Apart from jumping right on the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte bandwagon every year as soon as September rolls around, the first time I tasted pumpkin pie was a few years ago, when a wonderful former colleague had baked one at home and brought it into the office to share. It embodied all of my favourite flavours, such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and instantly became one of my favourite indulgences. When Adam and I visited New York just before Halloween 2016, I was truly thrilled to discover that America offered an array of pumpkin spice products in pretty much any form you could possibly imagine; Pop-Tarts, chewing gum, candy, candles, the lot, all of which I happily crammed into my suitcase.
It’s not quite as readily available here in the UK, bar the aforementioned PSL, and after years of fawning over Pinterest images, I finally plucked up the courage to have a go at baking my own. This recipe was born via trial and error, tweaking it along the way until I found a blend of techniques and ingredients I was happy with. Granted, this one requires a fair bit of time and effort, however, it produced a smooth, warming pie which even impressed my hesitant daughters. I guess the idea of using pumpkin, something we Brits perceive as a predominantly savoury product in a sweet pie can seem strange, but it’s worth putting your reservations aside for this custardy delight.
PUMPKIN PIE WITH CINNAMON CANDIED PECANS
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
300g plain flour
2 egg yolks
125g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar, sifted
*You can use ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry if you prefer
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1x 425g of ready-made pumpkin puree (I found mine in Tesco)
1x tsp of pumpkin spice mix*
2x eggs, beaten
150g caster sugar
300g condensed milk
* you can make your mix own using a blend of ground spices – cinnamon (8tsp), ginger (2tsp), nutmeg (2tsp), and cloves (1tsp). Keep in a jar to use in other recipes, on porridge, in hot drinks, etc.
50g pecan halves
1/2tsp pumpkin spice mix
3tbsp soft brown sugar
50ml double cream or you can use squirty cream instead
1 – Place the cold butter and flour into a large bowl and rub together with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
2 – Mix in the icing sugar and egg yolks. You can add a splash of water if this is too dry
3 – Place back in the bowl, cover with cling film or reusable food wrap, and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
1 – In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the brown sugar, water and spice mix
2 – Warm on low heat until gently boiling for 1 minute
3 – Add in pecans and stir until fully coated
4 – Place on greaseproof paper until cool.
1 – Preheat the oven to 200c (180c fan oven)
2 – Roll out the pastry and line a 9inch pie dish
3 – Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes until the base is dry
4 – Place eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, spices, and condensed milk in a mixing bowl and stir until combined
5 – Remove the pie dish from oven and carefully fill with the pumpkin mixutre
6 – Turn the heat up to 220c / 200c fan oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the filling is just set
7 – Remove from oven and leave to cool. The filling should be set enough so that a skewer comes out clean
8 – Whip cream and pipe onto the pie, topping each blob of cream with a candied pecan cluster.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.