Freshness Update: Even after two days in the fridge, aside from some shrinkage and sweating, the pastry and pie both remain delicious. You’d be best to let it rest overnight and there are methods to avoid shrinkage, but I have absolutely no experience with baked custards so I can only advice you look it up if you need a pristine pie. For Jack this is enough. I still have to test a freezer pie and when I do I’ll report back.
Ah, Dear Reader, this has been in the pipeline for, oh, three years or so. What? I get it done, eventually, heh. In all honesty the major difficulty with a recipe like this is twofold: Firstly I’ve never eaten, seen it in person nor heard anyone ever mention, Pumpkin Pie. So I have no frame of reference as to what it should be like. Recipes, like the one I based this on, never say anything about how it should turn out or taste, then they pose photos to further obfuscate matters, so the second problem occurs: I’m a stickler for details when I’m sharing something, I will wrack my brain to wring out every necessary description, step and variable. Which is exhausting. When large recipes sites fail to do this you’d think I’d give myself a free pass, but I never do, not that it really does anything tangible, I never know who uses these recipes outside of a few dedicated Dear Readers, but it is stressful, it’s why I often shy away from these kinds of recipes, but an abundance of squash forced me to reconsider and, well, here we are. If ever you feel that Jack deserves something for his work remember that a share, like, comment or a coffee really do make a difference. Anyway, onto the breakdown, no, not the break-dance. Stop doing the worm!
A little about pumpkin and squash flesh variations. Pumpkins are more watery in composition, because they’re big probably, I just grow things, Dear Reader, I don’t quickly Google and then copy and paste, and fresh squash such as the kind I used are much drier. This is annoying because it reduces the cooking time, which can make it confusing for anyone making these, add to the fact these are individual pies and you’re better doing the double test of a knife coming out clean and a press for firmness. For the most part, aside from the sweetness naturally present in the flesh, you’re okay with any squash or pumpkin, but do make sure that you’re using the flesh and not the fibres that surround the seeds. You’re making a dense, cream custard not an abomination. The taste isn’t all that much with the squash alone, between the sugar and spices, and whatever topping you decide on, I wish I’d had some whipped cream, you’re going to find them the main cause of taste. As an aside: I’m really not huge into sweet treats anymore, it’s part of the lifestyle, so if at any point I seem less than enthused about any of this just remember I’d never share I recipe I wasn’t happy with and willing to eat myself. I just can’t muster the energy to care all that much about sweet things. The work of eating as I do is draining at times, Dear Reader, but know the recipes when they appear will be great and this is no exception.
Look at me, Dear Reader, and hearken: I don’t know what baked custard is. I was flying by the seat of my pants, thanks to the lack of description in the original, and many others. You’re pouring a mixture of vegetable, fruit really, but anyway, sugar, milk and eggs into pie shells. That isn’t anything like the food I grew up on. Pumpkin pie is this strange concoction from America. With the quick bake, again probably freshness and dryness, I was weary. It looks odd, feels strangely firm until you cut it. When I ate some, hot, but much better cool, I’m freezing two as a test I’ll update whenever, it wasn’t a lot of things, bear with me, it wasn’t mousse, it was too dense for that, it wasn’t baked cheese cake, it was creamier and lighter than that, it wasn’t mashed squash, it was too sweet and gently spiced for that, it really is just it’s own textural experience. If I had had more chances to try foods way back when I may have a better descriptor for it, but as it is, to me at least, it isn’t a lot of things, but it’s really delicious. The pastry might be a little harder than you’re used to and the taste is stronger if you more accustomed to wheat flours, I’m so long at this this is the norm to me so I can’t approach in the other direction in my write up. But, for a dry flour, it yields a delicate pastry, the slightly drier texture always suits me with a moist filling, moist but not soggy, it doesn’t look that was, but it’s firm and just dissolves on the tongue. But it doesn’t look like it should, which is what cause me such confusion eating it. A really interesting taste too, the spice is just there enough, the sweetness is just right, you could top it with more sugar if you’d like it sweeter, or ice-cream say, a double melting delight.
As for the assembly, it’s all really simple once you’ve made the pastry, which with practice is simple. I’ve frozen two, as I said, wrapped in cellophane and tinfoil as per directions, somewhere, and I’ll update with the results of the freezing. As I say I just don’t want this much these days, it’d be fine if I could store them guaranteed, but even then I just feel better without all this unnecessary food hanging around. I’m not on my best form today, so if I’ve missed anything or you have any questions about this recipe just ask below. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader.
440g Buckwheat Flour
200g Butter, Very Cold, Cut into Cubes
2 Chia Egg (2 Tbsp Ground Chia in 6 Tbsp Water for 10 minutes in fridge)
2 Medium Eggs (60-65g in Shell)
60g Caster Sugar
4 to 6 Tbsp Ice Cold Water (Only if Needed)
Pumpkin Custard Filling
750g Steamed Squash Puree
140g Caster Sugar
2 Tsp Pumpkin Spice (More as desired)
2 Medium Eggs (60-65g in Shell)
25g Butter Melted
175ml Full Fat Milk
Makes five 6 inch tarts.
1. Add the Butter, Flour and Caster Sugar and crumble together with hands until it forms a lumpy, dry breadcrumb like mixture.
2. Add the two Eggs, Chia and Chicken, and then mix with a fork without water. You shouldn’t need it.
3. Dust lightly with flour, knead into a ball and then form into a flat disc and place in fridge for 2 hours.
5. Grease the baking tin with Butter and scatter with Buckwheat Flour, shaking out the excess.
6. Divide dough into five parts, take o part from the fridge as needed, keeping the others chilled, roll out the Dough into a circle and place over the baking tin, trimming the edges as needed. Prick the bottom with a fork.
7. Blind bake, with baking beads or rice in crumpled greaseproof paper, for 10 to 15 minutes at 180c (Fan). Remove from the oven and remove the rice and greaseproof paper then bake for another 5 minutes or until centre is dry to the touch. Leave to cool in tins.
8. Pre-heat the oven to 200c (Fan) and add the Squash and Milk to a food processor and blend until smooth, then add the Sugar, Eggs and Pumpkin Spice, blend until uniform and smooth. Finally blend in the Butter until mixed. Pour into the baked shells.
9. Bake the Pies for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 180c (Fan) and bake for a further 15-25 minutes or until pies are firm to the touch. Bake for longer if needed, but cover with grease-proof if the top starts to brown too much. When ready test with a knife and if clean leave the pies to cool completely before cutting.