PAM’S PUMPKIN PIE
A favourite around Halloween, this sweet, spiced recipe was a hallmark of my childhood. It’s divine as a pie, or simply as a custard. Serve with whipped cream/yogurt mix for added panache.
150 g brown (light or dark) sugar
1 tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
350 ml pumpkin puree*
250 ml milk
2 eggs, beaten
Combine all the dry ingredients in the order given. Mix well together the puree, milk and eggs. Combine and blend well with the dry ingredients. Pour into chilled pastry shell (or directly into a buttered baking dish for the custard version). Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. If you bake it as a custard, make it a deeper dish and bake for closer to 50 minutes.
Chop a medium sized pumpkin into large chunks. Scrape out and discard / compost the seeds. Cover with water in a large pot and boil / simmer for about 25 mins or until soft. Drain well, let cool. Scoop out the soft flesh, discard / compost the skins. Blend. It’s ready for the pie.
Store any extra puree in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months. Use in sauces (think Pumpkin Bolognese or pumpkin-based curry), breads, soups, or more pies!
Super-quick with a food processor but by-hand works too.
215 g plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
125 g cold butter
50 g cream cheese
½ tsp vanilla extract (optional but nice)
Food processor: Combine the flour, sugar, salt in the container of a food processor. Add the cold butter, cut up into pieces, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cream cheese and process again for a few seconds, Beat the egg with pulses just until the pastry pull itself together into a solid mass. Remove dough from processor.
By hand: Cut butter into pieces, add to flour / sugar / salt mixture. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work butter into dough until it resembles coarse meal. Work in the cream cheese. Whip the egg well with a fork before blending it into the dough.
Form the dough into 2 even balls, roll out onto a well floured surface. Lay it onto 2 greased 27 cm (8-inch) pans, pressing the edges down along the rim of the dish then trimming the overhang with a sharp knife. Chill the prepared pie shells in the fridge while you make the custard filling.