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Recipe: Perfect pumpkin pie

PUBLISHED: 12:35 24 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:35 24 October 2016

Delicious pumpkin pie

Delicious pumpkin pie

Archant

The chef-patron of Chapter One, our winner of Restaurant of the Year 2015, on an old family favourite, pumpkin pie. Words by: Andy McLeish. Picture by: Ming-Tang Evans

Allotments have become quite trendy in recent years. Having an allotment was typically a hobby of your grandparents, who would always hand you a bag of ‘goodies’ from their garden whether you wanted it or not.

However, in recent years there has been a surge in the younger generation taking a keen interest in growing their own fruit and vegetables.

When I was younger, my parents had a vegetable area put aside in the bottom of the garden and one of the first fruits they produced successfully was pumpkins – that’s right, a pumpkin is actually a fruit often mistaken for a vegetable.

We had lots and lots of pumpkins. In fact, we had so much that my mum had to become extremely creative in the kitchen to ensure they didn’t go to waste. Mum’s staples were pumpkin soup, pasta and stew.

I absolutely love pumpkins (I’m quite nostalgic like that), but they’re very versatile. Great baked in a salad with seeds, lemon and olive oil, they also make vibrant purées that are silky smooth.

My favourite method of using them is for pumpkin pie – sadly, not as popular here as in the USA, where it’s a traditional dish served at Thanksgiving.

The British season for pumpkins runs from October to December. Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes zucchinis (courgettes), cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe and watermelons. The majority of a pumpkin can be eaten, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers.

This month’s recipe is the perfect comfort food on an early autumn evening.

Pumpkin pie recipe

You need: a tart ring approx 30cm diameter and 2cm depth

For the pumpkin filling

Section one

900g pumpkin purée

150g soft brown sugar

2 tspn ground cinnamon

1 tspn ground nutmeg

1 tspn ground mixed spice

1 tspn ground ginger

500g double cream

Section two

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

100g caster sugar

Add all the ingredients in section one to a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Then crack the egg and yolk with the caster sugar into a bowl and lightly mix together. Pour the pumpkin mix over the egg mixture and whisk until it’s all incorporated. Pass through a chinois (conical sieve with a very fine mesh) and set aside until the pastry is ready.

For the sweet pastry

225g plain flour

110g butter

80g sugar

1 egg

A drop of milk

Crumb together the flour and butter until a breadcrumb consistency is achieved.

Add the sugar and the egg and a drop of milk and mix until a dough is formed.

Roll into a ball and wrap in cling film and refrigerate overnight.

Roll out the sweet pastry to a thickness of 2-3mm and line the tart ring, letting the excess pastry hang over the edge. Make sure the pastry is pushed into the edges.

Put a piece of cling film over the tart and pour some baking beans into the case, filling to the top. Fold the excess cling film over the beans to encase them.

Place in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC for 30mins until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and remove the cling filmed beans from the tart case.

Finally pour the pumpkin mixture into the tart and place back into the oven at 100 ºC for 30-40mins, until the tart looks set. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool for 20 mins before attempting to remove the ring.

Once cool, use a serrated knife to trim around the top of the tart, removing the excess pastry. Put on a plate and serve at room temperature with a little cream.

Find out more

Chapter One, Farnborough Common, Locksbottom BR6 8NF.

01689 854848. www.chapteronerestaurant.co.uk

Follow Andy on Twitter: @andy23471

Next month: Andy makes warm wood pigeon with a walnut salad

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