Thanksgiving: Easy as Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

Now, you may think it’s a little odd for an Australian Blog to feature a recipe on an American Thanksgiving staple – Pumpkin Pie. However, this blog post really started for Canadian Thanksgiving, where I was asked by a colleague to bake a pie for her as they are not readily available in Australia. Always up for a challenge I dived into recipe research.

I consulted recipe books (primarily the Joy of Cooking) as well as various blogs. While many suggested the canned filling is just as good as baking it from scratch, this wasn’t an option and to be honest if you are tasked with bringing to desert I don’t think it takes that much time to make from scratch and you are rewarded with being able to tailor the spices to your taste. One of the concerns I had was the pumpkin would retain too much water and affect the filling; I came across a great tip – after draining the pumpkin place the pumpkin in muslin cloth and then cover with a plate weighted down (I used 4kg of sugar) for 2-4 hours (or overnight) to drain all the excess water.

The pastry is easy, in the cooler seasons a breeze to work with (in Spring/Summer it requires a little longer in the fridge.

If you are reading this a week out from Thanksgiving, don’t despair, head to the supermarket, start baking and then bask in the glory that is this Pumpkin Pie.

Serves: 6-8
Preparation Time: 1 Hour
Resting Time (Pumpkin): 2 Hours
Cooking Time: 1 Hour
Storage: Best baked on the day of serving, but can be stored in the fridge overnight and then brought to room temperature before serving.

The quantities below are for a 23cm tart pan (with a removable bottom). If using deeper pie dish you can increase the eggs by 1.

200g Plain Flour
1 tablespoon Caster Sugar
150g unsalted butter, cold
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon iced water

Pumpkin Filling
750g Pumpkin, seeded and cut into wedges (I used Butternut Pumpkin)
2 eggs, lightly beated
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 can/375ml evaporated milk

Pecan Topping 
90g firmly packages brown sugar
100g pecans
70g unsalted butter, at room temperature

  1. Cook the Pumpkin, one of two ways. The first option is to steam pumpkin, skin-side up, over a pan of simmering water for 30 minutes or until tender. The second option if you are comfortable is to steam it in the microwave by placing it in a ovenproof dish, adding some water and covering it while you cook it for 6-12 minutes (depending on your setting).
  2. Remove the cooked flesh from the skin (a spoon should be fine as the flesh is tender) and strain in a muslin cloth for at least 2 hours. Drain any liquid from the pumpkin.
  3. Make the pastry by combing the flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse until they resemble bread crumbs and add the water, egg yolk and lemon juice until it just comes together.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and turn the pastry out. Quickly shape into a disk, place in glad wrap/plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  5. Lightly grease your tart/pie dish. Dusting your work surface again, quickly roll the pastry to a 31cm circle and gently place the pastry on the tin. Press in the edges and you can use any extra pastry to press into a double edge. Crimp the edges with a fork.
  6. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Blind-bake for 15 minutes, then remove weights and paper, cover the edge of pastry shell with foil to prevent browning and bake for a further 10 minutes or until pastry is dry and golden. Remove from oven, remove foil and cool slightly.
  7. Whisk the eggs, sugar, maple syrup and spiced until well combined. I prefer to do this by hand as I have found the eggs foam up if using a stand mixer.
  8. Add the evaporated milk and pumpkin and fold in until well combined.
  9. Pour the filling into the cooked pastry case and cook for 15 minutes.
  10.  Reduce heat to 180°C and cook for a further 50 minutes or until almost set in centre. Cover edges with foil if over-browning. The pie should be set but have a little wobble to it.
  11. Make the pecan topping by combing all the ingredients in a bowl.
  12. Remove pie from oven, and pour over pecan topping, baking for 10 minutes or until top is caramelised.
  13. Let it cool before serving.
  14. Enjoy!



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