This popular dessert graces many an American table over Thanksgiving, with cinnamon and ginger-laced aromas wafting invitingly through the house. For a pie with a firmer texture, you can use Queensland Blue or Kent pumpkins, which are drier than the other varieties.
- 200 g (1⅓ cups) plain flour, plus extra, to dust
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 150 g cold unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 750 g Queensland blue pumpkin (see Note), cut into wedges, seeded, skin on
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 150 g brown sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground ginger (see Note)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 375 ml (1½ cups) evaporated milk
- 75 g (⅓ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
- 80 g pecans
- 60 g butter, at room temperature
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 30 minutes
Standing time 15 minutes
To make pastry, process flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until mixture resembles crumbs. Add 1 tsp iced water, egg yolk and lemon juice, and pulse until mixture just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, then shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Lightly grease a 23 cm pie dish. Dust work surface with extra flour, then roll out to a 31 cm round. Trim edges, place over pie dish, then press to line base of dish. Fold any overhanging pastry back onto rim to form a double crust and crimp edges using a fork. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Blind-bake for 15 minutes, then remove weights and paper, cover the edge of pastry shell with foil to prevent browning and bake for a further 10 minutes or until pastry is dry and golden. Remove from oven, remove foil and cool slightly.
To make filling, steam pumpkin, skin-side up, over a pan of simmering water for 30 minutes or until tender. Using a spoon, scoop cooked flesh into a strainer sitting over a bowl and set aside for 15 minutes to drain excess liquid*. Discard liquid.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs with sugar, maple syrup and spices on high speed for 3 minutes or until pale. Add evaporated milk and pumpkin, and beat on low-medium speed until well combined. Pour mixture into pastry case and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C and cook for a further 50 minutes or until almost set in centre. Cover edges with foil if over-browning.
Meanwhile, to make pecan topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Remove pie from oven, scatter over pecan topping and bake for a further 10 minutes or until top is caramelised. Cool before serving.
• Queensland blue pumpkin is slightly drier than other varieties. Kent pumpkin may be substituted. Canned pumpkin is commonly used in the USA. It is important that the cooked pumpkin be as dry as possible to produce a firm, custard-textured filling.
• You can substitute mixed spice for all the ground spices. In the USA, pumpkin pie spice (typically a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice) is used.
• For a firmer filling, place cooked pumpkin flesh in a sieve lined with muslin cloth extending over sides. Fold muslin over top of pumpkin and top with a heavy weight and place in the fridge overnight. Discard juices.
Photography by Janyon.
As seen in Feast magazine, November 2011, Issue 3.