Updated: Oct 11, 2021
Did you know Canada has a Thanksgiving day too? It's in October and is a great start to Autumn eating. Roast dinner followed by an array of sweetly spiced pies, it was an absolute favourite of mine. When I moved back to NZ, there never used to be pumpkin purée available on the supermarket shelves, so making your own was the only way to go. These days you can find it in the international section, but I find the homemade version to be a lot more delicious and satisfying.
This pie is made with roasted, mashed pumpkin which I usually make ahead of time and store for later. You will need to roast more than 500g to get the cooked yield required, as it will lose some water during cooking. It then follows a custard method of filling, where the eggs are what help it to set. I figured out that if you allow the pie to cool in the oven while the oven cools down completely, you won't end up with big cracks in the pie. Which isn't necessarily a big problem, just less aesthetically pleasing.
If you need a recipe for short crust pastry - see here.
If you’re looking for my vegan/GF version of pumpkin pie - click here.
400g short crust pastry
500g (after cooking) roasted & mashed pumpkin
1 cup cream
2 large or 3 small eggs
1 cup caster sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg, for egg wash (or you can use cream)
Raw sugar, for decorating
1 cup cream
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
Make your pastry ahead of time and store in the fridge. If you’re using store bought, I find the blocks better to use than the sheets in this recipe.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Flour your work surface and roll out pastry to a circle at least 5cm bigger in diameter than your pie tin. Use your rolling pin to roll up the dough and transfer it over the pie tin. Then use your fingers to gently press the dough into the tin. Trim the excess dough, but leave about 2cm overhang, as the pastry will shrink. Place some baking paper on top and fill with baking beans or rice, pressing into the sides so the paper is weighed down. Blind bake for 15 minutes, then remove paper and beans and bake a further 5 minutes.
The easiest way to make the filling is in a blender or Nutribullet. Put the pumpkin, cream, eggs, sugar and spices in the blender and blend for about 30 seconds, until slightly whipped and combined. If you don’t have a blender just put everything in a large bowl and give it a really good whisk with hand beaters or a whisk.
Use any excess dough to make a braid, lattice or shapes with a cookie cutter. Brush the pastry with whisked egg or cream and then sprinkle with raw sugar. I made a very easy braid in these photos, which is just two long strips crossed over each other multiple times.
Once pastry has blind baked, reduce the oven temperature to 150°C. Fill the pastry with filling and give it a tap on the bench to remove any air bubbles. Top with your decorative pastry pieces and bake for one hour. After an hour, turn the oven off but do not open it, and leave the pie in there to cool down, for ideally 2 hours. This allows the custard to set nicely and means you won’t have any large cracks in your pie. Once it’s cooked to room temperature, store in the fridge until needed.
Meanwhile, whip together cream and maple syrup and chop pecans.
Serve chilled pie topped with maple cream and pecans.