Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Later that day...pie!

I did get around to making our pumpkin pie. It was a recipe I gleaned from either a magazine article or book.

Back when I was a maturing teenager, I was too broke to buy my own cook books so I went through many library books and my mother's own collection, to create a folder of mixed recipes. I wish I'd noted titles of books or editions of magazines I poached them from, as now I can't credit the original authors.

With that in mind, here is the, "American Pumpkin Pie", recipe.


Rich Short Crust Pastry

1/2 cup (125g) butter
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
squeeze lemon juice


1 1/2 cups cooked, drained & sieved pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of salt

Initially preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. I do this when I'm ready to line the pastry dish.

For the rich short-crust pasty, just sift the dry ingredient into a bowl, then dice the chilled butter into it. I let mine sit for about 10 minutes before rubbing the butter in - until it's the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.

Mix the yolks, water and lemon juice together. I used 3 bantam eggs for the 2 required in this recipe.

To separate my yolks, I use one of these little do-hickies. Some people prefer to use their hands, but with fresh bantam eggs this gadget saves a lot of drama. Placing it on top of a glass, collects the whites neatly too.

Next step is to add the combined liquid ingredients to the bowl, then mix together until a moist ball leaves the bowl clean. You'll need to use your hands for this bit. I wrap the ball in cling-wrap then set aside in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Now comes the interesting part of rolling the pastry out. Flour your working surface lightly, then place ball of pastry in the middle. With a lightly floured rolling pin, work pastry carefully to make it cover a 26cm (10 inch) flan dish. You'll need an extra couple of inches to cover the sides of the dish as well. I like to lightly grease it before placing the pastry in.

I also use my rolling pin to help lift the thin pastry into the dish.

Once lifted into the dish however, lightly press against the entire surface, so the pastry isn't pulling. Then use a knife to cut the rough ends off, leaving a neat finish. Now your flan is ready fill.

For the filling, cook the pumpkin, drain off, then mash it through a fine sieve. Ideally this should be done well in advance of mixing in the rest of the ingredients, so it has a chance to cool down. To the cooled pumpkin, add the eggs and all other ingredients.

I used an electric mixer, set on low, to blend all the ingredients together. Don't create too many air bubbles however. When combined, gently pour the filling into the flan dish. It should look like the picture below.

Place the dish on a tray, then set in the oven. Once it has baked for 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius, reduce to 180 degrees for a further 45 minutes.

The centre may still look soft after cooking, but will set evenly as it cools.

I think it tastes even better if left in the fridge for a day. This pie rarely makes it to see another one after that!


  1. Hi Chris
    I know you wrote this a while ago, but I am just exploring the rest of your blog.....what a gorgeous pie crust on the pumpkin pie! I had to complement you as this is the one thing about baking that I find challenging. I can make anything but not pie crust!

  2. Yes, I've tried a few pie crusts without much luck either. I found the best recipie is the Rich Short Crust Pastry, as it has an egg-yolk added.

    This helps hold the pastry together when you roll it thin. One thing I tended to forget with pie crusts, is that they rise when baking - so rolling thin compensates.

    I also fork the base of pie crust before putting it in the oven, and if possible, I aim for a couple of mm extra on the edge to compensate for shrinkage.

    The things you learn when you make mistakes, LOL. :)


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