Classic Pumpkin Pie

It’s October people. Which means it’s now socially acceptable to start watching Hocus Pocus on repeat.

What. A. Film.

I think my enthusiasm with pumpkin pie started around the same time I started binge-watching Desperate Housewives. My inner housewife had been awoken, and she too was obsessed with buttery pastry.

I like to think this recipe is a British take on an American classic. I tried other American recipes, including those that contained so much sugar you’d think your first name was Alan, and dear LORD they were sweet. This one has been toned down in sweetness and amped up in spice.

Take that Bree Van De Kamp.


Makes one 9-inch pie


For the pastry:

  • 1 medium free-range egg
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g salted butter

For the pumpkin filling:

  • 1 can of pumpkin purée (I used baking buddy from Waitrose)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 225g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • three grinds of black pepper
  • 300ml double cream



  1. Make the pastry by whisking together the egg and caster sugar in a large bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the flour and mix until it is well incorporated and resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Cube the cold butter and cut it into the flour using a butter knife until it starts to come together. Use your hands at the end to form it into a dough. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for around 1 hour.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a circle that is around 5mm thick and line a 9-inch loose-bottomed tart case. Be sure to rotate the pastry as you roll it out to prevent it from sticking. Use a small piece of pastry dusted in flour to press the pastry into the fluting. Trim the excess, gather into a ball and cover in clingfilm. This can be frozen for future bakes.
  4. Place the pastry case in the freezer for 10 minutes and pre-heat the oven to 180ºC with a baking sheet inside.
  5. Line the inside of the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beads, or uncooked rice (if you scrunch up the baking paper before you put it into the tart case, it will make it easier to manipulate). Place onto the baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the beans/rice and the baking paper and bake for another 5 minutes.
  7. While the case is baking, make the pumpkin filling by adding the pumpkin purée to a large bowl with the eggs and brown sugar. Whisk well, then add the remaining filling ingredients and whisk again until the mixture is slightly thicker than cream.
  8. Pour the filling into the pastry case until it reaches a few cm away from the top. Then place in the middle of the oven and bake for around 30-40 minutes, until the filling is slightly firm to touch and not too wobbly. Don’t be tempted to open the oven before half an hour though, as the filling will sink.
  9. When the pie is baked, place the tin on top of a can and gently remove the sides. Slide the pie off the base and onto a serving plate. Serve warm with whipped cream – but it also tastes great cold!

1 thought on “Classic Pumpkin Pie”

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