I've been dreaming of pumpkin pie ever since the weather turned colder. I make one every year, using a mixture of ideas from online recipes and my own ideas.
We bought a small culinary pumpkin in our last grocery shop, and before I could get my hands on it, it was drawn on and carved into this:
Totally Charlie's design, and the bit under the mouth is his tie, apparently. As Charlie's dad doesn't have an office job, ties here are a real sartorial treat.
So I got a bowl of scrapings, seeds and a few lumps, which I gutted with surgical precision, steamed in the microwave with a plate on top to keep in the moisture, and pureed.
I had about 2 cereal bowls worth of puree, or maybe 3 mugfuls.
As usual all amounts are approximate, don't start complaining if yours doesn't work out after following my ideas!
I reunited a Springform tin with its base, they had been apart for more than a year, and made a quick pie crust (pastry) with about 1.5 mugs of self-raising flour (had no plain flour) and about 3/4 mug of butter, forked in, then mixed with hands and some dubious milk to make a dough. I oiled the tin with olive oil as it was near, and pressed the dough in, in the absence of a clean area to roll it out, and little time to be faffing. Pressed it up the sides, about an inch, and put in the oven while it was heating to 180 C.
I then took the pumpkin puree and beat in 2 large eggs, some milk (1/3 mug?) some caster sugar (3/4 mug?) vanilla extract and mixed spice. Looking very watery, but that's ok apparently.
I removed the now puffy pastry case from the oven, pressed it all down with the back of a spoon, poured in the puree mix and put it into the oven, turning it down to 160 C as my oven is a bastard for burning things, think the thermostat is gone.
It's been about 10-15 mins now, I'll go and check it... looks good and smells great. The pie crust is browning, the custard (that's basically what the filling is) is setting around the edges. You want to cook it long enough until a knife comes out clean from the centre. Set but not cremated. Probably 20-30 mins in a normal oven, mine will cook for another 10, then I'll turn the oven off and leave it in there to cool and cook for a couple of hours.
Here's a photo of a pumpkin patch in America, why don't we have these in Ireland? They're glorious, and you go and pick your own, like with Christmas trees.
And the finished result!
It turned out a bit too sweet, I'd use less sugar next time, or maybe just a little honey. You can also do this with cooked and pureed carrots / butternut squash or sweet potato.
Hope you feel inspired to bake this week!