Perfect for Halloween
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes + chilling time
750g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded,
and cut into chunks
350g sweet shortcrust pastry (homemade or buy ready-made)
140g caster sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
25g butter, melted
1 tbsp icing sugar
Place the chopped pumpkin into a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain and allow to cool. The final colour of your pumpkin filling will depend on the colour of the squash you choose. Some have a more yellow flesh, like butternut squash and others like the winter squash have a much more orange flesh. They will both taste equally good!
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed flan tin. Chill for 15 mins. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and parchment, then bake for a further 10 mins until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Increase oven temperature to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl to make a puree. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Lightly beat together the eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and mix well. Pour the mixture into the tart shell and bake for 10 minutes, Reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing the pie from the tin. You can mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie or decorate in a suitably spooky style.