Some years ago, 5 to be exactly, life hit us with one of its tricks to make us put all in perspective. The expression “health is what matters” definitely made sense for us from then on and Thanksgiving day came by on a month of recovery and new life…our memories are somehow a bit blurry but the feelings of respect for life, family, friends and the day to day are very clear!
Since November 2012, we use every single occasion to celebrate (I am sure you’ve noticed!!) and exactly on Thanksgiving day of 2012 somehow the world turned in a way that our London flat became packed with friends, some from there, some that just wanted to go and check on us, some passing by and we finished at late hours of the day in a tiny kitchen eating turkey leftovers. Since then wherever we are, either a big party or like yesterday just the three of us we seat calmly at the dinner table and Give Thanks, to life for a before and after, for the the family and friends but mainly for our(s) Health!
And of course, we have turkey, and sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts…and Pumpkin Pie!
So either if you are planning a weekend Thanksgiving party, a dinner with friends or just a cosy weekend at home…take advantage of the gorgeous pumpkin season and try this Pie with your cup of tea or coffee and Enjoy!
Have a Happy Weekend
I have done this pie over and over again for the last 5 years, but never had an opportunity to photograph it as normally we straight away cut a piece of it while is still warm….yammy! Finally, yesterday I managed to bake it during the day and was able to make some photos while I was alone and before T arrived from school and stuck his little fingers on the pumpkin filling!!!
These last days have not been the best to make photos as the weather is becoming darker and the days shorter and we are all still praying for raining days to stop this dry season once for all!
After repeating the recipe many times, this is now a final version according with the V&C household taste buds. It has the perfect taste of a nutty and sweet butternut squash with a hint of orange and fresh ginger, a perfect mixture of cinnamon and nutmeg on a crunchy buttery vanilla dough base. Not too sweet…it’s just a simple but perfect pie with the right flavours for this time of the year!
For the dough base, I use a Jamie Oliver recipe which works all the time, easy, tasty and crunchy. The pie filling is my interpretation of Billy Law Pumpkin pie recipe on A Table for Two blog and it’s the final version so you can really feel the pumpkin and orange taste and not to be overwhelmed with spices.
for the pie dough
- 150 g unsalted butter , (cold), plus extra for greasing
- 250 g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
- 50 g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 large free-range egg
- semi-skimmed milk
for the pumpkin filing
- 500g pumpkin, I used butternut squash cubed and cooked – If you want cook some more use it to bake some Granola check the recipe here
- orange peel (half of a medium orange)
- piece of fresh ginger (1 cm cube)
- 100g brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 300ml thickened cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
- Cut the butternut squash into little cubes and put in a sauce pan with the orange peel and the fresh ginger, cover with water and cook until it’s soft.
- To make the pastry, cut the butter into little cubes and place in a food processor with the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of sea salt.
- Add the vanilla bean paste to the food processor mix and then pulse to fine crumbs.
- Crack in the egg, add a splash of milk, then pulse until it forms a rough dough.
- Bring the dough together on your kitchen bench, use some flour if needed, make a ball with it and then wrap in clingfilm and keep it in the fridge to cool for at least 1 hour.
- In a clean flour-dusted surface, roll out the pastry until it’s around 1/2cm thick, then loosely roll up around the rolling pin and unroll over the tart tin, easing it in and pushing it carefully into the sides.
- Trim off any excess pastry, patch up any holes, then prick the base with a fork, cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake blind (cover with some baking paper and put some rice or some beans to hold the paper) for 10 minutes then remove the paper and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until lightly golden, then leave to cool.
- While the dough cools down, rinse the pumpkin mixture and blend it all (ginger and orange peel included) until a soft silky purée is obtained. Cook the purée on fry pan for 10 minutes or just enough to remove a bit of the water that stays after blending and leave it to cool.
- In another sauce pan over medium heat, add the sugar, cream, cinnamon and nutmeg, stir well until all is well combined and bring to boil, remove from heat.
- In a bowl, gently beat the eggs and the yolk (I do this by hand) and slowly pour the hot cream mixture while still whisking. Add the pumpkin purée and if wanted (I always do) add another little of vanilla bean paste.
- Pour the pumpkin and cream mixture into the cooled pastry tin and bake for 40 minutes. The centre should be just set. Remove and set aside to cool. We normally eat a slice while still slightly warm…Enjoy!
- You can use canned pumpkin purée, but with the beautiful season pumpkin it is really worth the effort.
- You can also make the dough by hand it also works very well it just takes a little bit longer.
- If you are in for an indulgent dessert serve a piece of the pie with some nice warm vanilla custard!!
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