You asked for it, and here it is! Welcome to the new RECIPES section of Mister Chai -and what better way to kick things off than with pie? Mmm, pie...
Inspired by an invitation to celebrate Solstice/Matariki around the fire with friends and food, our contribution was this spicy, warming dessert, designed to bring a little ray of sunshine into the darkness. Served with lashings of chai and washed down with mugs of mulled apple juice and red wine warmed over the fire, I think we nailed it!
There's nothing gluten/dairy/sugar-free about this unapologetically indulgent pie, but what it lacks in virtuousness it makes up for in crispy, creamy, good-for-the-soul deliciousness. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did...
CHAI-SPICED PUMPKIN PIE
1 1/2 cups unbleached white wheat or spelt flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 125 g cold butter, cut into 2 cm cubes
4 tablespoons ice cold water
- 3 cups chopped, steamed pumpkin (or mix with orange-fleshed kumara as I did)
2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup organic golden sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup/molasses/coconut nectar (or a combination)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons Mister Chai Spice Mix
1 cup cream/evaporated milk/soy milk (I used Macro Organic soy milk)
- Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until you have coarse crumbs with visible clumps of butter. Add half of the water and pulse a few times to incorporate. Add the remaining water and pulse until the mixture is just evenly moistened and very crumbly. It will not come together into a mass - that's okay. Dump the crumbly dough onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and pat into a disc - don't worry if the edges crack - cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Dust work surface lightly with flour and place the dough on top; sprinkle a little flour over. Use your hands to quickly work the dough into a smooth disc, taking care not to over-work it or warm it up too much. Roll the dough, adding more flour as necessary so it doesn't stick, into a circle 10 cm bigger than your pie dish. Carefully drape over the rolling pin and gently transfer it to a deep dish pie pan, trying not to stretch it (if it breaks just patch it up). Trim the edges to 2 cm past the lip of the pan (I used offcuts to make the Matariki stars). Turn edges under to create a rim, then press against the lip of the pan, using your fingers to crimp. Place in the freezer while you heat the oven.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove crust from freezer, cover with a piece of baking paper and fill to about halfway with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove paper and beans/pie weights, and cover the edges with a few strips of foil to protect the edges from getting too dark. Bake for another 20 minutes or so, until the dough is dry and golden. Don't worry if the bottom puffs up; just press it down gently with a flat spatula. Remove the foil but don't throw it away; you may need it again.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C. Wipe out the bowl of your food processor, add the pumpkin and blend until fairly smooth. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and process until very smooth and creamy. Tap on bench to remove air bubbles. Taste-test and add more spice/sugar/salt if necessary (depending on the flavour of your pumpkin).
- Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust. Bake for around 60 minutes, until just set - it should look dry around the edges and the center should jiggle slightly if you nudge the pan. Keep an eye on the pie as it bakes and if the crust is browning too quickly, cover the edges with the foil strips. Cool the pie on a rack to room temperature (a few hours). Slice with a sharp knife and serve with whipped cream or yoghurt.
- Note: Pumpkin pie can be made one day ahead of time and refrigerated. The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.