The orange glow of pumpkins is often pictured hand in hand with the warm colors of autumn, falling leaves, and the arrival of the holidays. However, this seasonal staple has a deeper history and used to be savored all year round. As early as 5,500 B.C., people throughout South America, Mexico, and the eastern United States cultivated this crop. The earliest explorers recognized the pumpkin’s sweet flavor and brought it back to Europe, where the first pumpkin pie was created and made its cookbook debut in 1675.
Enjoy this treasured holiday recipe with your loved ones in your home – or perhaps on board with us on a Thanksgiving river cruise journey!
Serves 8 People
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- A pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 2–3 tablespoons cold water
Pie Filling (about 10 ounces of double cream)
- 1lb prepared pumpkin flesh, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 additional yolk
- 5 ½ tablespoons soft dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
Step 1. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter.
Step 2. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to massage the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Try to work quickly so that the mixture does not become greasy.
Step 3. Using a table knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together. You should always start with 1-2 tablespoons and add more if needed.
Step 4. Gently knead the pastry on a clean work surface until it comes together. Handle the pastry gently and as little as possible – just enough to bring it together to a smooth dough.
- Alternatively: Put the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the fat is rubbed into the flour. With the motor running, gradually add the water through the funnel until the dough comes together. Only add enough water to bind it and then stop.
Step 1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
- If using a store-bought sweet crust pastry crust: Use one that is 9 inches in diameter and 1 ½ inches deep. Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 9-inch pie plate. Bake the pastry crust blind for 20 minutes.
Step 2. To make the filling, place the pumpkin chunks on a baking tray, cover with foil, and roast until tender. This will take about 20-30 minutes, depending on your pumpkin. Press the cooked pumpkin in a coarse sieve and extract any excess water. Set aside to cool before blending in a food processor to a pureé.
Step 3. Lightly whisk the eggs and extra yolk together in a large bowl.
Step 4. Place the sugar, spices, and the cream in a pan, bring to simmering point, giving it a whisk to mix everything together. Pour the mixture over the eggs and whisk it again briefly. Afterward, add the pumpkin pureé, still whisking to combine everything thoroughly.
Step 5. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Pour the filling into your pastry crust and bake for 35-40 minutes, when it puffs up around the edges but still feels slightly wobbly in the center.
Step 6. Remove the pie from the oven and place the tin on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or chilled, with some chilled whipped cream.