Last year, after carving a grizzly face in a pumpkin and watching his eyes flicker from the candlelight inside over dinner, I decided it would be a good time to bake my own version of the American autumnal classic – pumpkin pie. Not only would it be the first one I’d ever made, but also the first I’d ever eaten. Exciting!
I plonked my pumpkin on the counter with all the other ingredients I’d bought and got to work carving and peeling. SO much effort went into this one dessert that I have no doubt my muscles were bigger by the time I’d finished with it. Unfortunately, the end result was disappointing. The flavour was terrific but the pumpkin had curdled with the egg and milk so that anyone I offered it to turned their nose up and their back on it (fortunately all the more for me).
This year, I decided to go in with a fresh attitude and a new approach. I found a whole host of recipes that tell you to buy soft pack pumpkin in a tin. They TELL you to! So I did. And it saved me time, money and energy, hurrah!
I took the list of ingredients to the shop with me but got a bit carried away with alternative ideas while I was there and ended up adding a bit of a twist to the usual Pumpkin pie recipe. It didn’t look quite as pretty as all the ones I’d seen on Pinterest, but flavour-wise it turned out brilliantly, though I say so myself.
If you’d like to have a go, here are the details of how to bake a pumpkin pie, with a chocolatey ginger spice.
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons caster sugar
100g cold butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold water
1 orange: the rind
425g pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/4 cup (40g) brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
100g dark chocolate (preferably flavoured with orange or ginger), chopped
Preheat the oven to 180 0 C/Gas mark 4.
Coat the ovenproof pie dish or springform tin with butter and then lightly sprinkle it with flour. Shake off the excess flour. This just stops the pastry sticking to the side.
To make the base, mix flour with salt, cinnamon and sugar. Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingers until the ingredients form crumble-style crumbs (or put it all in a food processor and pulse-mix). Then add the egg, orange rind and lemon juice. Knead it well and, if necessary, add a tablespoon of water. Roll out and gently lift it into your tin/dish. Lightly press down the sides, cut off the excess dough, prick the bottom with a fork and refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix the two types of sugar, spices and salt. Add the pumpkin puree and combine. Then add the two eggs and mix. Finally, add the chocolate and combine thoroughly.
Pour the filling into the prepared base. Bake at 200 0 C for about 6-10 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 180 0 C for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and then chill in the fridge. Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt.