The British have never really got pumpkin pie, although cookbook writers have been trying hard to make us like it for over 300 years – long before the first recipe appeared in Cucubita pepo’s native America. Jill Dupleix quotes a 1932 letter to the Times in which a gentleman marvels at the prodigious growth of the pumpkin in his garden – but adds doubtfully, “Whether it is a food worth eating remains to be seen.”
The idea of having something so vegetal for pudding freaks us Brits out slightly, as anyone who’s ever baked a courgette cake for the bring and buy sale will no doubt attest – even carrot cake took a while to catch on this side of the Atlantic. This makes pumpkin pie perfect for Halloween parties, but I reckon, with a little love and attention, this Thanksgiving classic could be a genuine seasonal hit: autumnal, colourful, and packed with the sweet spices long beloved of British cooks, it’s really nothing to be scared of.
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
400 g pumpkin- skin off
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. flour
I preheat the oven to 350° and bake the pumpkin until soft.
Then I cut the pumpkin into chunks that will fit in my mini processor and give it a good whizz with two eggs and a splash of evaporated milk until they are nice and smooth.
I transfer that to a larger bowl add the rest of the can of milk and a cup of brown sugar lightly packed. A little spice next…about a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Pumpkin pie spice is OK too. Last, just a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors. Now everything gets stirred together with the hand mixer for 30 or 40 seconds, just enough to mix it well.
I’ve made some pie shells recently and have stored them in the freezer so that one is already available. For a good recipe scroll back to my blog entry on Tart Crusts Made Easy.
This technique helps make a nice flaky crust every time. I pour the blended mixture in the pie shell and now the oven is ready to receive.
I bake the pie for about an hour. The pie needs to cool completely before serving. I like mine to be refrigerated. It’s still hot out there after all and cool things are always a good idea.