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Friday, October 4, 2013

American pumpkin pie (from scratch)

The pumpkin pie we used to make every autumn while we were kids wasn't made in this style. It has a base and a topping of puff pastry and the pumpkin in it was grated while raw and retained its texture after baking as well. While the Romanian-style pumpkin pie will always taste like home to us, this American-style pumpkin pie isn't something we'd say no to either. :) It certainly is very different: open-faced, with a shortcrust-style base and creamy twice baked pumpkin center and so on. But it's also delicious. Especially served with a topping of whipped cream:

This is the basic and traditional recipe. I like making all sorts of variations, but this is the starting point for all pumpkin pie experiments. And certainly delicious enough by itself. Enjoy :)

Last year: Lemon pepper grilled chicken.
Two years ago: Fritata with bell pepper and Tirolean sausages.

Ingredients (for a 23 cm or 9-inch baking tin):
  • 170 g flour
  • 80 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk or water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 small sweet pumpkin (about 1 kg)
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g creme fraiche
  • 4-5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of each: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves)
  • pinch of salt
  • some whipped cream to serve (optional)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Cut the pumpkin in half, deseed it and place it in the oven, cut side up. Bake it for 30 minutes or until softened:

Mix the flour and the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the pinch of salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to it:

Mix it with your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the cold water and mix until it all gathers up in a dough. Press it into the bottom and sides of the cake tin:

Cover it with baking paper and weights and bake it blindly for 15 minutes, then another 15 minutes without the weights. Meanwhile, make the filling. Scoop out the soft pumpkin flesh in a clean bowl. Add the spices:

Mix well and also add the creme fraiche, the 4-5 tablespoons of sugar and the eggs:

Mix again and the filling is done. When the pie shell is baked, pour the filling in it:

Lower the oven's temperature to 160 degrees C and put the pie in. Bake for 1 hour. Take out and allow to cool a bit:

Slice and dig in (with some extra whipped cream or by itself) ! :)

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