In the summer of 2009 my soon-to-be fiancé and I went on a trip around the world. We ate ourselves silly — stuffing our guts with Roman pizza, French cheese, Turkish kebabs and Syrian hummus — but the one recipe that has stayed with me to this day is that of a simple pumpkin pie.
The recipe is an old one and a bit of a family heirloom. The original came from a depression-era cookbook — dog-eared and amended with notes in the margin — and was made by my husband’s paternal grandma. She was a proper southern lady, straight from Atlanta, who used to can peaches and make pie with the seasons. While I never met Dot I like to think I got to know her through re-creating her pumpkin pie at virtually every occasion.
It might not be an Australian staple and if, like me, you baulk at making sweet treats out of vegetables, I’m here to tell you to give it a go. It’s sweet and spicy and a perfect treat for those crisp autumn nights that are almost upon us.
You can use any sort of leftover pumpkin you have lying around, though the sweetness of a butternut pumpkin seems to work best. Try to get as much moisture out of the pumpkin as you can — if it feels a little too wet, lightly mashing it in a fine mesh strainer seems to do the trick.
Feel free to make your own pastry in your own pie dish if you have the time — if you do, you may want to double the recipe below and adjust the cooking times to suit so you get a nice, thick pie. Either way, make sure you serve it with a dollop of thick double cream or a scoop of ice cream as soon as you pull it out of the oven.
Adapted from Dot’s "Atlanta Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie"
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