Pumpkin Pie

Having bought pumpkin purée, I couldn’t not make pumpkin pie! Of course I turned to Cook’s Illustrated for reference on such an American dessert, and for those who subscribe I used the vodka pastry from this pumpkin pie recipe, but the filling from this recipe as you can’t get canned candied yams in the UK!

So for the pastry the butter and shortening are cut into the flour and salt mix, using the food processor.


Then it’s brought together into a dough using the water and vodka. The vodka doesn’t have much water in it, so it helps avoid gluten forming.


I then chilled the dough overnight.IMG_1247

This then gets rolled out to 12 inches — as you can see it fell apart a bit at the edges. I don’t think I brought the dough fully together before chilling it.

Then it gets transferred to a 9 inch dish and chilled for 15 minutes. I’m using a silicone dish because it’s all we’ve got. However I’ll be buying a Pyrex dish after this as transferring pastry around in a floppy silicone dish is a nightmare!


After chilling the extra pastry is cut off and the edges crimped, then back in the fridge for another 15 minutes.


After chilling it gets lined with foil and heavy beans poured in ready to be baked blind for 15 minutes at 180c fan, then another 5 minutes with the foil taken off.

Meanwhile the filling is made. The pumpkin purée is heated with the sugar and spices until it goes silky.


The cream and milk gets added and brought just to the boil before coming off the heat.


Meanwhile the eggs are whisked together, and placed in a wet tea towel nest so the hot pumpkin can be gradually whisked in (to avoid the eggs turning into scrambled eggs!).

This mix then gets poured into the pastry case (which unfortunately had shrunk and cracked on the side in a couple of places) while it’s in the oven before being baked for 25 minutes. This was supposed to be until the middle wobbled like jelly, but mine seemed pretty firm after 25 minutes.


This then cools on a rack for an hour before you’re allowed to eat it!




IMG_1255Getting it out on to a plate was probably the only part where the silicone actually helped, as I could sort of peel it off! So it was time to cut a slice out.


Hehe — it all held together! And it tastes great: warm and spicy, with really short pastry (and no soggy bottom!).

Now we just have to wait until tomorrow to try the traditional chilled version.





  • 1 1/4 cups plain (AP) flour (6 1/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into two pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vodka, cold
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Cut butter & shortening into flour & salt using food processor. Combine into dough using water and vodka.
Chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.


  • 1 can pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup double cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 4 eggs

Heat pumpkin, sugar & spices in a pan until silky. Add cream and milk until it just boils, whisk gradually into whisked eggs. Pour into pastry while in the oven, cook for another 25 minutes until the middle is like set jelly. Cool for an hour on a rack before plating up and chilling.

2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Pie

  1. I suggest NOT using a Pyrex dish for pastry dishes. Metal dishes get much hotter so the pastry cooks better. Delia Smith agrees too Pyrex, glass & porcelain all create pies with “soggy bottoms”


    1. According to the equipment test I watched recently glass works well to brown the sides… I’ll probably get glass and metal and test…


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