So, it’s baked in a pastry case with spices, eggs, sugar, a bit of cream, it’s soft, delicious and tastes a bit like custard tart. Use peeled fresh pumpkin or the canned puree
- Make the pastry: If using a machine, pulse the flour and salt in the processor for 4 seconds. Add and pulse the butter to amalgamate. Add the sugar. Pulse for 4 seconds.
- Add lemon rind, egg yolk and 3 tablespoons water. Pulse until the dough just comes together. You may need the extra water. The dough should be pliable, not too dry nor wet. Pull it together into a ball. Sit it on a lightly floured board. By hand, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the bits of cold pastry. Rub them in lightly. Sift in the sugar. Add the rind, egg yolk and 3 tablespoons water. Mix with a fork until the dough comes together, using extra water if needed. Roll and sit on a board as above.
- Line the tin: well grease a 22cm x 4cm fluted tart tin. Pat the pastry very lightly into a circle. Roll it out lightly on a floured board, turning 45 degrees between rolls for even shaping. Continue until the piece will fit the base and sides of the tin with a bit extra to allow for shrinkage.
- It should be as thin as a pound coin. Roll the pin underneath. Lift it up and over the tin.
- Slip it down and in. Fit it gently round trying to avoid cracks or tears. Press to mend if you need to. Leave a bit of an overhang but cut off any overlarge edge and save in cling film in case you need it later. Put into the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Steam the pumpkin in a steamer for 15 minutes or in a sieve over a pan of boiling water, with a lid perched on top. Remove. Leave it to cool and drain through a sieve for at least 30 minutes. Blend till smooth with a stick blender or processor.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Roll a rolling pin across the top of the chilled pastry case to neaten it up. Save the scraps. Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper in the case. Fill with dry or ceramic baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove. Remove paper and beans.
- Raise the temperature to 220C/gas 7. Beat the puree together with the sugar, spices, lemon rind, eggs and cream until smooth. Tip the mix into the tin.
- Bake for 15 minutes. If it’s browning too quickly, lay a piece of foil on a higher shelf.
- Reduce the heat to 180C/gas 4. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until firm. Remove.
- This is a plain pie, a puritan pie. You may like to eat it as it is with a bit of whipped cream or ice-cream on the side. You may like it hot, warm or it’s good cold.