So a little late for Thanksgiving, but definitely not too late to indulge in this year, comes the Spiced Pumpkin Pie. There are two reasons why I love this. The first, is that it contains my beloved autumnal favourite - the pumpkin. Definitely one reason to welcome in the autumn after the warm, hazy days of summer. And the other is that the first time I tasted Pumpkin Pie, it came from Williams Sonoma, one of my very favorite shops (sadly contained Stateside) - and I loved it so much, I was hooked. So it seemed only fitting that the first time I tried my hand at this, it should be a Williams Sonoma recipe.
This is actually very simple to make and consists first of making and chilling your very own pie dough and then creating a rich creamy pumpkin filling spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. I mean, what's not to love?
In the UK, the pumpkin pie recipes tend to lean towards a sweet shortcrust pastry but an American friend reliably informed me that genuine article pumpkin crust tends to be more crumbly and flakey. So I used the (American) Williams Sonoma recipe for Pie Dough which you can make in a standalone mixer - even better! Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment, then mix together flour, sugar and salt. Next add cubed butter in one go, ensuring that you toss the butter through the flour to coat it before turning the mixer on. Mix it on low to medium speed until it forms coarse breadcrumbs where the butter is no larger than peas. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and mix again until the dough comes together, around 30 seconds.
With this pie dough, you're going to roll it out and line the tin before you refrigerate it which is a little different from the usual method of chilling the pastry before you roll it out. So put the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface and press down with your hand to form a large disc. Roll it out to around 30 cm and then carefully transfer it to your tin. I found it pretty robust at this stage so it didn't tear or rip. Then gently press the bottom edges around the inside base of the tin and the sides, ensuring that you are pressing it into the sides. When you've finished with this, my method of cutting off the unwanted pastry is to roll my rolling pin across the top to cut off the edges (although this pastry is prone to a little shrinkage so you could cut off the excess pastry after baking if you prefer.
This is when the pastry needs to be chilled. About a hour or so should do it and if you need it be ready faster, you could pop it in the freezer. After it's chilled, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line your pastry shell with tin foil, ensuring that the foil covers the top edges and hangs over the side and then it fill it with pastry weights or rice. Bake this for 20 minutes in the oven and then peek under the foil. As it's going to be baked again and will turn golden brown then, you're just looking for it to lose its wetness and the pastry to turn a light golden brown. This should take 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, whilst your pastry is partially baking, it's time to make the pumpkin filling. Again, it couldn't be easier. First whisk the eggs and dark brown sugar until smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients and beat together until smooth.
When the pastry is ready, remove the foil and weights and then fill with the pumpkin filling. You may find it easier to place your pie tin on a baking tray to make it easier to get in and out of the oven. Bake in the lower third of the oven for around 30 - 40 minutes checking regularly as you approach the 30 minutes. You want to ensure that it doesn't crack but the filling needs to be slightly risen and firm in the middle.
Then leave to cool on a cooling rack or eat slightly warm.
It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It has a consistency a little like an egg custard but lovely spiced flavours and a creamy richness from the pumpkin and cream.
I love it. Like I said, don't fret if you've missed thanksgiving but break tradition and make this as a yummy pud after Sunday lunch. Or supper with friends.
You won't regret it :)
Spiced Pumpkin Pie (from Williams-Sonoma's Pie & Tart)
- 200G PLAIN FLOUR
- 1 TBSP CASTER SUGAR
- 1/4 TSP SALT
- 125G COLD BUTTER, CUBED
- 3 TBSP VERY COLD WATER
Spiced Pumpkin Filling
- 105G DARK BROWN SUGAR
- 2 LARGE EGGS
- 1 TSP GROUND CINNAMON
- 1 TSP GROUND GINGER
- 1/2 TSP SALT
- 1/4 TSP GROUND CLOVES
- 1/4 TSP GROUND NUTMEG
- 250G CANNED OR FRESH PUMPKIN PUREE
- 375ML DOUBLE CREAM
- Firstly make the Pie Dough by putting the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and stirring to mix the ingredients together
- Then add the butter in one go, tossing the butter in the flour until every piece has a light covering
- Put the mixer on low to medium speed until the mixture ressembles coarse breadcrumbs, where the butter pieces are no larger than peas
- Then add the water and mix briefly until the dough comes together, around 30 seconds
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and press down with your hand to form a large disc
- Roll it out to around 30 cm and then carefully transfer it to your tin
- Gently press the bottom edges around the inside base of the tin and the sides, ensuring that you are pressing it into the sides
- Roll your rolling pin across the top to cut off the edges
- Chill your pastry for around an hour
- Then preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Line your pastry shell with tin foil, ensuring that the foil covers the top edges and hangs over the side and then it fill it with pastry weights or rice
- Bake it for 20 minutes in the oven and then peek under the foil until it loses its wetness and turns a light golden brown (takes around 20-30 minutes)
- Meanwhile, make the Spiced Pumpkin Filling
- Whisk together the eggs and dark sugar until smooth
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix again until smooth
- When the pastry shell is ready, fill with the pumpkin mixture
- Bake in the lower third of the oven for around 30 - 40 minutes until the pumpkin filling is slightly risen and set in the middle
- Remove from the oven and cool it on a cooling rack
- Enjoy cold, slightly warm or with whipped cream :)