Yes, you guessed it. It is the classic American pumpkin pie without the crust. The texture of this wonderful American invention is souffle-like and mouth-watering. Who needs pie crust anyway. I have since learned that most often the pie crust comes out soggy – So is not only healthier for you, gluten-free but also tastes amazing…
I have always wanted to try pumpkin pie but often veered away because all the recipes I found – all use pumpkin puree from a can. Well you can do this from scratch if you want to, but when you need to whip up something for those winter nights, everything but the eggs could be found in your pantry cupboard… win-win.! so please enjoy this super tasty dessert it has become a family favourite to rival apple pie.
Spices Used in this Recipe
The pumpkin pie recipe is incomplete without this highly aromatic, brownish spice. Cinnamon is actually the inner bark of the cinnamon tree and offers a distinctive flavour to your pie. This versatile spice lends a sweet, warm aroma and a sunny character to your pumpkin pie. Cinnamon is available in different varieties. The most common ones are Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon. While the Ceylon cinnamon is more refined, Cassia cinnamon is widely available and more economical. However, benefits with both varieties remain the same. Depending on your taste, you can use either of the cinnamon types in your pumpkin pie recipe.
Fresh ginger is dried and grounded to form ground ginger. This earthly flavoured spice can be combined naturally with other spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Almost all savoury dishes use ground ginger. Your pumpkin pie recipe can be made much tastier by combining ground ginger with complementary herbs. It also has several medicinal benefits making your pumpkin pie delicious and healthy.
It comes from the fruit of tropical evergreen trees. The hard and crinkled nutmeg “nut” is encased in a membrane which is then dried and ground. It is used not only for flavouring but also for preservative and medicinal purposes. This prized spice must be a compulsory addition to your pumpkin pie recipe in Australia. It brings a fragrance to the food and a warm and curious complexity that you can do without once tasted. It is used extensively in Indian and Chinese cultures extensively as a curative, flavour enhancer and as an aphrodisiac.
The cloves are basically dried flower buds that add a sweet and deep aroma to the dishes. They can be either grounded or used as a whole. They offer a bitter, camphor-like, highly aromatic flavour to your pumpkin pie. Cloves are popular for their intensity and need to be used with care. A small amount can be complemented with other spices and can pair well with both savoury and sweet flavours.
It is made from the evergreen pimento tree mainly found in South America and the West Indies. Its flavour profile can be compared to a combination of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. This complex flavour inspired the name “allspice”. It needs to be used in moderation for cooking. You will only need about 1/4th or 1/8th teaspoon for making your pumpkin pie taste great. It is available in both whole and ground version, although, the ground version has a higher success rate in desserts like pumpkin pie.
While attempting to reproduce a pumpkin pie recipe in Australia for the very first time, keep in mind the below-mentioned guidelines:
1. Consistency of the Filling
Puree your pumpkins at home for the filling after you roast them first in a low oven. Roasting removes the excess moisture from the pumpkin, encourages evaporation, and retains the flavour of the vegetable. Subsequently, puree the roasted pumpkin and thereafter cook it on the fire till it reduces and thickens inconsistency.
Homemade purees tend to be a lot runnier than the canned variety. Following the above steps ensures the filling does not make the crust soggy. Neither will the custard-like mixture leak out once spooned into the pie crust which acts as a protective casing.
2. Crust Matters
Before making the dough for the pie crust, make sure you chill all the required ingredients. Once the dough mix is well combined, chill the ball of dough to enable you to roll out even discs to line the baking tin. These discs should also be chilled and subsequently blind baked in a preheated oven.
In this manner, you achieve a flaky crust for your pumpkin pie recipe in Australia. Lightly brush the crust with egg wash to achieve a pleasant golden sheen during the baking process. If you fail to blind bake your empty pie shell, it is bound to get soggy as you dollop spoonfuls of the creamy filling into it.
3. Choice of Baking Pan
Baking the pumpkin pie in a Pyrex dish allows you to monitor the progress made while your pie bakes. Apart from being an efficient heat conductor, Pyrex ensures your crust attains a lovely golden brown tinge while baking.
Aluminium pans tend to overheat, which results in a burnt pie. Though ceramic pans look elegant, their drawback is they heat up slowly. Once you remove the dish from a hot oven, it retains the high temperature for a considerable length of time. With this, you run the risk of an over-baked pie.
4. Well Set Pie Filling
The filling of a pumpkin pie is more akin to a custard. The pie must be taken out of the oven when the filling is slightly wobbly as the custard sets completely while cooling outside. A crack on the top of the pie is an indication of an over baked custard. Camouflage the cracks by decorating them with whipped cream.
Ground ginger is ginger that has been dried and finely milled. It has a lemony fresh aroma and tangy freshness, slight spiciness and warmth that marry well with cakes, pastries and bread mixes as well as Indian and Asian curries. Ginger is considered a versatile spice, it can be used in sweet and savoury dishes and can replace fresh ginger in any recipe. In its powered form it is key ingredient in curry blends and Chinese Five Spice.$3.45
Cinnamon Ground – Cassia Vera
Cinnamon Ground is the ground powder form of the Cassia quills . It is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cassia vera. Cinnamon is used in both sweet and savoury foods to impart a warm spice flavour. In the Middle East it is commonly paired with meats such as chicken and lamb. The term ‘cinnamon’ also refers to its mid-brown colour.$3.45
Cloves are a dark brown, highly pungent and aromatic spice which should be used sparingly in both sweet and savoury dishes such as curries, sauces, stocks, apple dishes. It is especially good with baked ham. It is a spice used in a wide array of different cultures. It brings the palate a cleansing freshness and sweet-spicy flavour. Ground cloves are more likely to be used in recipes where the whole spice would be irritating to take out of the dish$3.45
photo compliments of food52.com
Mix sugar, salt, spices in a small bowl.
Beat eggs in a large bowl, add the pumpkin puree, add the sugar and spice mixture, Gradually stir in evaporated milk .
Pour into a pie shell or ramekins
Pre heat oven to 190 degree celcius . Place pie or ramekins in the oven for 15min..
Then turn down the heat to a moderate oven 170 degree’s or less for a fan forced oven.
cook for another 40 min and test to see the pie is firm and set in the middle. You can check this by seeing if a large knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the pie. Continue to cook for a few extra minutes if not set.
Serve immediately with cream or ice cream .
It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator but it is not suitable to freeze.