My kids definitely do not need any more lollies and I don’t want them knocking on neighbours’ doors for a sugar-hit. As for me, I get spooked out by anything even slightly scary, so why on earth would I “celebrate” something with ghouls and ghosts?!?
Halloween is getting bigger and bigger here in Australia. Houses in my suburb are bedecked in cobwebs and cardboard cutouts of witches and black cats. My kids have been begging to join in the trick or treating. And I have resisted – so far.
But I must confess, all those humongous pumpkins at the supermarket have resulted in a hankering for a slice of Pumpkin Pie. Now I have never eaten – let alone baked – a pumpkin pie. So this is my first attempt. If you’ve ever made it, please give me some tips when you comment.
I gave this recipe an Aussie twist by adding macadamia nuts as a crunchy topping. Americans would probably favour pecans, but you can add whatever you have handy – or leave them out.
As always, when baking, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
For the crust:
100g butter, softened
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup almond meal – optional
For the filling:
400g pumpkin purée
1 can sweetened condensed milk (395g)
1/2 tsp each cinnamon powder, grated nutmeg and garam masala powder
Pinch of salt
Handful of nuts (whatever you have: pecans, macadamias, walnuts) – optional
Grease a deep pie dish (9-inch diameter) with butter.
Pre-heat oven to 170°C.
To make the crust:
In a bowl, combine all the crust ingredients together. If you’re leaving out the almond meal, you might need to add more flour if the pastry is too sticky. There’s no need to roll out the pastry; simple press it into the base of your pie dish, bit by bit, with your palm. Cover dish with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. The resulting pie crust is like a crumbly shortbread biscuit. Yum!
To make the filling:
First make the pumpkin purée. Do this by preheating your oven to 170°C.
Chop up 400g of pumpkin (any variety will do: Jap, Jarradale, Butternut) into large chunks and place on a baking tray. No need to peel the skin. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the pumpkin is very soft. Set aside to cool. The skin will peel off easily once baked.
Using a food processor or a hand mixer, blitz the pumpkin until smooth.
Go on, have a taste – it’s yum! All the sugars in the pumpkin will have intensified, making the pumpkin super sweet yet mellow.
Then add all the other ingredients and process until well combined. Or, you could even hand-whisk the mixture until smooth.
Remove the pie crust from fridge. Spoon in your pie filling. Top with nuts of your choice, if using. Bake for approx 50 minutes. When you open the oven, your entire home will be infused with the heady aroma of spices. Eat warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
So tell me, do you celebrate Halloween? What’s your opinion on trick or treating? What’s the most creative outfit you’ve worn as a fancy dress?