» Where foreign and local combine

Pumpkin Pie Memories


When I began this blog, one of the cornerstones of it was to introduce people to international foods they have devored on adventures or meals they have always heard of, but never been sure of how to put it together and show how easy it is to bring a little piece of the world into your kitchen.

Yet, with the attention span of a two-year-old I get sidetracked on this most of the time. Not today, returning to my roots, this includes a little story. This is my friend Bobbie and that photo is around 5 years old. This day 5 years ago, after 5 full weeks of enjoying time seeing her little piece of Mississippi, I spent my one and only Thanksgiving with her. Only a couple days later we would rise at 3am for me to depart onto Central America, ending our jubilation at being reunited after years of being apart.

It was on that trip, not onThanksgiving, however, that I first enjoyed a forkful of sweet and perfectly spiced pumpkin pie. Bobbie had attempted her own first pie with canned pumpkin and ready made crust and within two days her dad and I had eaten the pie almost completely on our own.

So in the excitement of having me around, she made another pie, this time wanting to enjoy her ‘hard’ work (Bobbie didn’t have many culinary skills at this point in her life) and again her father and I devoured the second pie as though we hadn’t eaten pie ever before.

Bobbie wasn’t impressed and swore she wouldn’t make pumpkin pie again, but our reasoning was that she should feel thankful that we couldn’t bring ourselves to resist the call of the pie. I was hooked from that first and then second mouthful and I couldn’t stop thinking about pie until I had overeaten the pumpkin delight. The smooth layers of pumpkin, a vegetable I’d only ever eaten savory before that day stayed with me well into my travels and eventual return home.

This pie is made for Bobbie and one day I’ll be close enough to share a slice with her. Though we are once again thousands of miles apart, our friendship holds firm despite eating too much of her pie.

I made this out of thankfulness for so many things.

Note: If you don’t have time to make the pastry, feel free to buy it as the recipe calls for bought and this time, I didn’t even have a spare hour to make pastry.

Pumpkin Pie
Serves 10

Shortcrust Pastry
Adapted from Jamie’s Italy
125g butter
1/2 cup confectioners/icing sugar
Small pinch of salt
2 cups of plain flour
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold milk or water
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup pouring cream
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

To make the pastry, grease a tart dish lightly. Place the butter, sugar and salt in a bowl and cream. Rub in the flour then add the zest, milk and egg yolks.

When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, pour in the milk or water. Mix until its mixed to the point as a ball of dough and then warp in clingfilm and place in the fridge for an hour.

Remove from the fridge, roll out and place in the tart tin. Then placing in the freezer for an hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C/355F and bake the pastry for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Remove the base and turn the oven to 220°/425F.

Combine all ingredients for the filling in a bowl and whisk to combine well.

Pour into the warm base and return to the oven to bake for 40 minutes or until golden and no longer jiggly in the center.

Remove and allow to cool.

Serve cool with whipped cream.

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