Hey, what’s up? OH NOTHING, JUST PIE. Said no-one ever. Because pie is a big deal. There is no such thing as ‘just’ pie. Pie is major-league. And coming just behind apple pie in the lexicon of great pies, is pumpkin.
Pumpkin pie is definitely a foreign concept to me. In Australia, we don’t do pumpkin pie. For a long time, I honestly thought the whole idea was pretty gross. Like if I said to you; ‘have a slice of delicious, sweet Cauliflower Pie!’ it just sounds wrong. But now, now that I’ve tried it out, I’m so on board.
It’s not super surprising, given that pumpkin is definitely a sweet vegetable, and it caramelises beautifully even without any additional sugar, that pumpkins definitely work in a pie. I think the secret is in the spicing. Subtle, warming hints of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg bring the pumpkin around to being totally at home in a sweet pie filling.
And then I spiked it with Bourbon.
Because the beautiful smokey-honey tones of bourbon work SO WELL with all that custardy pumpkin and those gingerbread spices. This is a completely comforting, definitely homey and totally delicious dessert. I can completely see how a slice of this would be the perfect thing after a giant plate of gravy-soaked turkey and stuffing.
And the whipped cream? Non-negotiable.
- 1 + ½ cups plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 stick (115g) butter, cut into small cubes
- ⅓ cup ice cold water
- 1 can pumpkin (just plain pumpkin, not pie filling)
- ⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
- ⅓ cup (75g) brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 shots (60ml) bourbon
- ½ cup (125ml) cream
- ¼ cup (65ml) milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or the seeds from a vanilla bean
- First, make the crust by placing the flour, salt, sugar and cubed butter into a large bowl and, working quickly, rub the butter into the flour until there are some large, pea-sized pieces and a lot of small crumbs.
- Sprinkle over half the water and begin tossing and squeezing the mixture together. Keep going, working quickly, and adding the rest of the water until the dough comes together in a shaggy lump.
- Wrap the dough in plastic, and place it into the fridge while you make the filling. Place the pumpkin, sugar and spices into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, just until the mixture bubbles and some of the liquid evaporates.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, cream and milk, and finally beat in the eggs.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and get out a 9 inch (23cm) pie plate. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin, and roll the chilled dough out to about ⅛ inch or ½ cm thick. Line the pie dish with the dough, crimp the edges and pour in the filling.
- Bake the pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the filling has puffed up and domed slightly, but still has an obvious jiggle to it. Leave the pie to cool completely and then chill it in the fridge.
- To serve, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla paste or seeds to soft peaks a swirl over the pie. And then eat it, preferably while watching some NFL.