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How To Make Pumpkin Pie

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Pumpkin Pie is about as American a recipe as you could ever hope to find. However, it needn't be only a Thanksgiving and Halloween staple; the unctuous combination of pumpkin, shortcrust pastry and traditionally autumnal spices makes for a fantastic dessert at any time of the year.
What you'll need: 
450g/1lb fresh pumpkin
1 portion shortcrust pastry
2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
50g/2oz dark brown/Demerara sugar
1 cup/250ml fresh double cream
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Pre-heat your oven before beginning the pie preparation process. Depending on oven type pre-heat to either 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Pre-made, shop-bought shortcrust pastry can be used for the pie base. However, fresh, home-made shortcrust pastry (see will result in a lighter, fresher-tasting finished product.
The filling recipe is sufficient for eight substantial servings and will therefore require a baking tin about 4cm/1½ inches deep and of 23cm/9inch diameter. This is an average baking tin dimension and should therefore be easy to find.
Making the filling is a simple process. First steam the pumpkin until it is well-cooked and easily slides off a knife when pierced. Strain the pumpkin ensuring that all excess water is removed. Place the pumpkin pieces on a dry tea towel or sheets of absorbent kitchen paper.
In a large, clean bowl gently whisk the whole eggs and the egg yolk. Ensure that you do not over-whisk the eggs, thereby causing excess aeration.
Add the cream, spices and brown sugar to a large, clean pan. Slowly bring the liquid to a simmer, whisking to mix the spices, dissolve the sugar and ensure the cream doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan.
Mash the pumpkin thoroughly and add it to the whisked eggs. Allow the cream and spice blend to cool briefly before pouring it over the pumpkin and whisked eggs. Continue gently whisking to ensure the cream, eggs and pumpkin are well mixed.
Having lined the baking tin with the pastry, pour the combined filling into the tin. Bake the mixture for 30-45 minutes keeping an eye on it to ensure it doesn't burn or overflow.
Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature. The filling may still be slightly wobbly in the middle but will solidify as it cools. Cover the tin with foil and place it in the fridge.
The pie can be served either straight from the fridge or heated in the oven and is equally delicious with créme fraïche or freshly-whipped double cream.
Pumpkin pie is an ideal dessert for almost all gatherings as it is quick and simple to make, is economical and can be prepared in advance requiring only the addition of créme fraïche or cream when serving.
Slice a vanilla pod down the middle, scrape out the beans and add them to the cream for an extra level of indulgence.


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