Even though they might not be your first thought, vegetables are the hero of many classic desserts; carrot cake, rhubarb crumble – and pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin pie is typically enjoyed around Thanksgiving across the United States, when the cooler months settle in. But wherever you are in the world, celebrity chef, cookbook author and publisher Annabel Langbein says winter is the best time to make (and devour) her favourite pumpkin pie recipe.
“Pumpkins are harvested in the autumn and keep through the winter, so will be in season and reasonably priced right through winter,” Langbein tells Broadsheet.
“Also, the warming spices used in the filling, and the rich and indulgent garnishes, make this feel like something to serve when it’s cold outside.”
And, if you’re really going all out, she says you might even add maple-glazed nuts or ginger-honey cream (or both). We’ve included the methods for these below – you know, just in case you need them.
Annabel Langbein’s ultimate pumpkin pie
Prep time: Approx. 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours, plus chilling the crust
1kg pumpkin, skin on, halved and deseeded
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
1 cup sour cream
½ cup soft brown sugar
2 tbsp treacle or golden syrup
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
A pinch of salt
250g wine biscuits
140g butter, melted
2 tsp ground ginger
Ginger-honey cream (optional)
1 cup crème fraîche, mascarpone, natural yoghurt or whipped cream
1 tbsp honey (or more to taste)
1 tsp ground ginger
Maple-glazed nuts (optional)
1 cup of whole nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashers, macadamias or hazelnuts (for the latter, remove most of the skins first)
2 tbsp maple syrup
Preheat oven to 180°C fan bake. Grease the sides of a 25cm high-sided, loose-bottomed pie tin and line the base with baking paper. (If you only have a shallow flan tin, make half the amount of filling mixture.)
Arrange the pumpkin cut-side down on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Bake until it is easily pierced with a fork (40–50 minutes). Remove from oven and increase temperature to 200°C.
While the pumpkin is cooking, make the ginger crust by finely crumbing biscuits in a food processor or paper bag, then mixing in butter and ginger evenly. Press into the base of the pie tin and 4cm up the side. Chill.
To prepare the filling, scrape pumpkin flesh into a bowl or food processor and mash finely or puree – you should have about 3½ cups. Add the eggs, orange zest, sour cream, sugar, treacle (or golden syrup), spices and salt to the puree and blend until smooth. Pour into the chilled crust. Bake until filling is set (40–45 minutes).
Allow the pie to cool before serving at room temperature garnished with ginger-honey cream and maple-glazed nuts, if desired. Leftover pie will keep in the fridge for 3–4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
For the ginger-honey cream:
Mix ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill for up to five days until needed.
For the maple-glazed nuts:
Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place the nuts in a bowl, add maple syrup and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer on the prepared tray and fan bake at 180°C until the syrup has set and the nuts are crunchy (10-12 minutes).
For more of Annabel Langbein’s recipes, you can subscribe to her paid newsletter What to Cook Tonight, which she produces with her daughter, Rose Langbein. The duo publish three seasonal recipes there each week, along with a meal plan to save you time and money.