When an abundance of pumpkin is occurring, make pie. Sweet and spicy, smooth and crunchy, buttery and creamy. Enough said. Bake pies, all of the pies.
Pumpkin pie with whipped maple cream
2 cups pumpkin puree (steam 500g peeled pumpkin until soft, then puree)
3 free range eggs
1 ½ cups thickened cream
190g brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Zest of 1 orange
250g plain flour
110g pure icing sugar, sifted
110g unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
Pecan, gingernut layer and nut topping
¼ pucup pecans, toasted and ground
¼ cup crushed gingersnap cookies
½ cup almonds or in season nuts
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
1 cup pouring cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Start with the pastry, place the flour and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and process until the mixture forms a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Once chilled, roll pastry out on a lightly floured workbench and use to line a lightly greased 23cm fluted pan. Place back in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill further. Next make the pecan gingersnap layer by toasting the pecans in the oven for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and then place the pecans, along with the ginger nut cookies, in a food processor and process until finely ground. Press this mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the unbaked pie crust. Cover and return the pastry to the refrigerator while you make the pumpkin filling.
Line the pan with baking paper, place the almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup on top of the baking paper and blind-bake for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and set the nuts aside for later. Increase oven temperature to 220°C. Place pumpkin puree, eggs, cream, sugar and spices in a processor and whiz until smooth. Pour into the tart shell, then bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 150°C and bake for a further 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and sprinkle the nuts on top of the pie, then return to the oven for a remaining 10 minutes. The pie should be just firm when cooked.
Cool, then make the maple cream by pouring the cream into a small bowl and mixing with a hand mixer. As the cream starts to thicken, slowly drizzle in the maple syrup and mix until the consistency you desire. Serve the pie in slices with the whipped maple cream.