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Old-fashioned pumpkin pie

Autumn is here and that means it’s time to cosy up with your favourite pie. Here’s a recipe for some good old-fashioned pumpkin pie that will be sure to satisfy your autumn cravings in no time.

Old fashioned pumpkin pie

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.

Hosting an autumn dinner party? Looking for a show-stopper? Make this hot pumpkin fondue >>

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.

Pumpkin pie

Adapted from Dot’s “Atlanta Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie”


  • 1 pre-made pastry crust
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/4 cup of butternut pumpkin, steamed, drained and pureed
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
  • 1/4 cup of cream


  1. For the pastry, use your favourite sweet shortcrust recipe, blind baked and ready for filling.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
  3. In a small bowl, mash the pumpkin.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and the sugar then add in other ingredients.
  5. Pour the mixture into pie crust (the trick here is to pour in half before you put it into the oven, then when the crust is in the oven, pour in the rest to the top of the crust otherwise it all spills out when you try and move it) and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. It will be done when you can gently touch the middle of the pie without it wobbling.
  6. Leave the pie to cool slowly for a couple of hours with the oven door open. It may crack in the middle but it’s supposed to. Serve warm with cream or ice cream and fresh berries.

More autumn-inspired recipes

Tempting warm autumn salads
Apple crumble recipe
Sin-free chocolate chip cookies

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