Alex's Pumpkin Pie
Thanksgiving pie baked by Alex, our Head of Marketing, enjoyed at our staff lunch today. This pie is made dairy-free (and therefore vegan) because she is allergic to milk!
- 1 whole pumpkin
- shortcrust pastry, ready made or homemade
- 100 ml maple syrup
- 200g light soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoon cornflour
- 600 ml soya milk or preferred milk
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Break off the stem of the pumpkin if it is very long. Wash the pumpkin if any dirt is on the outside. Stab several vents into the pumpkin with a very sharp knife. Put the pumpkin, whole, on a baking tray and roast it in the oven. Roast until soft enough that a knife goes through it like butter – this can take between 40 mins and 1 hr, depending on the type of pumpkin you use. It will start to collapse and the skin may char. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Drape it over your rolling pin and lift into a 23cm pie dish. Push the pastry into the corners of the dish using a scrap of excess pastry (you’re less likely to pierce the pastry this way than using a finger). Trim the excess pastry, leaving about 1cm hanging over the edge of the dish; fold and pinch to create a decorative edge, or press the tines of a fork all around to create a striped pattern. Chill for 20 mins.
- When the pumpkin is cool, cut it open and scrape out the seeds (save these for roasting later). The pumpkin flesh should scoop effortlessly out from the skin. Discard the skin. Put the flesh in a collandar to drain out any excess liquid.
- Increase the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line the pie dish with a sheet of baking parchment (scrunch it up first to make it more pliable), then fill with pie weights, dried beans or dry rice. Bake for 15 mins until the sides look golden, then remove the parchment and filling. Bake for another 5-10 mins until the base looks biscuity and dry.
- Mix the pumpkin flesh with the maple syrup, sugar, salt, spices, cornflour and milk into a food processor or hand blender and blitz until smooth. Pour into a small pan and cook for 5 mins, stirring continuously, until thickened.
- Fill the prepared pie dish with the pumpkin filling, then return to the oven and lower the heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Bake for 30 mins until the filling is set when you wobble the dish. If the crust gets too brown while the filling cooks, tent with foil. Cool completely and serve at room temperature (even better topped with ice cream).
If you don't fancy making your own pumpkin puree, you can purchase the tinned version - usually available in UK shops in November around American Thanksgiving.