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Pumpkin Pie

I'm always searching for new recipes that will suit our multicultural family - here's a pumpkin pie that has enough tang for Indian palates, and is elegant enough to appeal to Western tastes. This is a pumpkin pie with very little sugar, enough ginger to make it spicy without turning it into a curry fiasco. On this page, I'm adding more pictures too, inspired by Lana's
Slow Cooking Adventures.  In this recipe, the much maligned kaddu becomes a delight to the eye and the taste-buds! This pie will feed about 8 moderately hungry people after a light meal, 6 if 3 of those are mid-sized boys.

There is relatively little sugar and cream in this pie, so it qualifies as a reasonably healthy dessert.

 You need

A loose bottom tart tin
A food processor - if you have one
An oven
Bowls, Pans and a Colander
A large sharp Knife to chop up the pumpkin


For the pastry
100 g melted butter

200 g or one packet of rich crumbly biscuits, like Shortbread biscuits, or Shrewsbury biscuits or Nankhatai if you cant get anything else.

Half a cup -about 50 gms - of pecans or cashews.
Half a cup is the easiest measure, I mention the  grammage to help you choose the right size of packet, if like me, you need to rush out to the shops to buy pecans. I bought a small packet, about 100 gms and I needed only half of it

Half a teaspoon dried ginger powder, or a teaspoon of ground ginger. I find the dried ginger powder easier.


Prepare to Cook!

Take out all the equipment and ingredients in advance.
Melt the butter and take eggs out of the fridge as soon as you read this. All recipes say organic eggs at room temperature...this means buy expensive eggs and leave them out of the fridge - but I just use fresh eggs from the market, and take them out of the fridge when I remember.
Brush the tin with melted butter, thoroughly. This is really the only mandatory preparatory step.
Turn the oven on, to a temperature of 180 C.

Make the Pastry

  1. Set up your food processor and throw in the biscuits, powered ginger, pecan or cashew nuts. Whizz them around till they look all crumbly. 
  2. Add all the melted butter, and whizz till the mixture begins to clump together. 
  3. Take it out and line the tart tin with it. Use your hands to press up the sides. Pat down firmly and ensure that there are no holes in the base or sides.
  4. Place in the freezer or fridge to firm up.

 For the Filling

3 eggs -take out from the fridge as soon as you read this. Break into a bowl and beat to just mix the whites and yolks.

Half a cup cream - Add it to the eggs.

Half a cup sugar, brown or white. Brown is better - Add to the mixture

1 inch or 2 cm lump of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped quite fine. Don't waste too much time on getting it too fine - unless you particularly like finely chopped ginger. You can see that I didn't bother too much. Add to the mixture.

  Notice how little the ginger is? This is the 2 cm piece cut out from the largish chunk of ginger you see in the photo with the pumpkin.
Don't panic! I just liked the horsey shape of the ginger...and a 2 cm piece of ginger is pretty boring to look at in a photo anyway!

Note: Measure the pumpkin before chopping and skinning. Do not take 750 gms of chopped and cleaned pumpkin, as it will be too much for the tart tin - if you do have too much mixture,  you can pour it into a smaller tart tin or ramekins and bake it as pumpkin custards. Kids and Grannies love them!

750 gm bit of Pumpkin.

You may need to carve this out of a larger pumpkin, this was about a quarter of the pumpkin you can see in the photo. Remove skin and seeds. You need a really sharp large knife to cut the pumpkin.

Before cutting, put a large pan with  3 litres of water, to heat up. You need this to come to a good rolling boil. 

Carefully slide the chopped pumpkin into the boiling water. It should be bubbling quite rapidly, so don't be in a hurry to turn the heat down. Boil for about 10 minutes, or until you a knife can easily slide into the center of a chunk. 

Another way to test, is to see whether it looks like the chunks of overcooked kaddu in boarding school lunches, or  when the water turns orange. 

Drain in a colander thoroughly.
 Pour the drained pumpkin into the food processor and mix it into a glorious orange pulp. Once it is smooth, add the egg-cream-ginger-sugar mixture and give it a whizz.

 Take the biscuit base out of the fridge or freezer, and place it on a baking tray.
Carefully pour in the mixture from the processor.

Place the tart in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour.
See note about what to do with extra mixture...oops.

 Take out any extra custards after half an hour!

At the end of an hour, check the pie, it should be golden and firm. Push the tart tin slightly to see if the center jiggles. It should not!

Take the pie out of the oven, and carefully lift the tart tin off the baking tray and onto a wire rack. Allow it to cool. Loosen the edges with a knife and push through gently from beneath to release the pie from the tin. 

Place on a plate, (with the tart tin bottom, don't attempt to remove this!)

Cut into slices, and slide the knife under the slice and lift onto individual serving plates. 

 I didn't dust with icing sugar or serve with ice-cream, as I thought I would. It wasn't necessary as the pie was so glossy, smooth and luscious that nothing else was needed.