Halloween Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Nothing spooky or scary in this delicious seasonal pumpkin pie!

Pumpkins, or squashes, are grown all over the world and are part of the vegetable Cucurbita family, but are more familiar to most of us with their associations with Halloween.

In fact, the carving of scary vegetables was introduced by Irish immigrants when they emigrated to North America – originally turnips or large potatoes were used to carve the‘ Jack O’lanterns’ – but inevitably the plentiful, native pumpkins were used. Using pumpkins as a sweet ingredient also dates back centuries and across the world, when the hollowed, deseeded shell would be filled with milk, spices honey and nuts and baked in the embers of the cooking fire.

Pumpkin Pie making is a little more recent, with the advent of regulated baking ovens – and of course is now synonymous with the American celebration of Thanksgiving and Pumpkin pie is an integral part of the menu for family celebrations and get-togethers.

Our recipe uses the traditional ingredients, but if you wish you can add nuts, for additional texture and flavour. Can be served warm or cold.

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 250g flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 60g lard
  • 65g butter
  • 8 tsp water, approx.

For the pumpkin filling:

  • 600g cooked, strained pumpkin or squash (see method; below)
  • 250ml milk
  • 3 egg, separated
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp /pinch ground cloves
  • ⅛ tsp /pinch salt
  • Grated nutmeg
  • 40g chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

To make the shortcrust pastry:

Preheat oven to 200ºC/Gas mark 6.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Cut the fat into small pieces, add to the flour. Rub in with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the centre, add the water gradually and mix into a firm dough.

Roll out and line a 9”/23cm deep fluted flan tin and using greaseproof paper and baking beans, bake blind for 20 minutes.

Remove beans and return to the oven for a few minutes to dry out – the pastry should be pale but dry. Remove from the oven, and reduce temperature to 180ºc/Gas mark 4.

To make the pumpkin filling:

Wash pumpkin or squash, remove seeds and cut into large pieces.  Leave skin on, bake in the oven at 180ºC/Gas mark 4 until soft, remove pulp with a large spoon.

Pass through a sieve to remove fibres and leave to cool.

Mix together the pumpkin pulp and milk and beat in the egg yolks. Beat in the sugar, spices, salt and vanilla.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture, with the chopped nuts, if using.

Pour into the prepared pastry case and bake for 45 minutes – the filling will be soft, but just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, on a baking rack.

If you enjoy making this delicious Halloween Pumpkin Pie, take a look at some of our other recipe blogs or browse through our Lifestyle Cookery Classes to refine your cookery skills with our teachers.