One of my favorite things about holiday parties this time of year is pie, more specifically pumpkin pie. Growing up, not being a fan of turkey, I looked forward to dessert more than anything else, even more than candied yams with a marshmallow top. Even though it was quite easy to get, either by buying a frozen Mrs. Smith’s or buying a can of pumpkin pie filling and dumping it into a pre-made pie shell, I never really ate it outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Moving to Hungary over a decade ago, I thought my days of enjoying pumpkin pie for the holidays were over. Once I tried bringing back two cans of pie filling but had to dump them at the airport after being told my bags were too heavy. Even as little as three years ago pumpkins were almost impossible to find, despite everyone’s misnaming dishes made with butternut squash as pumpkin, but today they are in most markets. This year, after being invited to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, I realized I should release my inner pumpkin pie love and learn how to make one from scratch….how hard could it be?
The answer to that question is…not very hard. One of the first things I learned is, can you believe this, most pumpkin pie filling is actually made from butternut squash Next all of the spices you need to make it taste correct, e.g., nutmeg, allspice, ginger powder, can be found in the Azsian Market, ChefParade, or other shops which sell spices; the supermarket is not going to help. A few little tweaks here and replacements there and I was able to bake pie from scratch.
- 2 cups / 250g cookie crumbs (darált keksz)
- 4 tbsp / 56g Melted butter
- 2 tbsp / 28g brown sugar
Mix ingredients in food processor or by hand. Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch or 9-1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate and, using the bottom of a cup or your fingers, press firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Set aside in some place cool
- 300g cooked Pumpkin (Jarrahdale / traditional orange or butternut squash)
- 1 large cooked sweet potato (skin removed)
- 3 medium eggs (or 2 large)
- 5 tbsp / 70g Melted butter
- 0.5 cup / 80g brown sugar
- 4.5 tsp / 22.5g cornstartch
- 1 tsp / 5g cinnamon
- ½ tsp / 2.5g freshly grated nutmeg (szerecsendió)
- ½ tsp / 2.5g ground ginger
- ½ tsp / 2.5g ground allspice (szegfűbors)
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 200 °C
- Mash cooked pumpkin and sweet potato and place in a large sieve to allow excess moisture to drain off (drain over pot just in case you lose more than just liquid) 10 min
- Transfer mixture to bowl and puree with hand blender.
- Beat eggs and add with remaining ingredients to bowl and whisk to incorporate
- When blended pour into pie crust and bake at 170 °C for 1 hour or when tester comes out clean.
- This is the hardest part: when pie is finished allow 2-3 hours to cool
- To speed the process microwave the potato but punch holes with a fork before cooking for 4-7min. It’s done when it feels soft and squishy.
- You can roast, steam, microwave, or pressure cook (my favorite) your pumpkin. Dust it with cinnamon beforehand to add some extra flavor.
- Lightly mash the cooked pumpkin with a potato masher and let sit in a sieve for 10 minutes for excessive moisture to drip off.
- The corn or potato starch is essential to hold the pie together, don’t skip it or use less.
- Don’t forget the spices, they are essential for that ‘real’ pumpkin pie flavor.
- You may want to make two as this pie is quite tasty.