Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pie Pumpkin Custard Pies for Hallowe'en!!

Yum, here is a well lighted close up of the finished creamy, deliciousness of a fruity, spice spiked, vanilla infused pumpkin bowl of divinity!!
...and here is the uncooked pumpkin custard 'pie' before she heads off into the oven for a nice, warm bake...nestled in her little padding of aluminium foil to keep her steady as she blows!!

THE RECIPE (again from an ancient copy of British Country Living)

Ingredients:
1 6" pie pumpkin, halved and cleaned
soft salted butter...a large pat (like me)
2 large eggs whisked together
10 fl oz US (½ pt UK) heavy/double cream
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon...more if you like I am not a big fan of cinnamon
½ teaspoon at least of freshly grated nutmeg...I do really like nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
1 teaspoon almond essence/extract
2 heaped tablespoons chopped crystalized ginger
2 heaped tablespoons candied orange peel...(I did my own and added lemon juice to the water and sugar when it was boiling down...tasted great)
2 heaped tablespoons currants
3 heaped tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons of rum if you like, then it's like baked eggnog with fruit added in!...I didn’t use it because I don’t have any rum!!

THE PROCESS:
1. Heat oven to 400F
2. Mix together in a jug, ready to pour, the cream, eggs, sugar, spices, ginger, candied peel, currants, extracts...in other words everything but the pumpkins and butter...let it sit a while to steep the flavours.
3. Slather the cut and cleaned pumpkins with the soft butter and sprinkle sugar over the rims...then slash the insides of the pumpkins criss-crossedy, sit them in crumpled up pieces of aluminium foil in a baking pan/on a cookie sheet so you can keep them level - basically make a 'nest' of foil for them to sit securely in.
4. Put the EMPTY pumpkin halves in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and place a on a level surface - pour in the custard and spoon in the solids from the bottom of the jug but do not overfill - the custard expands a little when baking, if you have extra put into a ramekin and bake in a bain marie/water bath.
6. If you like grate more fresh nutmeg over the custards.
7. Bake again for about another 20-25 minutes until the custard is almost completely set...I find the custard is so much smoother if you remove it from the oven when it still jiggles a tiny bit in the middle...it will continue to cook as it cools...if you catch it just right, which hooray I did, this custard is as smooth as the divine creme brulee I used to eat at Dean and Deluca in NY!!!
8. Allow to cool till just warm.
9. WOW...mine turned out really light, smooth and beautifully flavoured...bon chance with yours!!!

Awwww...my little pumpkin custard already made some new friends!!
Oh no!!! Who is that tapping on the window on this perfect Hallowe'en night in Maine??? Still blustery, balmy, full moon...doesn't get any better than this!! 

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