Pumpkin pie, anyone?

When I was in high school I befriended an American exchange student from Virginia who kindly invited me to stay with her. I spent a week doing all sorts of things you see in the movies, including and perhaps most memorable for me, eating pumpkin pie for the very first time. I have been determined to replicate it ever since, and the 4th of July weekend seemed like a great place to start.
Like Candice the Gorgeous Gourmet, my fellow Spatula contributor, I’ve always been very intimidated by pastry. No matter how many times someone would tell me how easy it was, I never had the confidence to make it from scratch. So, in an attempt to resolve this problem, I spent hours reading recipes, poring over blog articles, watching pastry chefs in action on TV and soaking up every available resource so that I was fully prepared when the time came.

Turns out that was all a bit of a waste of time because when I finally plucked up the courage and put aside my performance anxiety, I found that making shortcrust pastry is a piece of cake! I used Candice’s recipe except I cheated by bunging everything in a food processor (which worked like a dream) and it came out perfectly. I was rather chuffed with myself, I must admit.

Thanks also to my friend Janalyn for this pumpkin pie recipe – she is from Seattle and currently lives in Cape Town. Download print-friendly version.

Ingredients:
1 unbaked pie crust (I used a 28cm loose-bottomed tin)
150g white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
500g pumpkin purée (I roasted diced pumpkin in the oven and then blitzed into a smooth purée in the food processor. In the States
you can buy ready-made cans of the stuff).
410g can evaporated milk

Method:
1. Before embarking on this recipe, you will need to make your pie crust and roast and purée your pumpkin. Pre-heat your oven to 220⁰C.
2. Combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a small bowl.
3. Beat the eggs lightly in another large bowl.
4. Stir in the puréed pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture.
5. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk.
6. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust.
7. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180⁰C and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
8. Cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours (it’s usually eaten at room temperature rather than warm).
Serve with whipped cream or refrigerate for later. (Don’t freeze as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.)

And that’s all there is to it – easy peasy pumpkin pie. Y’all have a good day now.