Recipe | A not too sweet pumpkin pie

I loved celebrating Thanksgiving when we lived in America and have many great memories of the lovely holiday. The first time I experienced snow was over a Thanksgiving weekend that we spent in upstate New York. The following year we spent it with friends in their place in D.C and the one after that we walked around to a friends place through the snow to join a Thanksgiving party. Happy happy times! Now each year when it rolls around and I see endless posts about it on Instagram and Facebook, many food related, I become rather envious and get a tad nostalgic. So this year I decided we needed to have our own little Thanksgiving here at the coast, minus the snow..

We had this pumpkin pie with stuffed turkey, roasted sweet potato, carrots from our garden and green beans. I thoroughly enjoyed it all.

I came across the recipe for this pumpkin pie in a Country Style magazine earlier in the year and made it in March (for no particular reason other than I do enjoy a slice or two of pumpkin pie..). It's great because it's not too sweet and instead brings out the subtle earthy sweetness of the pumpkin. It's a pumpkin pie where you can still very much taste the pumpkin and I love it. It's pretty easy to make but the pastry requires a fair bit of resting time so I suggest starting on that before anything else.

I love it served with tangy greek yoghurt but it would be delicious with cream or ice cream too. Happy Thanksgiving to you! x

A not too sweet pumpkin pie 
Serves 8 - 12
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
1/4 large (1.3kg piece) kent or bohemian pumpkin, deseeded and peeled
1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice 
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup Greek yoghurt
Extra 1/2 firmly packed brown sugar
4 eggs, lightly whisked
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt
Extra Greek yoghurt to serve 


200g plain flour
1/4 tsp finely ground sea salt
180g cold unsalted butter, chopped
1/4 cup very cold water
Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Simmer for 5 - 7 minutes or until reduced by half. Cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 190C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut pumpkin into chunks and place in a bowl. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, mixed spice and ginger in a separate bowl. Sprinkle pumpkin with sugar mixture and drizzle with reduced balsamic. Toss well until pumpkin in evenly coated. Place pumpkin on prepared tray. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until tender and lightly caramelised.

Transfer pumpkin mixture to a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until pureed (don't worry if there are lumps). Cool slightly. Add yoghurt, extra sugar, eggs, maple syrup and sea salt, and stir well until combined. Set aside until required.

To make pastry, combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Toss in butter and using the heel of your hand, push down and away from you on flour and butter mixture. Repeat gathering mixture back up unto a pile ever so often, of until most of butter has been pushed into flour.
Make a well in the centre and add half of the water. Using a pastry scraper or a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion, mix until water is incorporated. Repeat with remaining water until a loose ball of dough forms. Tip onto lightly floured surface and knead, very gently, 4 - 6 times to bring dough into a ball. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of baking paper into a rough disc about 1 cm thick. Place in refrigerator to rest.

Lightly grease a 5cm deep 24cm round fluted tart pan with removable base. Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking until 2-3mm thick. Remove top sheet of paper. Use bottom sheet of paper to lift pastry and turn into prepared pan. Remove paper. Press pastry into the pan, ensuring the pastry extends above side of pan. Place on baking tray in freezer for 1 hour to rest.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beads or rice. Blind bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until firm. Remove baking paper and beads and bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes or until golden.

Spoon pumpkin mixture into pastry case until filling in 5 - 10 mm from top of pastry edge. Using a knife, smooth surface of pie.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife interred 5cm from edge of pie comes out clean. Set aside for 5 - 10 minutes to cool slightly. Remove pie from pan and cut into wedges. Serve topped with greek yoghurt and something like candied pecans or preserved apricots. 

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