Well recovered from my appendicitis I decided to spend my post on-call Friday doing a bit of exploring. When I was young, every Autumn we would make a yearly pilgrimage to a ruined roman villa in the Cotswolds. The Villa and its beautiful mosaics , however, weren’t ironically what I recall the most though, it was its location. Set in a sheltered valley, trees now surround the rubble, and in October, these would turn the million beautiful shades of Autumn we all love. As night falls though it takes on a more spooky character…………
I’m happy to report that its magic still remains, though the little hut which you could buy a cup of tea for 25p has long gone. However, the trip did get me thinking about the season and what to make next for the blog. Well, seeing as it’s Autumn (Fall if you’re American) and Halloween is just around the corner, Pumpkin seems an obvious ingredient.
So seeing as Blair insisted it’s the best dessert of the season in Gossip Girl, here is my Pumpkin pie- from scratch, no tinned purée in site.
- 12oz plain flour
- 9oz cold butter
- 3oz sugar
- 2egg yolks
- 2tlbs milk
- 1large pumpkin
- 4oz caster sugar
- 6oz light muscavado sugar
- 375ml double cream
- 5eggs -slightly beaten
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger
You can buy the pastry or even pre-made cases but let’s face it you might as well just buy the pie if you do. The success of all pastry comes from having cold butter and cold hands to work it with -the old rule of cold hands,warm heart etc.
Start by making the sweet pastry case. Weigh out the sugar, butter and flour and transfer it to the mixer. Rub in the butter till roughly incorporated then add the egg yolks and milk. Bring the pastry together to a ball, cling film and then chill for an hour.
Whilst the pastry chills, start making the pumpkin purée. This is very simple and allows you to release your creative side. Cut the top off, empty out the seeds and fibrous bands and discard. Now hollow out the flesh and transfer to a pan.
To the pumpkin flesh add a shot of moonshine and simmer. After 20mins of shimmering, transfer the cooked pumpkin to a blender to create the purée. Set aside to chill.
Back to the case-Prepare a 12″deep pie tin by liberally buttering. Retrieve the pastry from the fridge and transfer to a well floured surface. Acting quickly, roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin, turning 90 degrees every couple of rolls. Line the tin with the pastry and return to the fridge for 30mins.
Having finished a cup of tea, take the pastry case out the fridge and prick a few million times with a fork. Line with parchment and baking beads to stop the case swelling. Cook at 180 degrees for about 15mins or until golden brown.
Just a quick tip here. To avoid the dreaded soggy bottom, glaze the case with egg and bake for a further 5 mins.
Right, the end is in sight. Make the pie filling by combining the pumpkin purée, sugar, spices and cream. I would advise before adding the eggs you taste the mix, it will allow you to add more sugar if your pumpkin isn’t sweet enough, but avoid getting salmonella.
When happy with the taste, add the eggs.
Transfer the mix to the prepared case filling to just a few mm from the edge before it’s about to overflow. Top with a little grated nutmeg, I let the old man have the honours, chief taster right, afterall.
Then bake at 180 for 55-60mins or when the pumpkin filling has a slight wobble. When done remove and let cool on a wire rack.
Time to Eat.
I’m a great fan of ghost tales, so seeing as it’s Halloween why not enjoy your pumpkin pie in style. Curl up on the sofa, grab a latte, find a copy of Lord Halifaxs’ ghost stories and read it by the light of the oil lamps whilst eating your pie with cream……….
And if all else fails, you can keep a teddy close by for when you get scared x
P.s don’t forget to like, share with your friends and message me with suggestions