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29 Oct, 2018

Pumpkin, cherry and almond pie

Using pumpkin in sweet dishes has a long history – pumpkins were once stuffed with apples, sugar and spices to serve with savoury foods and spicy, sweet pumpkin pie is traditional for American Thanksgiving. I love the naturally sweet, smooth texture of this pumpkin filling, which works very well with cherries. The pastry base can be a little fiddly as it doesn’t hold together like regular shortcrust, but it’s worth the faff. If the pastry breaks as you line the tin, you can just patch it up.

Recipes

Ingredients

For the pastry:
200g porridge oats
150g ground almonds
Grated zest of 1 orange
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 egg
1 tbsp wheat-free flour, plus extra for rolling out and dusting the tin
For the filling:
400g pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cardamom
70g ground almonds
Grated zest of 1 orange
3 eggs
400g fresh cherries, stoned and cut in half

To serve:
100g fresh cherries
1 tbsp honey
Coconut yoghurt

Method

Using pumpkin in sweet dishes has a long history – pumpkins were once stuffed with apples, sugar and spices to serve with savoury foods and spicy, sweet pumpkin pie is traditional for American Thanksgiving. I love the naturally sweet, smooth texture of this pumpkin filling, which works very well with cherries. The pastry base can be a little fiddly as it doesn’t hold together like regular shortcrust, but it’s worth the faff. If the pastry breaks as you line the tin, you can just patch it up.

Serves 4.

To make the pastry, put the oats, almonds, orange zest, maple syrup and egg into a large mixing bowl and bring together with your hands to form a dough.

Dust your work surface with the tablespoon of flour. Place the dough on the surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°c / Fan 180°c / Gas 6. Dust a 20cm fluted tart tin with flour.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on the lightly floured surface. Place it over the tart tin and gently press over the bottom and into the sides. Trim off the excess and use to patch any holes. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then set the pastry case aside to cool. Leave the oven on.

To make the filling, spread out the pumpkin on a baking tray and roast for about 30 minutes until tender. Leave to cool, then tip into a food processor, add the oil and maple syrup, and blitz until smooth. Add the rest of the filling ingredients, except the cherries, and blitz to combine – the texture should be similar to a sponge cake mixture.

Pour the filling into the pastry case. Scatter the cherries evenly over the surface and press them halfway into the mixture so that they are still visible on top. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the filling has set and is lightly golden on top. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before serving.


While the pie is in the oven, put the additional cherries in a pan with the honey and cook on a low heat for a few minutes until the cherries have softened. Allow to cool.

To serve, top each piece of pie with coconut yoghurt and some honeyed cherries.


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