Pumpkin pie

Wheat free. Serves 6 - 8

I grew up on Pumpkin Pie and love it hot or cold. It’s wonderful and brimming with soul. I like this fairly spicy, but if it’s too much, simply reduce the nutmeg and cloves. If you would prefer to not have pastry, the custard can be made in an oven proof baking dish, but the dish will have to be put in a water bath to protect the eggs from curdling. My mum makes hers with a light meringue, and there is a difference of opinion in our family as to who makes the better version…

¾ cup wholemeal spelt flour
¾ cup white spelt flour
100g cold butter
1 tablespoon golden castor sugar
50–60g ice cold water

1 ½ cups cooked and cooled butternut or Jap pumpkin –( approx 420g uncooked and unpeeled)
½ - ¾ dark brown (muscovado) sugar
1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground cloves
1 tablespoon white spelt flour
3 eggs
½ cup milk (any is fine)

Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter into the flour in a bowl until it is incorporated into the flour (some bits might still be a bit chunky). Add the sugar and quickly rub through. Any chunks need to be quite small. If using a food processor, pulse one or two times, or until ready and turn out into a bowl.
Begin to mix the water gradually into the flour and butter, using a bread and butter knife to cut the wet into the dry. Use only as much water as you need – some flours will absorb more than others. Once the mixture looks evenly moist, bring it together into a ball (but don’t knead or work it too much.) Flatten, cover and chill for approximately 20 mins or until cold to the touch. The pastry is now ready to use.

Pre heat oven to 190c or 170c if fan forced. Put a baking tray in the oven to heat up.

Lightly butter a 20cm x 5 cm depth tart tin. To roll the pastry, use as little flour as possible, but enough to make sure the rolling surface is covered. Lightly flour the rolling pin. Roll once or twice using a heavy, decent size rolling pin, then run a palette knife underneath, move the pastry firmly and quickly, lightly re dust the rolling area with flour and turn the dough over. Continue to repeat this process, folding the dough if necessary to move. Roll out to approx 3 mm thick and line tin and place in the freezer for a couple of minutes.

To make the filling, add all ingredients, except the eggs to a food processor or mixing bowl and combine until smooth. Check for taste, adding the extra sugar if needed. Add the eggs and combine until smooth.

Line the well chilled pastry shell with baking paper and fill with baking beans or raw rice. Put into the hot oven on the hot baking tray and bake blind for 15 mins. Remove from oven, and lift the baking paper with beans out into a bowl to cool. Pour in the filling. Reduce the temperature to 170c or 160c if fan forced and return the pie to the oven. Cook for approx 45 mins - checking after 30 mins to see if the oven is too hot. This will be indicated by the outside pie filling, rising and cracking. If so, decrease the heat to 160c or 150c if fan forced. The pie is cooked when the outside pie filling is lightly puffed and the middle is firm, but not puffed.