A sticky pumpkin filling flavoured with warming cinnamon spice makes this perfect Hallowe’en Pumpkin Pie. Perfectly spiced, not too sweet, and with pecans for added crunch. A delicious Autumnal dessert!
Pumpkin Pie is a quintessentially American, Hallowe’en dessert. In England, we don’t seem to ‘do’ Hallowe’en, although recently there’s been a trend towards adopting this American tradition. I am completely behind this- I love cheesy Hallowe’en films (I’m watching Casper as I write this), carving pumpkins, creepy ghost decorations, and life being altogether spookier than normal. Perhaps I’m the lost member of The Addams Family.
Getting stuck into Hallowe’en baking is definitely an added bonus (although not exactly something I imagine The Addams Family doing). Of course I haven’t been able to do half as much as I would have liked thanks to life getting in the way, so I’ll have to hang my Hallowe’en cupcake cases up for another year (unless I can squeeze some in by Monday!). I have, however, given pumpkin pie a go, which I’ve always been desperate to do! It’s mentioned on so many American TV shows that I was really eager to see what the fuss was about.
Being in the UK, pumpkin puree hasn’t been the easiest thing to get hold of. I found mine in a big Tesco Extra (although I had to check two before I found some), around the tinned fruit and fruit pie fillings section. American sweet shops might sell it too so it might be worth checking those as well. Also, places like B&M sometimes have American foods in so you could find it in there. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could always use the insides of a real pumpkin, but I don’t feel like that would provide that artificial pumpkin taste quite like the tinned puree does!
Pumpkin Pie is unlike any other dessert I’ve tried. The filling is squidgy and sweet, with an undeniable pumpkin taste! I used evaporated milk, as opposed to condensed milk as some recipes suggest, as I thought it would prevent creating a too sickly-sweet taste. The added pecans provide an extra crunch, which works nicely with the soft filling and prevents it from being too much like baby food, in my opinion! It’s like a combination of two classic American desserts- pumpkin pie and pecan pie!
You can flavour it with whichever spices you like, but I think the classic pumpkin spice combo works the best. I opted for cinnamon, ginger, and mixed spice, but you could add ground cloves or nutmeg if you wanted to add an extra kick. This would work just as well in either a large pie, or cute individual pies like I went for! I always like to do individual ones- who doesn’t love their own pie?! (Although if you’re anything like me, one mini Pumpkin Pie is definitely not enough, so you might have to make some extras!)
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- For the pastry
- 200g plain flour
- 25g semolina
- 25g caster sugar
- 100g butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp cold water
- For the pumpkin pie filling
- 150g granulated sugar
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 2 free-range eggs
- 1 can (425g) pumpkin puree
- 1 can (410ml) evaporated milk
- Handful of pecan nuts
- Begin by making sweet shortcrust pastry. For this, cut the butter into cubes. Rub the flour, semolina and sugar into the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Beat the egg yolk and mix with the water, then slowly add this to the breadcrumb mix. Using your hands, mix together until it begins to stick and becomes a smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball, place in a bowl and cover in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190°c/170°c Fan/ Gas Mark 5/375°F. Once chilled, roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface. The pastry is fragile so be careful not to tear it. Roll it out to about 5mm thick. Carefully ease it into the tin (or individual tins, if using) and press it down and into the edges. Trim excess pastry from the edges but leave about 2cm overhanging.
- Line the case with a sheet of crumpled up greaseproof paper and pour in baking beans. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until it is beginning to look crisp.
- Remove the greaseproof paper and beans and cook the case for a further 15 minutes until the base is a golden colour and feels crisp when tapped. (If you’re making individual tarts, line with pastry and bake, lined with baking beans, for 10 minutes at 190°c, then remove the beans and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.)
- Next, make up the pumpkin pie filling. Increase the oven temperature to 200°c/400°f/gas mark 6.
- In a bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, mixed spice, and ginger. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs until well-beaten. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, along with the sugar mixture, until smooth and evenly mixed. Slowly whisk in the evaporated milk.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the prepared pastry shell (or individual shells, if using). Add the pecans in an even pattern on the top of the pumpkin mix, or just scatter over. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30 minutes. To check it is baked, insert a thin skewer into the centre of the pie and it should come out clean. Leave to cool, then carefully remove from the tin. Enjoy it warm or serve cold with whipped cream. ▪
Will keep for 2 days covered in the fridge.