Pumpkin pie. It sounds weird to anyone born in Australia, where pumpkin is reserved for soup, roast dinners and occasionally for mixing in with mashed potato to make it a little bit healthier. We certainly don't see it as a sweet food, much less a dessert, though as it turns out pumpkin pie is actually a delicious dessert that every Australian should try at some point in their life.
Pumpkin pie image from Shutterstock
Unlike in the good old US of A, you can't walk into a supermarket or a cake shop here and pick up a premade pumpkin pie, so you'll have to make it yourself. Finding a good recipe can also be a struggle, as most of the US sites assume you can just pick up a can of pumpkin puree or a jar of premixed pumpkin-pie specific spices. So I've hunted down and adapted a recipe for a perfect pumpkin pie, using only ingredients that can actually be bought in Australia. You'll find that the recipe is surprisingly simple — just mix everything up, pour it into the base and chuck it in the oven — but be sure to leave at least an hour for cooking time.
You can use a premade crust for this, or any sweet pastry recipe you happen to favour, but this is my favourite easy pie crust.
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 60gm butter
- 2 tbsp white sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius. Place the flour, butter, sugar and a splash of water in a food processor and pulse until the dough starts to pull together. If it stays crumbly, add another tiny splash of water and pulse again, repeating this process until the dough forms into a ball inside the food processor. Place the dough ball on your greased 9 inch (22cm) pie dish and press the pastry into the dish. Place baking paper over the pastry, pour over a cup of rice (or baking weights if you have them), then bake the shell for about ten minutes at 180 degrees. In the meantime, start on the filling.
As we don't really have the big, sweet orange pumpkins that Americans use, most sources suggest using a Queensland Blue or Kent instead. I've had good results with butternut pumpkins as well, though for this recipe I've used a Kent.
- 500gm pumpkin
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 300ml cream
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of allspice
- Dash of cracked pepper
Roughly chop the pumpkin and set it in a pot of water to boil until soft. Take it off the heat and drain the water. From here you can mash the pumpkin with a potato masher for a more rustic texture, but I prefer to chuck it in the food processor and blend until it's perfectly smooth.
Add the eggs, sugar, cream and spices and blend until smooth. When it's ready to go in the pastry base, the mixture should be a dark orange colour with little flecks of spice. Turn the oven up to 220 Celsius. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pre-baked crust and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes. The pie will still be a little wobbly when it's done cooking, but it'll firm up once it cools down a little.
This pumpkin pie is best served warm with a little bit of cream on the side — canned whippy cream if you want the full American experience, or a dollop of fresh double cream for a more gourmet experience.
This article has been updated since its original publication.