. When I got in, I Googled a few pie recipes, chose the one I could follow easiest (and make some changes to) and got to work. After I'd sent Ash out to the garage to bring in some cider, obviously.

Now I don't want to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I'm not a bad baker. I'm not saying that Mary Berry should be worried, but it's just one of those things I'm pretty good at. Here's my Spiced Pumpkin Pie recipe, the first recipe of my blog!

You will need; 300g of fresh pumpkin flesh, cubed, diced, chopped.. whatever. (My pumpkin was a standard one from a supermarket for carving, but it tastes fine). 1 sheet of 320g Jus Rol shortcrust pastry. Or if you're not as lazy as me you could make your own pastry. 100g muscavado sugar - dark or light! I used dark. A slosh of skimmed milk. 1 egg. 1/2 tbsp ground all spice, 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp ground ginger. Maple syrup and caster sugar to taste. Rolling pin, blender, tart/flan dish.

Put your pumpkin flesh in a microwaveable dish, cover, and heat on full power for about 10 minutes. Drain the water off in a colander. And allow it to cool for a few minutes. Whilst it's cooling, roll out your pastry. The sheet from the Jus Rol packet wasn't quite wide enough for my tart dish so I balled it up and rerolled it. Generally, I would have used a rolling pin but I couldn't find it for the life of me, so I used a Thermos flask. Nice.

Drape your pastry over your dish and bake for 15 minutes on about 180 degrees. I trimmed round the edges of mine before I put it in the pastry so it was flush with the dish, but it sank a little. Live and learn, eh?

I learnt something else tonight - the recipe I read said about filling tin foil with beans and putting them inside the dish as it baked. I didn't because I didn't know what beans they were on about and figured that the only beans in the house, baked beans, wouldn't work. After about 10 minutes I checked on the pastry and saw that it was rising in the middle! In a panic, I took it out the oven, squished down the bubbles and put it back in. It worked fine! But I've just looked up what I should have done - blind baked with a weight. You can be smarter than I was and read about it here.

Whilst the pastry is browning off for a few more minutes, make the pumpkin puree. Add the cooked pumpkin flesh in to the blender and give it a whirl, crack in the egg, pour in the sugar and all the spices and give it another whirl.
The recipe I was reading used a whole pot of cream, which I didn't have. This is where the slosh of milk came in. I dont know how much it was because I just added it out of instinct! I guess it was about as much as I'd put in a cup of tea and I like my tea strong. Vague - sorry! But I don't really know what difference it made anyway.

After it's all blended well with no lumps, take your golden brown pastry case out of the oven and very slowly pour in the pumpkin puree. Turn the oven down to 160 degrees and put in your pie to bake for around about 45 minutes. Then drizzle some maple syrup (the proper Canadian stuff) and sprinkle some caster sugar and return to the oven for another 10/15 minutes, until the top is springy and the pastry is crumbly. Et voila! Your very own seasonal pie!

I served mine still-warm with vanilla ice cream. It is AMAZING. Having never even made any pie before, expect mince pies, I am pretty chuffed with this! These photos are also a big massive lie because I had two slices, not one.

What I didn't tell you was that I made SO much pumpkin puree (almost double the measurements I've given above) that I thought I'd try out my Halloween muffin moulds. I mixed the puree up with some self raising flour and baking powder and spooned it in to the moulds. After about 25 minutes in the oven they still hadn't cooked properly so I gave up and will probably feed them to the dogs. But the ones that did cook a bit better don't look so bad, right?

If you use this recipe, make sure you Tweet/Instagram me @ohsorosie !

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