Pumpkin and Apple Pie (A British Variation on a Traditional American Dish)
Preparation and Cook Time
Ingredients for the Pastry
- 8 oz. (200g) Plain flour
- 4 oz. (100g) Margarine
- 12 teaspoons of cold water
Ingredients for the Filling
- 1 lb. (500g) pumpkin
- 1 cooking apple
- 3 eggs
- 4 oz. (100g) caster sugar
- 3.5 fluid ounces (100 ml) single cream or condensed milk
- 1 level teaspoon of ginger or to taste
- 1 level teaspoon of cinnamon or to taste
A little gem; this little mini kindle edition eBook has good sound advice on selecting your pumpkin for making pumpkin pie, how to prepare it and most important of all; how to make that perfect pumpkin pie.
The apple, cinnamon and ginger are the three ingredients that give this pumpkin pie its flavour.
Therefore, once the apple and pumpkin are steamed cooked and mashed together add the cinnamon and ginger a little at a time, mixing it in with a wooden spoon and tasting the mix until it’s to your liking e.g. a large pinch at a time rather than adding a whole teaspoon in one go then finding one or other of the spices is too over powering.
- Remove the pumpkin outer skin and seeds from the centre.
- Cube the pumpkin flesh and put it to one side while you make the pastry.
- Make the short crust pastry; either as you would normally make pastry or by following my suggestions and tips below.
- Wrap the pastry in tin-foil and place in fridge for 30 minutes to cool e.g. while the pumpkin is steaming.
- While the pastry is cooling in the fridge steam the pumpkin for 30 minutes or until soft.
- When the pumpkin is almost cooked, peel and core one cooking apple, cut it into cubes and place in steamer with the pumpkin for the last few minutes of steaming.
- Once the pumpkin and cooking apple are steamed cooked mash them with a potato masher; or quickly liquidise them in a blender.
- Beat three eggs and add to the pumpkin with the other ingredients e.g. caster sugar, condensed milk, cinnamon and ginger; and mix together with a wooden spoon.
- Allow the pumpkin mix to stand and cool a little while preparing the pie dish.
- Preheat oven to 220C (Gas Mark 7), 425F.
- Take the short crust pastry from the fridge and carefully rollout half of it to fit the base of the pie.
- Add the pumpkin mix to the pie dish, over the short crust pastry base.
- Rollout the remaining short crust pastry and place over the top of the pumpkin pie.
- Crimp the pastry around the edge of the pie with a back of a fork and use the fork to make breath holes in the centre of the pie.
- Place pumpkin pie in preheated oven at 220C (Gas Mark 7) for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 180C (Gas Mark 4), 350F for the remaining 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately in cereal bowls; either on its own, or optionally with cream or ice-cream.
Serve hot either on its own; or with cream or ice-cream.
Preparing the Pumpkin
- Cut the skin off the pumpkin and take the stringy centre out with all the seeds.
- Then cut the flesh into cubes and steam them for 30 minutes, or until soft.
- During the last five minutes peel and core one or two cooking apples, cube them, and then place them into the top of the steamer for the last few minutes.
- Once soft, pour the steamed pumpkin and cooking apples in a saucepan and quickly mashed them with a potato masher.
- Then add all the other ingredients and quickly mix them together with the mashed pumpkin and apple; so it’s all then ready to add to the pie dish.
The advantage of steaming the pumpkin rather than boiling it is there is no need to drain it, especially as I decided to make a pie similar to a soft fruit pie with a pastry top, rather than a tart.
Serve hot in cereal bowls rather than cool on a plate; allows the pumpkin pie to be a little moist rather than set, and then makes a nice dessert dish served with ice-cream or cream.
Obviously, unless you spend all afternoon making loads of pumpkin pies the quantity of pumpkin you need to make one pumpkin pie is far less than the amount of flesh you get from even a modestly small sized pumpkin. Therefore you can steam all the pumpkin at once and freeze the surplus for future use in this or other recipes.
The first stage for making the Pumpkin pie is making the short crust pastry, using:
- 8 oz. of flour
- 4 oz. margarine, and
- 12 teaspoons of cold water
I think part of the secret to great pastry is a gentle approach:-
- Keeping contact with the fingers and kneading the dough to a minimum,
- Allowing it to chill in the fridge before use; and
- Being gentle with the rolling pin is important e.g. rolling lightly in one direction only (and not back and forth) on a lightly floured surface; and not turning the pastry over to roll the other side.
I also use a marble rolling pin, rather than wood, which being cooler I think helps.
Tips for making the Short Crust Pastry
If you know how to make short crust pastry that’s fine; if however you don’t then perhaps these tips may help.
In making this recipe I only used 8 oz. flour, I think I could have done with making double the quantity as I wanted enough pastry for the pie base and top; but only really had enough for the base.
However, in taking the advice from the recipe books of not to flip the pastry over for rolling out on both sides, and not to stretch it in shape, I decided to roll it very thin (just a few millimetres) gently using the rolling pin in one direction only (not back and forth); away from me and from left to right until I had enough pastry for both the base and the top of the pie.
I was concerned in that being this thin it might break into pieces when I lifted, but it didn’t.
I gently rolled it up, lifted it and positioned it over the pie dish (gently easing it into shape) and cut the excess which I then used as the top once the pumpkin filling had been added.
Therefore it’s up to you whether you use the minimum of pastry and roll it very thin or whether you use twice the quantity of ingredients to make double the quantity of pastry.
Being a vegetarian I used 100% margarine. This can make it trickier than using margarine and lard to make good pastry; so I take every precaution to make it good, and the extra time and care can pay dividends.
A delightful range in colour to brighten up your garden as you grow this fine selection of pumpkins and squashes from seed; and a variety of flavours to sample and enjoy on the dining table in the autumn as you harvest them.
A British Twist to a Very American Pie
This was new territory for me, being British I’ve never tasted Pumpkin before. So when a friend offered me one from his garden in exchange for me helping him to bring in his autumn harvest I jumped at the opportunity in having a go at making Pumpkin pie; something I’ve always fancied trying.
However, in scouring though all our British recipe books only two had Pumpkin recipes; no great surprise considering Pumpkin isn’t a traditional British food.
The two recipes I found, although fundamentally the same, were slightly different. One used 4 tablespoons of single cream and the other quarter a pint of milk and two tablespoons of brandy; and both used different spices, the one common spice being cinnamon.
Therefore I rummaged through the kitchen to see what ingredients I had to hand, which included two cooking apples that needed to be used soon, and then I sat down with a cup of coffee to contemplate the recipe I wanted to use. We didn’t have any brandy, so that wasn’t an option; and we didn’t have any single cream, but we did have a tin of condensed milk which I decided to use as a compromise rather than milk from the fridge.
This first pumpkin I used to make this recipe was given to me by a friend who had grown pumpkins in his vegetable garden for the first time. Preparing this pumpkin was a challenge and a half, I imagined it would be like cutting into a marrow, but it wasn’t, it was much tougher, much, much tougher. Even with the largest and sharpest knife it took over an hour to cut and hack off the shell and get to the flesh.
However, I saved the seeds from this pumpkin as my friend requested, so he could grow them again the following year. I also kept a few of the seeds for myself, from which the following year I grew my own pumpkins. This time when I came to prepare the pumpkin it was much easier to peel, it was more like trimming the skin of a marrow; so I don’t know why the difference!
Although an experimental dish for me, with none of us ever having pumpkin pie before it went down a treat; my wife and I had it hot on its own and my son had his with ice-cream; both have requested I make the same next year.