Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, Michaelmas, or a family gathering, a pumpkin pie makes for an irresistible treat. I prefer my pumpkin pie to have a custardy filling- if you prefer a more dense filling, leave one of the eggs out of the recipe.
The Pumpkin Filling
2 kilos of fresh, chopped hokkaido pumpkin or butternut squash, cooked
1 ½ cups of condensed milk or cream
½ cup pressed brown sugar
4 packets of vanilla sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ rounded teaspoon cloves
1 rounded teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
For this recipe, I admit that I bought my crust. I used a spelt pastry dough that turned out perfectly.
An easy alternative crust can be made with graham crackers or cookie crumbs. I love smashing up Dutch Speculoos Cookies- theor gingerbread-y flavor makes a perfect compliment to the pumpkin:
2 cups cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
Pour the cookies into a plastic freezer bag and seal it tightly, letting out the air. Cover it in another plastic bag for protection, and use a rolling pin or a pot to crush the cookies into small crumbs. Add the sugar, melted butter and cookies to a large bowl and mix to combine. Mix the sugar and butter into the crumbs until you have a clumpy dough. Press the dough by hand into a pie pan and bake at 175°C for about 10 minutes until it is firm. Then fill and bake.
Preheat your oven to 175°C.
Cook the pumpkin in boiling water on medium heat for about 10 minutes. It is cooked when the color has fully deepened, and a fork can easily slide in and out of the pumpkin chunks. Drain the pumpkin and puree using a hand blender. Strain your pumpkin puree through a sieve to remove any small chunks.
Note: if you are cooking for a crowd, you can puree the pumpkin ahead of time. Pureed pumpkin can be safely kept in the refrigerator for a week, so if you have a big pumpkin and can’t use all of your puree, save it! Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, or pumpkin soups are all great ways to use up extra pumpkin!
2. In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, vanilla sugar and maple syrup into the warm pumpkin puree. The heat from the pumpkin caramelizes the sugar a little for a delicious flavor! Set the mixture aside to cool.
3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs into the condensed milk or cream. Set aside.
4. Add the spices into the cooled pumpkin puree. Then, mix in the condensed milk and egg mixture. Stir until combined.
5. If you are using store-bought crust, take it out of the refrigerator and use it to line a 9 inch pie pan. If you are not, you can make the cookie crumb crust ahead of time and use it now.
6. Pour the filling into the crust and bake at °175 C for about 40 minutes, checking frequently. When the pie is firm in the middle and doesn’t wiggle when shaken, your pie is done. About halfway through the cook time, cover the crust with tin foil to keep it from burning.
7. When your pie is finished, remove it from heat and allow it to cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Fresh nutmeg is very affordable and very flavorful! Here’s how to use a nutmeg nut:
First, break the outer shell and remove it. You want to use the seed in the middle. Grate the nutmeg on the finest side of your grater.
Only use about ¾ of the nutmeg called for in the recipe, as fresh nutmeg has a stronger flavor.
Keep your nutmeg stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
You can also use a nutmeg mill for easier grinding.
Additionally, Muscovado Cane sugar has a rich and malty flavor that is perfect for bringing out the flavor of the pumpkin. Alternatively, coconut sugar is a mineral rich alternative to processed sugars.