I’d never made pumpkin pie until today, but I knew instead of carving one up for Halloween, I wanted to do the vegetable more justice and make something tasty out of it.
Recently I have become a fan of slow-roasting things over a couple of hours to develop rich caramel flavours with the aid of a sprinkling of sugar. So this was the angle of attack with my pumpkin pie.
It uses half a medium-sized pumpkin that has been peeled, the seeds and pith removed and then cubed. The slow-roasted pieces are then blended with spices, sweet syrup and silken tofu. The pie case uses a simple short crust pastry, baked in a 9 inch cake tin.
I’ve just eaten a piece with a dollop of soya yoghurt. The recipe makes a delicately spiced and slightly creamy pie that is perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon this Halloween.
Pretty Tasty Pumpkin Pie
2 hours (as slow roasting)
½ medium pumpkin, peeled & cubed with pith and seeds removed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp golden caster or brown sugar
1 star anise, broken up
½ packet silken tofu
2 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp mixed spice
Pinch of salt
170g/6oz plain flour
85g/3oz vegan margarine or vegetable-based baking fat
3 tbsp cold water
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas Mark 2.
2. Pour olive oil over pumpkin and roast for 1 hour. Remove from oven, sprinkle with sugar, cloves and star anise.
3. Turn up the oven to 200C. Roast it for another 30-40 mins until golden and soft.
4. Meanwhile, make the pastry by sifting the flour into a bowl with salt, rubbing in the marg to resemble breadcrumbs, then slowly mixing in the water and bringing together into a ball. Roll it out on a floured surface into a disk about 2mm thick.
5. Grease a 9 inch cake or pie tin. Drop the pastry down into the tin, lightly pushing it in around the sides. Prick the bottom with a folk and line with baking parchment. Blind bake for 10 mins in the oven below the pumpkin. This is to give the pie a firm cooked ‘bottom’ before adding in the pumpkin mixture.
4. Take the pumpkin and pie case out of the out of the oven. Using a hand blender, blend the pumpkin with the silken tofu, syrup, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt.
5. Spoon the smooth pumpkin filling into the pie crust and return to the oven for 30 mins.
6. When cooked, the pie will be set and darker in colour. Serve with a sprinkle of sugar on the top and a star anise, for decoration. Enjoy with soya yoghurt, soya cream or soya ice cream.
Don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds, roast them in a little oil and balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with sea salt, for a quick snack.