Allyson Gofton - Ghoulies, ghosties and American Pie!

Publish Date
Friday, 24 October 2014, 12:00AM
By Allyson Gofton

Hallowe’en or All Hallows Eve is a strange mixture of pagan and Christian festival, celebrated mainly in Europe until the Americans discovered it and changed it irrevocably into “Trick or Treat”, with its implied threat! It was a celebration of harvest end, the beginning of winter and a time to remember the dead. In some places it is still largely a religious festival, with special services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead. At one time eating meat at this time was forbidden which probably led – as well as the harvest home element – to food being largely vegetarian with apples and potato dishes. Swedes were hollowed out and made into lanterns, the flesh being utilised for cooking. Nowadays, it’s more likely to be a pumpkin that is made into a lantern, the big native American pumpkin being easier to carve than a swede. Nowadays, of course, the celebration has become commercialised and costumes for dressing up are rarely invented by children as in the past for their guising, but bought, along with many accessories!

Often made for Thanksgiving in the USA as well as Hallowe’en Pumpkin Pie is a terrific winter warming pudding.

Pumpkin Pie and Maple Syrup
Pumpkin pie makes a warming change for an autumn dessert.

400 grams frozen sweet short pastry, defrosted
2 cups sieved cooked pumpkin
3 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup maple or golden syrup
1 cup evaporated milk or cream
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
¾ cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
Pumpkin spice mix:
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon each ground cloves and ground allspice


  1. Roll the pastry out and use to line the base and sides of a deep 22cm loose-bottom flan tin. Bake blind at 190°C for 15 minutes. Remove the baking blind material and return to the oven for a further 5-8 minutes or until the pastry is well-cooked.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the stewed pumpkin, eggs, syrup, evaporated milk or cream and spice mix until very smooth.
  3. Pour into the cooked pie shell. Decorate with pecans or walnuts if wished.
  4. Bake at 160°C for 40 minutes or until the filling is firm to the touch in the centre. Cool and serve warm in wedges.

Cooks Tips:

  • The pumpkin puree needs to be thick and not too watery. I prefer butternut or crown pumpkins for pumpkin pie. I find buttercup a little too dry.
  • Evaporated milk and cream off a richer texture. For a lighter version, use whole milk instead. There are no comments for this recipe. You can leave a comment below. You need to be Registered and Logged In to post a comment

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