If you’re anything like me, you have an abundance of pumpkins during the growing season (in fact it’s way beyond abundance, but that’s a whole other story). I’m always on the lookout for fun ways to make good use of my harvest, and what better way than a pie that can be shared with friends and family.
A tradition in America for thanksgiving, pumpkin pie is not so well known in Australia….but that may change once you try this recipe! The filling is smooth-textured, mildly sweet and lightly spiced, and balances perfectly with the short pastry. This recipe makes a *lot* of filling; you’ll have enough for one enormous pie, 2 medium-sized pies or 24 mini pies.
You can make your own pastry (see our yummy recipe below), or buy it ready-made to save time. Here I show you both ways. I bought some commercial mini pie cases and they worked brilliantly. If you’re choosing this quicker route, all you need to make is the filling.
Here’s How to Make It
Select your pumpkin then peel and chop it. The pieces don’t need to be too small, as they’ll be getting mashed once cooked. Steam or boil the pumpkin for 15 minutes or until completely softened. Steaming is preferable to boiling as it prevents the pumpkin taking on extra moisture.
While the pumpkin is cooking, start making the pastry. Blend the cold butter, icing sugar, flour and nut meal briefly in a food processor until a fine crumb is formed (you can make your own nut meal by blitzing whole nuts in the food processor). Add the egg yolk and process until combined. Don’t over-do it! Flour a chopping board then hand-knead the dough briefly. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Once the pumpkin is cooked through, put it in a colander in the sink to cool. (I used a fine-meshed colander because it will drain any excess moisture plus I can use it for the next step). Take the pastry out of the fridge, roll it out gently on a floured board then line your pie dish with it. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Top the pastry with a layer of baking paper (parchment) and dry rice (dried beans or pastry weights also work here), and bake in the oven for 10 mins on 180C (355F). Next, prepare the cooled pumpkin. Over a large mixing bowl, use a spoon or similar to mash it through a fine sieve. This is something of a time-consuming process which you could technically skip, but I recommend you do it because it makes a big difference to the final consistency. After 10 mins, remove the pastry from the oven and take off the rice and baking paper. Return the pastry to the oven and bake a further 10 minutes.
Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in separate bowls, then mix both together. The resulting filling mixture should be smooth, thick, and glossy.
Once your filling is made, all you need do is fill your pastry and bake the pies. I filled my mini cases and pre-baked pie shell and baked both at the same time. Larger pies need about 40 minutes, small individual pies cook in around 20 minutes.
Pies are cooked when the filling appears set and a skewer comes out clean. If making a large pie, cool it completely before removing it from the pie dish.
Pumpkin Spice Pie
- 1 tart tin with fluted edges & removeable base
- 1 large flat baking tray
- 1 food processor
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup almond or hazelnut meal
- 1/3 cup icing sugar or icing mixture
- 125 grams butter chilled
- 1 egg yolk
- 750 grams pumpkin, peeled and diced
- 150 grams caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 25 grams butter, melted
- 300 ml cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 pinch ground pepper
- 3/4 tsp ginger, ground
- Mix the flour, icing sugar and butter together in a food processor until you have the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolk and process until a dough *just* forms.
- Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth.
- Shape the dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap, then rest in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Preheat oven to 200C (395F) & take the pastry out of the fridge.
- Roll it out again, this time to a thickness of 3mm (1/4"). Line the tart tin with the pastry and remove excess pastry from the edges.
- Place in the fridge for 15 mins to rest.
- Cover the pastry base with baking paper (parchment) and fill it with weights such as rice or dried beans.
- Place on a baking tray & bake in the preheated oven for 10 mins.
- Remove the paper & weights, then return to the oven & bake a further 10 mins or until golden. Remove from oven.
- Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water & bring to the boil. Cover & simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain then set aside to cool.
- Turn the oven temperature to 180C (fan forced) (355F)
- Once the pumpkin has cooled, push it through a sieve, into a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together- sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk.
- Add this mixture to the pumpkin puree and stir all the ingredients together.
- Pour into the pastry shell and bake for 45 mins or until the filling has just set.
- Leave pie to cool completely before removing from the tin.