When you're trying Hayley's Australian pumpkin pie recipe, roast the pumpkin in the oven for just a few minutes on its own. Doing so boosts that nutty, roasted flavour and draws out the spices that make pumpkin pie an American classic. Image from annethelibrarian.
Emma Christensen, writing at The Kitchn, tested this tip in two different ways: roasting the pure pumpkin puree alone, and then roasting the finished filling, puree and spices all mixed together. She liked the results from both, but suggests you finish the filling, add your spices, and then roast. Here's why: :
The first version — with sugar added after roasting — was good, but had an intense sugary sweetness; I tasted the sugar first and the pumpkin second. By contrast, I felt that the second version — the one roasted with the sugar already mixed in — seemed richer, more balanced, and more fully infused with spice flavour. I'll be sticking with that second version on Thanksgiving.
Mix in your sugar and spices with the puree, then spread on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 200C. You'll end up with a thicker, more custard-like filling with a caramelised flavour that lets your spices shine through, rather than just being overly sweet.
Ruth Reichl's Smart Tip for Better Pumpkin Pie [The Kitchn]