In Greece we now have just about everything!! (Never thought Weber was so settled in Greece). Some supermarkets have many imported stuff from America or Britain such as ready canned 15oz. unseasoned pumpkin puree which is the main ingredient in a pumpkin pie. But this raw material is not readily available so I had to start from scratch. Anyway it is also safer since the resulting pumpkin puree is 100% certified pure pumpkin with no additives, preservatives etc. Buy the pumpkin and .... etc.
Since this is October, and we have all been waiting for the pumpkins to appear in the market, we are going to use fresh pumpkin as raw material.
I am now going to show you how you can prepare pumpkin puree from scartch. The rest of the pumpkin pie is easy as per many recipes depending on your taste.
- One whole ripe pumpkin weighing about 5 kg.
- Heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Wash the whole pumpkin very well with soap and water. Dry it with a towel.
- Cut off three quarters of it in large slices, and remove the insides by scraping with a spoon.
- Line the oven pan with with oven paper.
- Lay the pumpkin slices on the pan side by side.
- Add no spices at all.
- Cook for 1 hour at least or till pumpkin meat is soft.
- Take out from oven and let cool enough to handle.
- Scrape the pumpkin meat out in a bowl and discard the outer skin.
- Insert pumpkin meat in a food processor and process to puree.
- Transfer to a cheese cloth set in a sieve with a bowl under to collect all the liquids. The liquid is delicious to drink cold.
- Turn cheese cloth into a bundle every hour or so into a ball and squeeze out the liquids.
- When no liquids come during pressing then the pumpkin is read to use as a puree.
The idea is to have 400 grams of pure pumkin puree for filling a 23 cm pie dish.You could cook the pumpkin in a bbq with smoke to make a smokey pumpkin pie if you wish. Any left over puree can be used to make soup or anything else.
Now I am going to tell you how I made my filling according to my taste while following "joy ofbaking.com" recipe because it came out fantastic....well according to my families taste.
- Beat 3 big eggs with a wire whisk in a big bowl. Do not use a blender or food processor because there is a tendency to over process or over blend which would result in cracks on the surface of of the final baked product.
- Add 3/4 cup light brown sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Add 1 cup of 35% cream (that's what we have in Greece).
- Throw in 400 gr of the puree, 2 Tbsp cinnamon, grate 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, 1 Tbsp dry ginger powder. 1/2 tsp clove freshly ground clove powder. Watch it because clove powder is very strong.
The filling is totally based on personal taste as you taste along. However the basic spices used are cinnamon powder, clove powder, ginger powder or freshly grated, mace powder, all spice, nutmeg powder or freshly grated. These are what you would use for an apple pie.
- Whisk everything together until well combined.Do not over whisk.
Fill the 23 cm pie dish/tart mold shown below and bake in the lower 1/3 part of your oven for 45 to 50 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius. At the end of the time, and bring the pie out to cool completely. It should not have cracked. But even if it cracks don't worry about it !! It will still taste fantastic.
Ingredients for a 23 cm pie crust:
- 200 gm all purpose flour.
- 1/4 tsp salt.
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar (for sweet pastry).
- 100 gm very cold fresh good quality butter cubed.
- 1 big egg beaten.
- 1 Tbsp ice cold water.
- I used a blender with the flat attachment.
- Add flour, salt, sugar and give it a couple of turns on 1 to mix everything.
- Add cubed cold butter and beat till flour mixture and butter become " grainy " .
- Add beaten egg and beat.
- Add ice cold water and beat for a few seconds.
- Take the dough onto your floured working surface and knead for a few minutes then form a ball then flatten ball into a disc, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- After one hour, take dough out of the fridge and open your crust to 33 cm using a round cut piece of 33 cm parchment paper. If dough is too cold and hard, wait a couple of minutes for it to soften.
- Line your tart mould with soaked oven paper.
- Overturn the 33 cm dough over the oven paper.
- Peel off the round paper.
- Cover bottom of crust in mould with a finely chopped mixture of 50 gr of wall nuts and 50 gr of Speculoos (a Belgian butter biscuit). This is to avoid the bottom of the pie from getting soggy.
- Roll the extra dough around the rim of the mould then using your hands make the desired decorations on the rim.
- Garnish with a dollop of either freshly prepared sweet whipped cream or that of a (ready made pressurized can with nozzle).
- Bake for 50 minutes.
- Let out to cool completely before cutting.
Note: A test to see if the filling is cooked or not is by inserting a cake tester one inch from the rim If the tester comes out clean then it is cooked, but still wobbly in the centre then it is cooked.
Although this pie looks easy to make there are many points that have to be taken into consideration to make come out perfect. An American would definitely spot the mistakes but what the heck it is close enough for oilfield work!!
So, my good friends, try it because it is a real festive treat.
Enjoy, (we definitely did)