Pumpkin Pie

October 31, 2011

As its halloween today, I baked a pumpkin pie. I have used the receipe before and its pretty easy and makes a nice and yummy use of all the lovely pumpkins in the shops.

I bought frozen shortcrust pasty, just because I am lazy, my sister (whose birthday it is today) always makes her own pasty and it’s especially delicious! I bought a small edible pumpkin, about the same size as Alice’s head (2 year old toddler) or 8″-9″ in diameter.  I cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon, then popped the two halves in a microwaveable bowl and microwaved with an inch of water in the bottom for 15mins on highest setting. (If yours is not cooked by this time pop it back in for a couple of mins at a time until you can smush the flesh easily with a spoon). I left it to cool while I rolled out the defrosted pastry and lined my butter greased pie dish, which is 10.5″ or 27cm wide and 2″ or 5 cm deep. I blind baked the pastry for 15mins at 200 degrees C which in retrospect was probably a bit long as during second baking the edge got a bit too brown, I will probably do 10 mind next time. When the pumpkin was cool enough to handle I scooped the flesh out of the skin with a spoon, and whizzed it up with my hand blender until it was smooth, then added to the pumpkin puree, added a cup of sugar (I used light brown as I prefer it to white in cooking to give a slight caramel flavor), 1.5tsp cinnamon, 1tsp ground allspice, 0.5tsp ground ginger, 0.5tsp salt, 4 large eggs and 1 tin of evaporated milk and applied the handblender to the lot. (The receipe also called for 1tsp of ground cloves but I didn’t have any, I think this is an important flavor for a classic pumpkin pie so will get some in for next year) I poured it into my pie case and it filled it nice and deep. Its a very liquidy filling and a bit of a faff to get into the oven without slopping the filling over the sides but a coating around the edge tends to caramelise the pastry very nicely (think of ‘pasteis de nata’ portugese egg custard tarts). The recipe says bake for 30-40 mins at 170 degrees c, but I did mine a little longer as my oven is rubbish.

It is not really much of a looker, with its orangy brown filling and my slightly over cooked crust! But she tastes pretty good – I ate the slice I photographed above. If you have never had pumpkin pie before it is a  bit like an egg custard with a sweet spicy flavor and the pumpkin puree gives it a lovely texture. Not sure if the kids are too keen, I made them a apple meringue pie at the same time (see previous post https://mrspeacocksthingstomakeanddo.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/apple-meringue-pie/) which they (and Mr Peacock) chose for pudding yesterday instead of the pumpkin, so all the more for me! Trick or Treat?

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Halloween Pumpkin

November 4, 2010

Martha’s Papa George (my father-in-law) grew her a gorgeous huge pumpkin for Halloween in his allotment this year. It was a beauty. Obviously I decided it was not a great idea to have her carve it herself, so I had her draw the face with a whiteboard marker (the idea was I could clean off the ink after I had finished carving – that didn’t work out so well). Martha’s mystery Halloween illness meant that I didn’t get round to carving it until Sunday afternoon, and the face had been drawn on it for sometime by then. First I cut the lid, I cut into the pumpkin at an angle pointing to the stalk so the lid doesn’t fall in when its cut and hollowed out. I use an ice-cream scoop to get out the stringy bits and seeds and to thin down the face side of the pumpkin. Then  I used a small sharp paring knife to cut out Martha’s design. I cut an access/air hole at the back of the pumpkin quite low down so you can’t see it through the face, this makes it easy to get the lit tealights inside without burning your hands and means you can leave the lid on it, without the risk of the candles not having enough oxygen, (lack of oxygen depends on your face design, in some of them with smaller face holes the candles sputter and go out, but the traditional carve with big eyes and a huge zig zag toothed mouth allow enough air in for the candles)  which is handy when its put outside in the rain.

Martha was very pleased with it, and I am quite impressed at her scary face design. However my cunning plan of cleaning the whiteboard pen off didn’t work.