The humble pumpkin pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving dish with a long history - although there is some disagreement about where the tradition began...
One of the first mentions of pumpkin dates back to 1536 after European explorers returned from their overseas explorations of the New World. As part of the cultural exchange between the Old and New worlds, pumpkins made their way to England where they were grown and used in various recipes. When the Pilgrims set sail for North America in 1620, many of the colonists were probably familiar with the vegetable and its dessert form, but it was not until the end of the 17th century that the pumpkin pie made its way into the recipe books. As Thanksgiving became more widely celebrated, the popularity of the pie also grew. However, it was the release of Amelia Simmons’ cookbook American Cookery in 1796 that recognised the pumpkin pie as a distinctly American Thanksgiving tradition. The cookbook contained two recipes for pumpkin pie, one of which closely resembles recipes widely used today.
As you might imagine, the traditional recipe has been adapted in every which way possible, but we have developed one with a good glug of spiced rum that we think is just right!
For the pastry: TIP - Shop bought shortcrust pastry works great for this recipe, but if you prefer to make your own follow our recipe below!
- 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 125g butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 medium free-range egg yolk
- 1 tbsp Spiced Rum 3 (optional – see tip)
For the filling:
- 425g can pumpkin puree (we recommend canned for ease - but feel free to make your own!)
- 397g can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon Ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 35ml Spiced Rum 3
- Extra double cream
If using shop-bought pastry, skip to 2.
To make the pastry, put the flour, icing sugar, ground ginger, and cinnamon in a food processor with a pinch of salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse slowly to form fine breadcrumbs. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolk with the rum and 1 tbsp cold water. Add to the flour mixture, then pulse until the mixture begins to bind. (If you don’t have a food processor, use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the egg, rum and water and combine quickly until the mixture begins to form a dough - but try not to handle the pastry too much otherwise the butter will melt) Turn out onto a large sheet of cling film, bring the dough together with the sides of the cling film, then wrap well. Shape into a disc and chill for 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. With a lightly flour-dusted rolling pin, roll your pastry into a circle roughly 28cm in diameter and 0.5cm thick. Loosely roll the pastry around the rolling pin, then lift into the tart tin and gently press into the edges. Chill for a further 30 minutes - this will prevent your pastry from shrinking in the oven.
- Once chilled, blind bake your pastry case for 20 mins at 200°C, meanwhile make the filling.
- To make the pumpkin filling, combine the tinned pumpkin, condensed milk, vanilla extract and spices. Beat in two eggs and add 35ml of Spiced rum 3. Ensure the mixture is smooth.
- Remove the pastry case from the oven and remove baking paper and baking beads used for blind baking. Pour the filling into the pie dish, ensuring it does not exceed the height of the pastry case and smooth it over with the back of a dessert spoon or palette knife.
Bake in the middle of the oven at 200°C for 15 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 180°C for 40-45 minutes until the filling has a slight wobble, but a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the pie to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tin. Once cool, the pie can be placed in the fridge for 2-3 days, as long as it is well covered. We recommend placing it in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting so it holds its shape.
- Serve with a dollop of extra thick or whipped double cream and enjoy!
Don't forget to tag us in your photos @liquorsmithsldn if you try this one out - we hope you love it as much as we do!