Friday, 17 October 2014


I had quite a bit of pumpkin left over from making my pumpkin spice muffins so I thought whilst I'm enjoying my new found fondness for those orange boulders that I'd give the classic pumpkin pie a whirl. Using my favourite sweet pastry recipe and topping with a layer of delicious dark chocolate this is more suited to serving as a pudding at a Halloween themed dinner party (or after Thanksgiving dinner if your one of my American chums!). It's defiantly a more grown up treat that you can enjoy whilst the little ones enjoy their candy hauls.

Now if you don't have 700g of pumpkin left then do not worry. You can build up the rest of the weight with butternut squash if you have one knocking around. Otherwise it's off to the shop on a pumpka-run run for you.

I've talked in the past about how much a homemade pastry is so much nicer than shop bought and I'll say it again. If you have time I insist you make everything from scratch but I know some of you are super busy so by all means go shop bought if you have too.

The pie is also delicious sans chocolate so if your trying to pull back the reigns on your cocoa consumption then just eat your pie naked! Its up too you. Take a look at the recipe below and see what takes your fancy this Halloween.

"Pumpka Pie"

For The Pastry

100g Hard Butter (Cut Into Small Cubes)
 170g Plain Flour
30g Ground Almonds
50g Golden Caster Sugar
Zest Of 1 Lemon
Half Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 or 2 Egg Yolks
For The Filling

750g Cubed Pumpkin
140g Golden Caster Sugar
Good Pinch Of Salt
4 Tsp Pumpkin Spice 2 Beaten Whole Eggs
25g Butter
175ml Milk
100g Dark Chocolate

  1. Begin with the pastry, place the butter and flour into a bowl and with cold dry hands rub them together until all the butter is mixed in and it resembles breadcrumbs. Take the time to make sure all the butter is mixed in so your pastry is nice and short when baked.
  2. Mix in the almonds, sugar and lemon zest and mix until well combined. Add in the vanilla extract and 1 of the egg yolks. Start to work the pastry together with your hand. If the dough is not coming together then add a second egg yolk.
  3. Once the pastry has come together, roll into a tight ball andwrap in cling film. Leave in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes but if you leave it for any longer keep an eye on it so that it doesn't go too firm and hard to roll out.
  4. After resting in the fridge, take out your pastry and on a floured surface roll out the pastry as thin as you can so that it will fit into a 20cm tart tin. Use any leftover pastry to patch up any breakages. Prick the pastry base a coupe of times all over with a fork and then please back in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes and turn the oven on to 180 degrees (160 fan)
  5. Place a piece of foil into the tart and pour in some baking beans(use rice if you don't have beans). Place the bean filled tart case into the oven for 15 minutes before removing the foil and beans and baking for a further 6 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool and turn the oven up to 220 degrees (200 fan).
  6. Whilst the pastry bakes, please the pumpkin into a pan of water and bring to the boil. Boil for ten minutes until the pumpkin is soft before draining and leaving to one side to cool.
  7. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, salt and 2 tsp of pumpkin spice before adding in the eggs, butter and milk and beating until everything is well combined.
  8. The pumpkin and mash into a smooth puree. Push the pumpkin through a sieve to achieve a really smooth paste. Add the pumpkin puree into the bowl with the other ingredients and beat again until everything is well combined.
  9. Pour the filling into the pastry case and please in the oven for 10 minutes on the middle shelf before reducing the heat to 180 (160 fan) to bake for a further 35 minutes until the filling has set with the faintest hint of a wobble in the middle. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  10. Once the pie is cool, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water (make sure the water does not touch the bowl!). Pour the melted chocolate over the pie and smooth out right  to the edge of the pan before sieving over the remaining tsp of pumpkin spice over the top for a final flourish.
Leave the chocolate topping to set before cutting yourself a big slice. The chocolate should of formed a crisp layer that will crack  and snap beautifully when you glide a knife through it. Its every so satisfying.

The pie itself is beautifully sweet and delicious, perfect when served with a helping of single cream over the top.

There is certainly nothing scary about this "Pumpka-Pie!"
 Happy Halloween!

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