Recipe: Simple Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie - Credit: Archant

As Americans worldwide mark their national day and count their blessings, it’s time to give thanks to the humble squash

PYO Pumpkins Ashford

PYO Pumpkins Ashford - Credit: Archant

Thanksgiving seems unusually late this year, but it is still the fourth Thursday of November.

I do like to mark the date. My husband Tom has lived here for over 50 years, but is still partial to peanut butter and a pumpkin pie. After making countless pies over the years - I sometimes make one at Christmas, too, instead of my traditional pudding recipe - I have finally come up with the perfect, simple, fool-proof recipe, with easily remembered quantities.

The key ingredient, apart from the pumpkin, is a can of condensed milk, which avoids having to decide between Golden Syrup and corn syrup, Demerara and muscovado sugar, and what kind of muscovado, light or dark.

It is sweet and sticky enough to do duty for both syrup and sugar.

If yours was one of the estimated eight million pumpkins wasted after Halloween, a can of solid packed pumpkin purée will be on your shopping list.

But for my last few pies, I have used fresh pumpkin, cutting it into chunks, removing the seeds and roasting the pieces until the flesh is soft and lightly caramelised at the edges. This adds more colour and an extra layer of flavour.

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Perfectly simple pumpkin pie (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients: Shortcrust pastry to line a 23-25 cm pie dish

400 g cooked or canned pumpkin purée

400 g can condensed milk

4 eggs

Spices to taste

Dark brown sugar for colour, optional -see recipe

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Roll out the pastry, and use to line a pie dish. Bake blind for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile beat together the pumpkin, condensed milk and eggs until thoroughly blended. Stir in the spices and mix thoroughly before carefully pouring into the pastry case. It is important to pour the mixture, essentially a custard, into the pastry while it is still hot.

Turn the oven down to 170 C and bake for a further 45 to 60 minutes, or until just set, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. The pie is best eaten at room temperature. If you can wait.

Cook's note: If the pumpkin is pale rather than a rich orange, add a couple of tablespoons dark muscovado sugar.

©Frances Bissell 2019. All rights reserved.