Pumpkin Pie (V)
Orange is my favourite colour; I love its brightness, its warmth and its joyous character. I love wearing orange clothes, I love the smell of satsumas and oranges peels, I love running my hands in Ollie’s fiery hair, and I absolutely love carrots, butternuts and pumpkins. But I love pumpkins best. They are so pretty with their round uneven shape, their stringy flesh is so sweet and tasty and when they are carved for Halloween, I love how they shine in the dark and how they smell of melted butter.
Ollie and I did carve pumpkins for Halloween, but unfortunately, they didn’t have enough flesh to make anything out of it. After a few days, we placed them in our garden for bugs and small animals to feast on, and as they decompose, they are also great compost for the garden. Win-win.
After that, I hadn’t let go of my idea to make pumpkin recipes though – my father calls me “Dogmatix” from the French comic strips Asterix and Obélix – so last time Ollie and I went shopping and saw a lot of pumpkins – Halloween leftovers, I suppose – being sold for less than £1, we couldn’t resist. We bought two medium ones, and I got so excited over the possibilities of creativity they offer, I couldn’t wait to get home and start cooking. We decided to make pumpkin pie first and, with the leftovers, if any, some soup.
I love Pumpkin pie. I discovered it for the first time when I was in New York; I was lucky enough to live in the city that never sleeps for a few months, over the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas period. I had never heard of it or even thought that you could bake with vegetables (I have since discovered carrot cake, avocado brownies, sweet potato pie, chickpea meringues etc), so when I first tried it, I was extremely surprised of how good it was. The soothing of the spices, the ethereal consistency, how it melted in my mouth… it was a revelation. Since then, I make a pumpkin pie every year in Autumn, and I think this year, it was the best one I had ever made (the importance of being modest, chapter 1).
A bit of pumpkin pie history
Pumpkin pie is very popular in the US and in Canada, but is not at all in England or in France – which is quite amusing, as we know that most Americans descend from European who settled in the country from the 17th century! I have also read that, a French chef called Francois Pierre la Varenne, was the first to actually put a recipe for pumpkin pie in his cookbook “Le vrai cuisinier Français” in 1651…
About 4 centuries later, A taste of Fritish is proud to present this delicious Pumpkin pie recipe, that is probably very far away from the recipe from the 17th century but really, really, really good and that will have your kitchen smell of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger for a day !
- 500 g pumpkin cooked and pureed
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- 170 g brown sugar (or less if you don't like it too sweet)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 Shotcrust pastry
Preheat oven to 200 C
Cut the top of the pumpkins, and scoop the seeds out. Put the pumpkins in the oven for about 25 min (more if they are big). When they are cooked, take them out of the oven and let them cool for a little bit. Then scoop out the flesh and put it in a bowl: it should come really easily if your pumpkin is well cooked and you should be left with only the skin.
Mash the pumpkin flesh into a purée with a potato masher or a fork. You will need 500g of it, so use the rest for soup or something else!
Transfer your shop bought pastry to a pie dish, cut out the excess and create holes at the bottom with a fork.
In a large bowl, put the pumpkin purée, the coconut milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well: it should result in a very wet batter. Pour into a prepared pie dish. Bake about 50 minutes.