17 January 2013

Pumpkin Pie Brûlée

I'm getting into the autumny-cake-makey mood, it would seem :) More to follow!

Shortcrust Pastry:


  • 125g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 55g butter, cubed
  • 30-45ml/2-3 tbsp cold water

  1. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter.
  2. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Try to work quickly so that it does not become greasy.
  3. Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together.
  4. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 10-15 minutes before using.
  5. Roll out the pastry in a pie tin.
  6. Orrrr... Just go to the shop and buy a ready-made one.

Pie Filling:


  • 450 g flesh, cut into 2.5 cm chunks (best type of pumpkin to use is Hokkaido, but a good old standard pumpkin will do)
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 75g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • (these amounts are rough, you should taste it before cooking and adjust amounts to your liking)
  • 275 ml double cream

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Steam the pumpkin then place in a coarse sieve and press lightly to extract any excess water. Mince it in a food processor or with a blender to have a nice smooth pureé.
  3. Lightly whisk the eggs and extra yolk together in a large bowl.
  4. Place the sugar, spices and the cream in a pan, bring to simmering point, giving it a whisk to mix everything together. Then pour it over the eggs and whisk it again briefly.
  5. Now add the pumpkin pureé, still whisking to combine everything thoroughly.
  6. Pour the filling into your pastry case and bake for 35-40 minutes, by which time it will puff up round the edges but still feel slightly wobbly in the centre.

Sugar top:

When the cake was done, I let it cool and sprinkled it with some demarara sugar (brown sugar probably would have been better, now that I think about it...) and put it under very high-heat grill for a short moment until the sugar melted. Better yet, you could blast it with a flame torch if you have one. Et voila! :)

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