Having carved two pumpkins, I thought it would be a waste to throw away the flesh, so yesterday afternoon I trawled the internet looking for the perfect pumpkin pie recipe.
This was not as easy as you might imagine. Most recipes I found use canned pumpkin, which is no good when the reason you’re making a pie is because you have lots of fresh pumpkin to use up.
So what I ended up doing was cobbling together various parts from several different recipes I found online and hoping for the best. I’m not sure whether this was a mistake, or whether it wouldn’t have made any difference in the end. (More on this later…)
I found a recipe using fresh pumpkin and some other ingredients I had in the cupboard, but it also used a shop-bought pastry case, and I wanted to make my own. So I used Jamie Oliver’s basic sweet shortcrust pastry recipe (adding some cinnamon to the pastry mix) to make a pastry case, which I then blind baked in the oven.
Once this was done, I made a pumpkin filling using a recipe I found online but have now lost. From what I can remember it was fresh pumpkin (which I blitzed in the microwave for five minutes and then blended), soft brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and double cream. I didn’t quite have enough cream so I had to make it up to the right quantity by adding some semi-skimmed milk.
I then poured the pumpkin mixture into the pastry case and crossed my fingers that it would work.
Initially it seemed to be looking pretty good. The recipe said to bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling had puffed up a little around the outside but was still slightly jelly-like in the middle. So I gingerly poked the outside of the filling with my finger. It was fairly firm. So far, so good. Growing in confidence, I then poked the middle and made an unsightly hole in it! Unable to bear this blemish on the top of my pie, I took it out of the oven and broke the surface, spooning it all around until it looked fairly even again (although it was never going to be as perfectly even as it had been before I poked it!) and stuck it back in the oven for ten minutes.
When it came out, it smelled delicious. The whole kitchen was filled with a heady aroma of spices. Yum!
The problem is that pumpkin pie is served cold, so I had to wait for it to cool completely before I could eat it.
I decided to paint my nails, to physically restrain myself from touching the pie. This worked well, but the temptation was still overwhelming. (My mum also pointed out that this made it impossible for me to do any clearing up. Might have to use this tactic again.)
Eventually it was ready, and it looked like this:
I mean, it was OK. But it didn’t blow me away. So far I have only had one piece, which is just not like me at all.
I could blame my failure to just use one recipe and stick to it, or my various other unorthodox baking techniques. But actually, I think it is supposed to be more-or-less like this.
I think the main problem is that I just don’t really like pumpkin pie. Despite the fact that I doubled all the quantities of the spices to give it more flavour, it was just quite bland.
Does anyone else have the same problem with pumpkin pie? Should I give it another go?
(I would ask “Did I do something wrong?” but I think we’ve already established that I did lots of things wrong. I’m just not sure that doing it right would make much difference in this case.)
I’m pretty sure it’s just not my thing…