Friday Food: Gemma’s Pumpkin-esque Pie

Happy Friday folks!

This morning we’re welcoming Gemma back and continuing the pumpkin theme (hope you’re not getting pumpkin-ed out!) with more squash recipes. Pop back later for your favourite… Friday Frock O’Clock

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.

*Image taken by Rebecca in Chelsea Market, New York, last October.

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

How to:

  • 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 can tastefully 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!)

Gemma x


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11 thoughts on “Friday Food: Gemma’s Pumpkin-esque Pie

  1. Thought I recognized that pumpkin picture, we took a lot of pumpkin pictures on that trip! But the Americans really do go all out, and they do it well. Have never made a pumpkin pie but I do have a squash in my fridge that needs using, so maybe this weekend I will go all ‘Martha stewart’ and give it a go. That’s if the house doesn’t keep me working all weekend…

  2. Thought you’d recognise it Jess! 🙂

    Can I ask a silly question… what does this taste like? I’m guessing sweet… as thats what butternut squash tastes like, but I just can’t imagine what it would be like!


  3. it tastes almost like dates – or like a fruitcake-type flavour but with the consistency almost of a custard…. I realise that my description may not be selling it, but I made two pies through the week just to double check the recipe, and my husband and mother-in-law both hadn’t ever tried a pumpkin pie, and they’re both converts. And I would say MIL is not exactly a fussy eater, but certainly discerning and doesn’t much like strange textures or whatever. Really is worth a try. Plus I found a link to a ginger-snap biscuit and toffee-crackle layer which I’ll try to post up later.

  4. I have never made one either and keep meaning to have a go! Do you have it as pudding then? That is what i dont understand!! (not from this recipe – just generally!)

    Does look yum though!

  5. well Rachie if you’re normal (ie, eat sweet things at designated times like after dinner and not for breakfast) then it would be considered a dessert and yeah, would be eaten as a pudding. But from personal experience this week, also doubles as the breakfast of champions. x

  6. As the adoring husband of Gemma C-S, I can honestly say that this pie was absolutely delicioso (Biased? Who, me?). I was sceptical… ‘Butternut squash is a veggie’ I said to my wife, ‘I want chocolate or caramel cake’ I ordered from the sofa, instructions that were met by the thunderous noise of my mum’s ancient food processor ploughing through said veggie (bit like the engine of a 1981 Fiat Panda).

    However, I was pleasantly surprised, in fact two pies later (over the course of 3 days), ‘pleasantly’ is a complete understatement. It tastes sweet but savoury at the same time (Amazing! Like Greggs combining a cheese and onion pastie with one of those toffee custard doughnuts). It goes all soft and gooey if you let it linger (I didn’t) and reminds me of toffee flan only yummier!

    Gemma C-S, will you make another over the weekend please? x

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