Friday, 31 October 2008

Roast pumpkin and pecan pie

I hesitated before uploading this recipe because it's much longer and more time-consuming than the recipes I normally post and also rather more extravagant. BUT it's a) really delicious, b) a great way to use up the pumpkin you'll have left over from your pumpkin-carving session later today and c) the perfect recipe for Thanksgiving. (It comes from my book Food, Wine & Friends, which I know my publisher will want me to mention ;-)

If you're short of time you could make the purée and freeze it then make the recipe for Thanksgiving in four weeks' time. If so, don't add the eggs, flour and cream at this stage. Just blitz the roast pumpkin, add the sugar, honey, spices and booze and freeze the purée in a plastic container.

You may well have more than 500g of pumpkin in which case you could also try my young food writer friend Signe's yummy Hallowe'en butternut squash muffins on the Beyond Baked Beans site. She also has a really good blog of her own, Scandilicious.

For the pumpkin purée
500g pumpkin flesh
1 tbsp bourbon or dark rum
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1/4 tsp mixed spice
15g chilled butter

For the pie filling
The pumpkin puree as described above
100g light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup or clear honey
1 1/2 level tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp bourbon or dark rum
3 medium-sized eggs
2 level tbsp plain flour, sifted
150ml double cream

For the topping
50g shelled pecans
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar

For the pastry
250g plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp icing sugar
110g chilled butter
25g Cookeen or other vegetable shortening
1 egg yolk (save the white)
Pinch of salt

You will also need a deep flan tin 23cm across and 3.5cm deep

First make the pastry. Sift the flour, ginger and icing sugar into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes, cut the butter into the flour then rub lightly with your fingertips until the mixture is the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tbsp ice cold water, add to the pastry mix, mix lightly and pull together into a ball, adding extra water if needed. Shape into a flat disc and refrigerate for at least half an hour. (You can also, of course make this in a food processor)

Next make the pumpkin purée. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 Scrape away all the pumpkin seeds and fibrous pumpkin surrounding them and cut into even-sized chunks. Put the chunks on a piece of lightly oiled foil. Sprinkle over the bourbon, sugar and mixed spice and dot with the chilled butter. Bring the foil up round the sides and fold over carefully to form a loose but airtight package. Place on a baking dish and cook for 40 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Carefully open up the foil, cool for a few minutes then tip the pumpkin and juices into a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth.

Roll out the pastry and lower into the tin. Trim the edges and press the base well into the tin. Prick lightly with a fork and chill for another half hour. Cover the pastry case with foil and weight down with baking beans or dried beans. Bake at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for about 12 minutes then remove the foil and beans, brush the base of the pastry with the reserved egg white to seal it and return to the oven for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the flan case and lower the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.

Add the sugar and maple syrup to the pumpkin puree, then the spices, salt and bourbon. Add the eggs one by one, beating them in well then sift in the flour and mix lightly. Finally add the cream and pour the filling into the flan case. Put the tin on a metal baking tray, transfer to the oven and bake for about 50 minutes until the filling is just set and firm, reducing the temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 after about 25 minutes.

About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time chop the pecans finely (by hand, not machine - you don’t want to reduce them to a powder). Put them in a pan with the sugar and warm gently till the sugar starts to melt. About 5 minutes before the tart is cooked Sprinkle the caramelized nuts evenly over the surface of the tart and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Take the tart out of the oven and cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting it. Serve lukewarm with lightly whipped, sweetened cream


Nic said...

Even though I lived in the States, I've never made a pumpkin pie! I love your addition of pecans and rum.

Jean said...

Pecans are my favourite type of nut, if I see anything with pecans in I can't resist it. Walnuts come a close second.

Fiona Beckett said...

I've never much liked them, to be honest nicisme - I always found them too sweet - hence all the additions!

And NSM you can make walnuts taste a bit like pecans by dry-frying them with a sprinkle of sugar until they caramelise. They're better value as you don't tend to be able to buy broken pecans, only whole ones

Anonymous said...

Hi Fiona,

I just wanted to say how much I love your new book. I finally found it in Waterstones yesterday and have already made the Curry. It was gorgeous. I am actually looking forward to having leftovers as I now have lots of ideas of what to do with them!

Fiona Beckett said...

Glad you're enjoying it gayledonion. Using leftovers is very satisfying I must admit. You feel soooo virtuous and it's surprising what a tasty meal you can make from them

Anonymous said...

Very good Recipe.

Culinary Schools

Fiona Beckett said...

Thanks, Alice. That's a real compliment, coming from you :)