Happy Friday folks!
So readers, the days are getting shorter, the inclement weather is coming in (Glasgow rainstorm anyone?! I was nearly washed away in the deluge this morning and I’m by no means what anyone would describe as a ‘slip of a thing’) and two autumnal and pumpkin-related events are coming up: Halloween and Thanksgiving. Now, I’m Australian and ‘downunder’ we don’t really do either of these holidays which is a bit of a shame – I think it’s always worthwhile to stop and think about the things in life that you’re thankful for, and who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up?! So in honour of this I’m channelling my inner Karen Brewer (because I learnt all about important American traditions by reading the Babysitters Club and Babysitters Little Sister) for today’s recipe, Pumpkinesque Pie.
It’s pumpkinesque because it’s actually made out of butternut squash, although I thoroughly endorse listening to The Smashing Pumpkins while you make it. It will serve 8 people and it will fill your kitchen with the most delicious scent you may never buy a smelly candle ever again. And, if you read my last post about soup, you’ll know I like it when I can
boast about ensure that I am getting my 5 fruit and veg per day, and this will count as one of them.
1 unbaked and chilled 22 cm ready made pie crust (frankly I think life’s too short to make pastry from scratch. But I do have my nan’s amazing recipe somewhere and can dig it out if there’s an outcry!)
1 large butternut squash
3 free-range eggs
1 cup of medium brown sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk or ½ a cup of semi-skimmed mixed with ¼ of a cup of single cream
3 teaspoons of allspice/ mixed spice/ cinnamon nutmeg mix
1 tablespoon or so grated fresh ginger (fresh ginger makes it SO GOOD but of course ground ginger does just as well, but you don’t need as much – maybe a teaspoon or two? And obvs if you are like my sister and don’t like ginger then don’t use it!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons self-raising flour
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
*Image Credits, both MarthaStewart.com
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape the pith and seeds out with a spoon. Cook it the same way as outlined in my soup post or to speed things up a little, pop the squash, skin outwards, into a foil lined baking dish and add 1/2 cup or so of water to the pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a 200 degrees oven for about an hour, let it cool and then mash it or throw it in the blender.
- Mix 1 1/2 cups of squash with the brown sugar in a bowl with handheld beaters (or with your Kitchenaid if you are lucky enough to have one! Jealous!) and then add the butter, spices, vanilla essence, salt, and flour along with the eggs one at a time, adding the milk/cream in gradually to keep the mixture moist and give it all a good whiz at the end so it’s smooth and thick.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust and place on the centre of the oven. It will probably take about 50 minutes to bake, but check it after half an hour or so because you might want to cover the pastry to stop it burning. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until set. Check that it’s cooked by touching the filling, it should be firm but not rubbery – it’s actually pretty easy to tell when it’s done. Let it cool, and then you can serve it with a dusting of icing sugar or
go mental with fake cream in a cantastefully pipe whipped cream or even cream cheese icing over it.
I would like to assure you that my pies have NEVER looked as good as Martha’s, but they do taste lovely. I’d also like to add that I’m not the kind of person who has a gorgeous shot of pumpkins she can use as a stock image, you know, just kicking around my house since I happy-snapped it in The Big Apple. Luckily for me, that’s the way Rebecca rolls, otherwise you’d have a shot of something else pumpkin-y, like my face after a week of eating too many pies.
Happy Halloweek (halloween week) and I promise that if Rebecca lets me post on FF again there won’t be a pumpkin or butternut squash in sight, but… if you’re going to try this out, or you made some Florence-style soup last week, please send us some photos, reviews or reports via twitter or comment on these pretty multi-coloured pages.
Back to the editor’s box for me readers (it’s the best seat in the house!)