The hex factor: Pumpkin custard pie
MAKES 1 x 20cm PIE
About 250g sweet shortcrust pastry
1 small pumpkin or butternut squash (about 600g)
185ml double cream
150g golden syrup
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground ginger
pinch of fine sea salt
3 medium eggs
freshly grated nutmeg
★ Have ready a 20cm tart tin about 3cm deep and a baking sheet. Keep the pastry in the fridge until ready to roll. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Prick the pumpkin all over using a fine skewer, place it in a baking dish and bake for 1 hour.
★ Turn the oven up to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and press it into the base and sides of the tin. Lay a sheet of clingfilm over the top and smooth the pastry into place with your fingers, taking it very slightly higher than the rim and trimming the edge with a knife. Place the tin on the baking sheet.
★ Cut open the pumpkin, discard any seeds and scoop out and weigh 300g of the cooked flesh (save leftovers for another use). Place this in a food processor with all the ingredients for the filling except the nutmeg and whiz to a smooth cream. Pour into the pastry case and grate over a liberal dusting of nutmeg. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly golden and set; the filling may wobble slightly but will firm as it cools and chills. Set aside to cool. Loosely cover with foil and chill for at least a couple of hours. It will keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve with crème fraîche on the side.