I love autumn and its bounty. Pumpkins and squash are among my favourite ingredients and I love using them in both sweet and savoury dishes. At Kai, we work with Lough Boora Organic Farm where they grow Kuri Hokkaido pumpkins, but you can use any other type of pumpkin. The process is the same, although you will have to remove the skin if using pumpkins with a thick skin.
Try and source your pumpkins in a local farmer’s market, there are so many around. This pumpkin pie is really simple to make. If you don’t have time to make the shortcrust pastry, you can use a good quality ready-made shortcrust base.
Jess Murphy is chef proprietor at Kai in Galway.
For the filling
300g pumpkin puree (Kuri squash or orange Hokkaido pumpkin)
300g caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
For the shortcrust pastry
120g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
250g plain flour
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1 For the pastry, mix the butter and the icing sugar in a large bowl using a spatula or wooden spoon until it is smooth and the sugar is incorporated. Add egg and mix with a fork. Add the flour and mix with the fork until no dry spots remain.
2 Turn it out on to a clean surface and mix with your hands, until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
3 When ready to roll, remove the dough from the fridge and let it soften at room temperature. However, the dough must still be cold.
4 Roll the dough on a lightly floured counter until about one centimetre thick. Place some parchment paper on top of the dough as you roll so it will not stick. Make sure the dough is rolled to a size that is larger than your cake tin so when you place in the tin, you have enough to coat the sides.
5 Lightly butter a cake tin and lay the shortcrust pastry into the tin. Using your hands, work the pastry into the edges but make sure you do not stretch it. Remove the parchment paper. Go over the rim of the tin with the rolling pin to remove any excess dough. Prick the base with a fork. Ideally, you should rest the pastry in the fridge for an hour or in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking. You can set aside any left-over pastry to decorate your cake.
6 For the filling: Cut and deseed the pumpkin. Place it on an oven tray and cook in a preheated oven, skin side up at 180 degrees for about half an hour, until you can put a knife easily through it. Using a food processor, reduce it to a puree. Let it cool down a little, then mix the pumpkin puree with the cream. Add the eggs and the caster sugar and finally your pumpkin spice (the dried spices mixed together).
7 To assemble: Remove your shortcrust pastry from the fridge/freezer and fill with the pumpkin filling. You can use the left-over pastry to cut shapes to decorate the cake or leave it plain. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 25 minutes, until the filling is set but not wobbly in the middle.
Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes for Food Month at The Irish Times from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland, in support of Ireland’s food producers. #ChefsMeetProducers.