Dish of the Day: The Reluctant Vegetarian’s recipe for Whole Pumpkin Pie
It’s that time of the year where millions of people buy fresh pumpkins to do little more with than carve a scary face into it, forgetting all about its tasty flesh. If you’re into eating pumpkin, and prefer feeding people to scaring them then definitely give this one a try.
You probably couldn’t buy a more seasonal vegetable this time of the year and with us being so close to Halloween, pumpkins are easy to find in most food shops. The sweetness of the pumpkin, nutmeg and leeks combined with bundles of spinach (we all need as many greens as possible this time of the year) and cheese make for a very comforting dish. That’s before we’ve even got to the crunchy pastry lid! If you’re opting to cook up a feast for Halloween instead of ‘Trick or Treating then make sure this is at the centre of your table.
Feeds – 6/8
Cooking Time / Preparation – 30mins
-1 x Pumpkin (mine was about 10 inches wide and 8 inches high – medium sized) – Cut the top off and scrape out all the seeds
-1/2 x Fresh nutmeg – finely grated
-Olive oil – Big glug
-500g x Fresh spinach – Thoroughly washed and cooked on the hob, all water drained
-3 x Leeks – Sliced into 1cm thick loops
-2 x Large handfuls of mature cheddar (vegetarian) – Grated
-1.5 Pints of semi skimmed milk
-1 x Tsp of Dijon mustard
-30g of Butter
-4 x Tbsp of plain flour
-Short crust pastry – Pre-rolled if you want to save time
-1 x Egg yolk – To brush over the pastry lid.
Start by washing the pumpkin, then with a sharp knife carefully slice off the top, remove all the seeds inside with a spoon (your hand works just as well). Season with salt, pepper and a quarter of grated fresh nutmeg before adding a glug of oil and putting int he oven on 190 degrees Celsius. Roast for 20 minutes.
Whilst the pumpkin is cooking add your butter to a pan and melt over a medium to low heat. Once melted add in the flour and whisk until you start to form a thick paste. Next add in the Dijon, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper, cooking the paste for a minute or so before gradually adding in the milk until it turns into a thick sauce. This should take around 4-5 minutes and there’s shouldn’t be any lumps left in the sauce once cooked.
Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly then add in the sliced leeks and let them cook for 5 minutes in the sauce. You can also add in the grated vegetarian cheese at this point, just make sure you stir it in thoroughly.
Wash the spinach and cook in a separate pan for 2 minutes until wilted. Drain the water that comes off it and add to the cheese and leek sauce.
Once the pumpkin has been cooking for 20 mins add the cooked filling and cover the top of the pumpkin with your shortcrust pastry, cutting it to fit the top of the pumpkin. Press the sides with the back of a fork and with a pastry brush cover with egg yolk to get the gold finish. Cook on 190 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes. Serve once the pastry is golden.
Serve up the pie so everyone gets a good slice of the pumpkin.
Follow Anna on Twitter @GETINMYGOBTagged in: halloween, halloween 2013, pumpkin pie
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