Would it even be autumn without pumpkin pie? Well, probably. To be honest, I’ve only had pumpkin pie once or twice.. including the one I made with my friend Nikola yesterday. It’s not really a thing in the U.K… but, as a true lover of all things pumpkin-spice I thought I’d give it a go.
This recipe is actually a recipe for a butternut squash pie. I read somewhere a long time ago that you can’t use carving pumpkins for pies, and U.K. supermarkets don’t really have a wide selection of pumpkins, they have big ‘Jacko-o’-lantern-style ones, or teeny-tiny baby ones (like the one pictured). With this in mind, I played it safe and went for butternut squash. I’m pretty sure when I was in Australia they called it a butternut pumpkin anyway, so I feel like I’m in the clear.
You’ll need to set aside a whole afternoon/ evening for this recipe, there’s a lot going on; you need to make the pastry, cook the pumpkin, blind-bake the pastry, make the filling, assemble the pie, cook the pie, all before you eventually get to eat the pie. I’d allow a good three hours. Now I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t actually blind-bake the pastry because I forgot, but with a little extra cooking this pie came out just fine… so I’m going to give instructions for how to make a pumpkin pie (butternut squash pie) the right way, and instructions on how to make it the lazy persons (my) way.
- 225g plain flour
- 100g unsalted butter
- 2 average-sized butternut squash
- ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
- maple syrup
- 30g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 200ml double cream
PREHEAT OVEN TO 180˚C
Preparing your squash
- In a measuring jug, mix together 1/4 teaspoon of your ground spices and mix with approximately 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- Quarter your butternut squash, and remove the seeds (set aside for later) and lay the quarters on a baking tray
- Drizzle your syrup mixture over the squash
- Seal the tray with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.
The shortcrust pastry
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl
- Rub in the butter
- Add the salt
- Knead the dough until combined (you may need to add a few tablespoons of cold water)
- Let the dough rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes
- Once the dough is rested, roll out the dough to the approximate thickness of a pound coin
- Drape the pastry over your pie dish, and line the dish evenly
- If you’re blind-baking the pastry, place it in the oven with your pumpkin/ squash for 20-25 minutes…. if you’re lazy like me… set it aside and have a cuppa.
Preparing the filling
- Allow the butternut squash to cool before scooping out the flesh with a spoon and transferring it to a food processor
- Blitz the squash with a further 1/4 teaspoon of all the ground spices and a further 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- Transfer the blended squash to a mixing bowl
- Add the sugar, eggs, and then the cream and mix together
- By now your pastry should be cool, if not allow it to cool before transferring the filling to the pastry case
- Bake for 45 minutes at 180˚C if you blind baked your pastry…. or about an hour if you didn’t bother.
- Wash the seeds you set aside at the start of the recipe
- Lay them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment
- 10 minutes from the end of the pie baking time, put the seeds in the oven and bake until lightly golden and crispy
- Once the pie is baked, sprinkle the seeds on top, and serve with the remaining double cream, or a little ice cream