Posting has been a bit hectic lately, and I’m not blaming it on the weather. Although these past dark and rainy days have been perfect for lounging around the house, catching up on my mags and finishing up old books. However I did not do that, for it was my father’s birthday 🙂 So with a birthday weekend ahead I decided it was a great time to give that pumpkin pie I’ve been talking about a try.
And without further ado, let me introduce you to our pumpkin!
As far as I know, in Romania, pumpkin pie is approached very much  like an apple pie. The pumpkin is grated and cooked with the sugar and spices in order to make the filling. However I wanted a traditional take on it, so I went for the American Pumpkin Pie. After studying several recipes, bot online and offline, I’ve decide to take bits and pieces from a few of them and make my own. (check out the sources here, here, here, and here)
Because you can’t have a pumpkin pie without pumpkin puree, the first thing you have to do is cut your pumpkin in half (you might want to ask someone for help with this one) and spoon out the middle pulp. While you’re doing so, preheat the oven at 350F (around 175-180C).
Coat your oven tray, or any other pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and place the pumpkin on it, cut sides down.
Then bake for around 60min or until you can easily pierce it with a fork. Be careful with handling it  when you check if it’s done, because it’s quite heavy and, by this point, hot too.
While the pumpkin is baking in the oven, you can start on the pie crust. Mix the white ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) either with a mixer or with a food processor fitted with the steel blade (the sharp one). Add the butter and continue mixing until you get a grainy, sandy texture.
Add the water one spoon at a time in order to create a dough (you’ll see that 3 tablespoons are more than enough, so don’t overdo it). Transfer this to a lightly floured surface where you knead the dough briefly until it becomes smooth. Shape it into a disc, wrap it intro plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 min.
It can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, or if airtight, frozen for up to 6 months. So it would be smart (not that I thought of it) to do more of it and freeze individual dough discs to save time on future pies.
The pumpkin should be done by now, so carefully take it out of the oven and let it rest at room temperature until it can be handled. I flipped it over in order for it to cool faster, yet be cautious with the stored steam!

When it is cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh puree it with the food processor.

Now, you can either place the puree in a sieve that’s been lined with a cheesecloth and place over a bowl and let drain for 30min. Or do what I (the person who doesn’t read the instructions beforehand), and, consequently, was not equipped with a large sieve OR a cheesecloth) did: spoon it through a sieve in order to drain it spoon by spoon. I would recommend the former.

Back to the pie crust, after it’s been in there for at least 30min, take the dough out of the fridge and let it get to room temperature. On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, shape into a large, and thin circle (about 12inches / 30cm in diameter; 1/8inch / 0.3cm thick).

Lift if on the rolling pin and place it in you pie plate. Or, if you’re afraid it might loose its shape, try this: fold it in half, then quarter; place the formed triangle’s tip in the middle of your pie plate and unfold it.

Trim the edges that go over the shape and optionally create some sort of decoration for the pie out of that remaining dough (e.g. the leaves that I ended up doing). Poke the bottom of the pie crust with a fork several times, and if you want (I didn’t do so) refrigerate it for 20 minutes to make it firm.

Heat the oven to 400F (about 200C). Line the pie crust with parchment paper or aluminium foil and fill it with dried beans, or if you’re like me and didn’t get any, use lots of rice.

Bake until the sides look dry, for around 15-20min. Take it out of the over, remove the foil and weights (carefully) and bake for another 5min until the bottom is also dry and the edges have a light golden color.

Ok, we’re almost there! For the filling, mix all of the above ingredients in a food processor of with a mixer. Transfer the mixture into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, then bring it to simmer over medium-high heat. Stir constantly for about 5 min until the mixture is thick and shiny.

If you could somehow time it, this would be a perfect time for the pie crust to come out of the oven in order for it to cool a bit before receiving the filling.

Whisk the milk and heavy cream into the mixture that’s on the oven and bring it to simmer again. Mix the eggs into a large bowl and then slowly pour the hot pumpkin mixture over them while mixing continuously.

Turn the oven to 425F (218-220C), pour the warm filling into the hot pie crust and bake for around 10min. Then lower the temperature to 300F (150C) and bake for 50-60min until the pie is set on the sides but slightly jiggly in the center, as it will continue to set as it cools. Place it on a wire rack to cool completely and refrigerate it from anywhere between 2 hours and 2 days.

And know that just ready the instructions takes forever, and make it is honestly an exhausting endeavour. Even so, it i one of the best things I’ve cooked, and even tasted!

So if you do have the time, patience and energy, do try this flavourful tasty treat. As always, I’m here for any questions. And let me know how it turns out 🙂