Pumpkin pie

Charita Jones' sweet pumpkin pie is packed full of hearty spices to warm your soul
By Charita Jones
Pumpkin pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus chilling
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 pumpkin
  • 230 ml water
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice or mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp lemon essence
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 canned sweetened condensed milk

For the pastry

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130 g butter, diced
  • 4 tbsp cold water

Method

1. For the filling: wash the pumpkin and pat dry. Slice off the top and remove the seeds, scraping the cavity clean. Cut into eight pieces and place into a large microwaveable bowl along with the water. Cover the bowl with cling film and microwave on medium for 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Check and turn every 5 minutes or so to avoid overcooking.

2. Remove the pumpkin from the microwave and allow to cool. When cool enough to touch, remove the outer skin, pour off all the excess water (you can reserve this for a vegetable stock or to cook down and use in a sweet pumpkin sauce) and push the softened flesh through a sieve into a bowl.

3. Transfer the pumpkin flesh into a food processor and add the rest of the remaining filling ingredients. Pulse until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set aside.

4. For the pastry: combine the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

5. Gradually mix in the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

6. With floured hands, pat the dough into a smooth ball and push down to flatten it. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

7. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

8. Divide the dough into two balls and roll out each one thinly. Use to line two 23cm pie tins and trim off the excess from the edges. Fill the pie case with baking beans and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove the beans, return the pie case to the oven and bake for a further five minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown.

7. Fill the pie crust with the pumpkin mixture. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170C/gas 3 and bake for another 45 minutes, or until the pie is firm and when a knife inserted into centre comes out clean.

8. Serve the pie in slices with fresh cream.

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