This recipe is 154 years old! It was originally in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management and I love the fact that my family still use it now. I’ve adapted it slightly of course to make it gluten free and added a twist of Jack Daniels (shhh, don’t tell hubby!) instead of the cooking brandy I used to use. However, in essence it’s still true to the simplicity of a Victorian Household Recipe.

The reason I baked this today of all days? I defrosted the freezer! It had gotten to the point where I needed a crowbar to move the drawers and I also needed to keep busy today [that’s another story] and since I’d already scrubbed the floors and dusted it was naturally next on my frantic cleaning to-do-list! Why the pumpkin pie though Rebecca I hear you ask? Oh yes, I digress. I found two portions of sieved pumpkin.

You see, the key to this bake is preparation and forward planning (NO! I hear you cry, that’s not fun!) Trust me, do this little bit of legwork beforehand and you can be sitting there watching Sunday afternoon TV and fancy a slice of pie and behold, 90mins later you have it!

Pumpkin is a squash, so is butternut and so too are all these beauties below, for a more authentic look go for one with a pale to dark orange flesh – the skin is normally (but not always) a clue to the treasures inside;

(1) You can peel the pumpkin/squash dice it and add it to a huge pot, only just cover with water and boil until soft, then drain and pass through a sieve or blend depending on whether you’ve had a bad day and need to use up any excess bad energy.

(2) The alternative to this is steam before blending or passing through a sieve.

(3) A third option, which I’ll be honest and say say I’ve not tried yet, is to roast the pumpkin/squash by simply cutting in half (watch your fingers they’re tough little things) and brushing with sunflower oil. when soft and caramelised scoop out flesh and choose your method of pureeing.

The third option will give you a more intense flavour and be much sweeter due to the caramelisation process. As I say, I’ve not tried yet but I can also guarantee the colour of the pie with be darker as a result.

This is the satisfying bit, if you do this with a large pumpkin or 2/3 smaller squashes you’ll probably get about 2pts of puree so 1/2pt for now and plenty for three more pies.

Obviously this is an old photo I had, I PROMISE I didn’t use over year old frozen pumpkin!

One last tip, you can bake blind or pour the custard mixture straight into the pastry case, I find baking blind makes very little difference to the base of the pastry case and you run a greater risk of burning the crust. GF pastry has attitude, you mistreat it and it will fall apart if you as much as look at it funny! I find that if you cover the tin with foil and bake it for the first 20mins like this you’ll get better results … you’ll notice that I cheat in this recipe and use Mrs Crimbles ready made pastry. Homemade GF pastry and I are not talking at the moment, we’ve fallen out! Apparently if you can bake cakes you can’t make pastry and visa versa – I’ll keep trying.

Ingredients

1 packet Mrs Crimbles Pastry Mix
1/2pt sieved pumpkin
3 eggs
2tbsp Jack Daniels (or any whisky/brandy/rum in the cabinet!)
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ginger
1tsp ground nutmeg
4oz/1 cup caster sugar

Method

  1. Follow instructions for pastry and chill for 30mins (preferably more if you have time)
  2. Roll pastry and cover a prepared round sandwich cake tin.
  3. Add pumpkin, eggs, whisky, spices and sugar into a jug and mix to combine
  4. Pour into pastry case (no need to bake blind)
  5. Bake in preheated oven on Gas 5/190C/375F for 45mins
  6. Check for last 10mins to see if you need to place foil onto to prevent burnt edges.
  7. Allow to totally cool before removing from tin – this will complete setting after removing it from the oven.