Pumkin pie

Dersert - Serves 8
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Although traditionally served in the United States for Thanksgiving, pumpkin makes a delicious dessert any time and anywhere. The recipe calls for 550g of purée. You'll need almost three times that weight uncooked ­ it sounds a lot but pumpkins can be watery and lose a lot of weight during cooking. Any excess can be used as a vegetable or made into soup.

If you are struggling to find a ripe orange-fleshed pumpkin, use butternut squash as they tend to be consistent in flavour and ripeness.

for the sablé pastry

185g unsalted butter

225g icing sugar

3 egg yolks

300g plain flour

for the filling

1.5kg orange-fleshed, ripe pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into rough chunks

1tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp mixed spice

A good knob of butter

250g double cream

250g crème fraîche

180g golden syrup

to serve

Pumpkin seeds

Icing sugar

First make the sablé pastry. In a food processor, mixer or by hand, cream the butter and icing sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks. Mix well, then fold in the flour. Press the dough into a ball and refrigerate for about one hour.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5. Put the pieces of pumpkin in a roasting tray with half the cinnamon and mixed spice and the butter.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes until soft, giving the occasional stir. Take out, drain and cool in a colander. Blend the pumpkin in a liquidiser until smooth and push through a conical strainer if you have one or the colander if you don't (a sieve is too fine) to remove any fibrous strands. You will need approximately 550g of the purée to use for the pie; don't worry if you're a little short.

Bring the cream to the boil, mix with the golden syrup and leave to cool. Gently mix in the crème fraîche and pumpkin purée and add the rest of the cinnamon and mixed spice.

Turn the oven down to 150ºC/gas mark 2.

Roll the sablé pastry on a floured table until 5mm thick. Grease a flan ring or tart tin approximately 4-5cm deep and 20-25cm wide or eight deep individual ones and line with the pastry, trim the edges and refrigerate for one hour. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake blind for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden.

Remove the beans and paper. Pour the pumpkin mix up to the top of the tart case and bake for 40-50 minutes until the filling has set.

To serve, put the pumpkin seeds on some foil on a baking tray, dredge with icing sugar and bake for 10 minutes or so until golden.

Carefully cut the pie into generous slices and scatter the seeds on top.