I love a good bargain, and you can’t get a much better buy than pumpkin at under 30c/kilo! We bought a lot, a good nine pumpkins. I spent the better part of Saturday roasting and pureeing about 15kg worth of pumpkin. We made an epic pot of soup, to stock the freezer for the cooler months. But what to do with the leftover pumpkin puree? I’d been eyeing off Gourmet magazine’s pumpkin recipes since last year, and the pumpkin pie in particular. Being an American thing, I had never actually tried one before, and this recipe looked delicious with a nice kick of caramel.
The pastry itself has no sugar, which I thought was a little odd, and shrunk a fair bit in the oven, which I found particularly annoying. If I were to make it again I would use the never-fail Tartine sweet tart dough. In fact I might just use that fabulous recipe for every sweet tart I ever make again for the rest of my life. Finally, a sweet pastry that will bake up perfectly every time and not shrink! I can’t praise it enough. I haven’t given the original pastry recipe because I found it a little uninspiring, so feel free to use your favourite (or my favourite!)
The pumpkin pie filling itself was very interesting, and a bit different to what I was expecting. When baked, it takes on a mousse like quality, which just melts in your mouth. If it were a blind taste test, I would be hard pressed to guess that the main ingredient was pumpkin. The caramel and spices round out the flavour beautifully. It’s a lovely dessert for autumn and winter when pumpkins are at their seasonal peak. I served mine with a dollop of just-sweetened whipped cream spiked with half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
This makes quite a large pie. The recipe says to make it in a deep quiche pan, however I didn’t have one and had about double the filling leftover. This pie tastes best on the day it is baked, however it can be refrigerated overnight. Bring back to room temperature before seving.
Caramel Pumpkin Pie
Adapted from Gourmet
• 1 quantity sweet pastry, use your favourite recipe, or this one which I love, par-baked and cooled in a deep quiche pan
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup water
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2 cups pumpkin puree
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• Pinch ground cloves
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
To make the filling, bring sugar and water to the boil in a large saucepan, stirring until dissolved. Gently swirl pan (do not stir) until mixture is a deep golden caramel, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and carefully add 1 cup cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until caramel has dissolved. Stir in remaining cream and bring just to a simmer.
Meanwhile, whisk together pumpkin puree, spices and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the hot cream mixture, then add eggs, whisking until just combined. Pour filling into the prepared, cool pastry crust and bake for about 55-60 minutes, or until puffed and center is set. Cool in pan, on a rack for about 2 hours. The pie will cotinue to set as it cools. Remove side of pan before serving.