This year I decided to make my first ever pumpkin pie. An American favourite, pumpkin pie is most popular during the holidays leading up to Christmas, namely Thanksgiving and Halloween.
Speaking of all things horror and spooky - Pete and I are currently addicted to watching The Walking Dead - a popular American television series based on the comic book series The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.
The series is based around sheriff deputy Rick Grimes, who awakens from a coma to find the world has been taken over by flesh eating zombies referred to as 'walkers'. He sets out to find his family and discovers survivors along the way. We are currently half way through the second season and it's pretty addictive.
On to the pie!
On to the pie!
The best part of this recipe is that you don't have to worry about making your own pastry. Home-made pastry is simply divine, and where possible I like to make my own. But let's face it - we don't always have the time (or patience). Besides, there are fancy dress parties and other spooky things to be enjoyed.
This simple, no fuss traditional pumpkin pie recipe will get you in the mood for all things ghoulish! Flies and spiders are optional.
Easy Halloween Pumpkin Pie
( Adapted from Curtis Stone's Pumpkin Pie Recipe)
Makes 2 x standard size pies (store bought shells) or 1 x large deep dish pie
Nonstick cooking spray
2 x large store bought sweet pastry pie shells ( approx 20-25cm diameter)
1 x 1.1- to 1.4-kg butternut or similar sweet pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
For the praline
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans
Whipped or dollop cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Toss pumpkin in oil, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and arrange the mixture in an even layer on a baking tray that has been sprayed with a little cooking oil.
Bake for approx 1 hour or until soft and golden brown.
Once cooked, blend the hot pumpkin in a food processor until a smooth puree forms. You can add a little of the cream if you need to to help the pumpkin blend. Set aside to cool completely.
In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs and then add the brown sugar and salt.
Add the cooled pumpkin puree and whisk to blend well.
Whisk in the ( remaining) cream, and pour pumpkin mixture into the prepared crust(s).
Carefully place the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for about 1 hour or until the filling is just set and the crust is pale golden brown. The center will still look wet and a knife inserted about 1 inch/2.5 cm from the sides of the pan will come out almost clean.
Transfer the delicious pie to a rack and cool completely.
To prepare praline topping:
Heat a heavy large pan over medium heat until it is hot.
Sprinkle sugar evenly over the base of the pan and cook until it melts. Add the nuts and coat with the sugar syrup,tossing until the syrup turns golden brown and the nuts start to clump together.
Transfer nuts to a sheet of parchment paper and allow to cool.
Once cool, break up the nuts into chunks and place in an airtight container until you are ready to serve the pie.
Top each slice of pie with a dollop of cream and a few candied nuts.
You may also like to check out my Spooky Halloween Finger Cookies from last year here