In my country, pumpkin pie became popular only not so long ago. Which is strange, because since I can remember, my grandmother used to roast pumpkins in the oven and we enjoyed the sweet pumpkin flesh with a sprinkle of sugar or cinnamon. So why did I wait so long to put it into a pie is beyond me. Some 5 or 6 years ago, I decided to bake my very first pumpkin pie. I googled hundreds of recipes and made half apple – half pumpkin pie. It was kind of a safer choice.
Slowly, I felt more and more comfortable with the flavour, so since then, I made them every year, and every year I whip up a different recipe and I no longer know which one I used. Yesterday I had some friends coming over, so it was a perfect opportunity to bake a lovely full sized pie. Rather than adding bits of this and bits of that, I decided to find the recipe I liked and write it down.
I switched to a new pie crust recipe. Until now I have always put eggyolks in my pie crust because it gave moisture, added some fat and gave a lovely colour when the pie baked. This time I used only butter, flour and cold water. I think I actually prefer my old way, but use whatever pie crust recipe has proven best for you. I also have a lot of trouble finding condensed milk, which is used as a filling base in many many pumpkin pie recipes. However, I didn’t feel like making it from scratch because it is a long procedure and I have never tried it, so I didn’t want my pie to be a failure because of condensed milk. Eventually, I found the recipe I was most comfortable with, adjusted it a bit and made a delicious pumpkin pie. Oh yes, with a cinnamon cream topping. Mmmmm…
preparation time: about 1 hour 45 minutes, includes time for cooling the dough
baking time: 15-20 minutes, 180°C/350 F
45-50 minutes, 170°C/340 F (just the pie, does not include roasting pumpkins)
baking pan size: Φ26 cm/10 in
Ingredients for the crust:
190 g flour
15 g powder sugar
pinch of salt
130 g butter
60-80 ml cold water
Ingredients for the filling:
450 g pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)*
100 g brown sugar
2 tsp spices**
100 ml sweet cream
50 ml sour cream
10 g flour
pinch of salt
* I can’t find pumpkin puree in my country, but I constantly read online about it, so I know many of you will know what I am talking about. If you can’t find it, make your own. Buy sweet pumpkin or butternut squash (that’s what I had), cut it into 6-8 parts and take the seeds out. Roast it in the oven until it’s soft and most of the water has evaporated. Mash it and there you have your homemade pumpkin puree.
**Use whichever blend of spices you like. I put only cinnamon because I actually don’t like cloves. But if you like them, add ground cloves, ginger, anis, nutmeg… Or use premade pumpkin pie spice mixture that can be bought in the supermarkets.
Ingredients for the topping:
100 ml sweet cream
100 ml sour cream
2 Tbsp vanilla sugar* (or use few drops of vanila extract. I like to use my homemade vanilla sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1. (Only for those who are making their own pumpkin puree) Roast the pumpkin. Cut it into 6 to 8 parts, take the seeds out, but leave the skin on. Put it on a baking pan lined with parchment paper with cut sides facing up and roast in the oven for about an hour at 200°C (370 F). Baking time depends on the type and size of the pumpkin. It might take up to 1,5 hours. Pumpkin should be soft (just like a baked potato) but dry, so that most of the natural moisture should be evaporated. Let it cool until you can handle touching it. Then scrape the flesh from the skin and mash it using a potato masher or food processor.
2. Make the pie crust. Sift flour, powdered sugar and salt into a bigger bowl. After briefly mixing them together, add cold butter cut into small pieces and work it into the flour using a food processor or your fingertips. When butter is well distributed throughout the flour and has reduced to chunks the size of peas, slowly add ice cold water. I used only 60 ml, but add up to 80 ml if you think it is necessary. Dough should be somewhat crumbly, but very soft and flaky. Put it into fridge to chill for an hour.
3. After an hour, roll the dough and cover the bottom and sides of a baking pan. I had a little leftover dough, so I decided to make star decorations to put on top of the pie. (Apparantly, I am lousy at making those beautiful pie borders. How do you do it?)
4. Prebake the pie crust. Put it into preheated oven at 180°C (350 F) for around 15-20 minutes. You can line the pie crust with aluminum foil and cover with dry beans. It will prevent pie crust from puffing up and shrinking, but honestly, I never do that.
5. Make the filling. In a large bowl combine pumpkin puree, sugar and spices. Mix it with electric mixer on medium speed. In a separate bowl combine sweet and sour cream and eggs. Whisk with a fork shortly so the eggs are mixed into the cream.
This will make incorporating the eggs into the pumpkin mixture much easier.
6. Add cream and eggs to the pumpkin mixture and add the flour with a small pinch of salt. Mix everything on low speed and finish with a spatula. Don’t overmix, mix it only until it looks homogenous.
7. Pour the filling into the prebaked pie crust. (At this point, the filling is too liquidy to add decorations (my star cutouts). Put them after about 15 minutes of baking when the filling starts to set.)
8. Bake the pie at 170°C for about 45-50 minutes. The edges should be completely set, but the center might still be a little soft. That’s fine. It must not be jiggly though.
9. Cool the pumpkin pie at room temperature for an hour and then put it into a fridge to cool completely for about 6 hours.
10. For the topping, whisk sweet cream into soft peaks, add sour cream, sugar and cinnamon and mix until it gets well combined. Fill a piping bag with a star tip and make decorations on top of the pie. You could even add some more topping on the side because it really makes this pumpkin pie lighter and creamier. Enjoy with a glass of tea or milk and go watch The nightmare before Christmas. I am going right away.