Welcome to Autumn – Guilt Free Pumpkin Pie

Healthy and Tasty Pumpkin Pie – American Style

A summer spent in America has left me inspired to take American classics and add healthy elements. Pumpkin Pie is a Thanksgiving staple and uses seasonal ingredients as a family celebration classic. We in the UK are yet to adopt this as a family favourite but I think it deserves a mention and certainly a try, particularly if it is loaded with healthy elements. Sweet with a creamy texture it is bound to be a favourite soon on this side of the pond.

This recipe isn’t actually made of pumpkin but butternut squash – sweeter and more readily available in the UK. You could add some booze if you wanted, a splash of Cointreau, rum or hazelnut liqueur would add a grown up twist if you have a party of grown ups to feed.

I’m a winter baby and can’t wait to get the boots out and enjoy kicking through some crunchy leaves with the kids. This makes the perfect treat to come home to, preferably served after a warming roast of pork and newly harvested apples. Serve with clotted cream and maybe a handful of blueberries on the side.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie – Serves 8/10

For the pastry:

8oz wholemeal flour

1 tbsp chia seeds

4oz salted butter

3oz coconut sugar

I egg, whisked with a splash of milk

For the filling:

1 small butternut squash (or a 425g can of pumpkin puree)

150g maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp mixed allspice

2 x medium eggs

2/3 tbsp alcohol of your choice (optional)

150ml can evaporated milk

Whizz the dry ingredients for the pastry together in a food processor and gradually add the egg mixture until it comes together to form a dough. Shape to a flat round on a floured work surface and roll out to be large enough to fill the base and sides of a greased 25cm loose bottomed flan tin or pie dish.  Wrap in clingfilm and chill for half an hour or so.

Pre-heat the oven to 200dg/Gas 6. Bake the case blind with pastry weights for 10 minutes and then remove, bake for another 10 until a light golden colour. Leave on the side to get the filling ready.

Peel, de-seed and remove the “string” in your butternut squash. Chop into smallish chunks and pop into a roasting dish with a splash of warm water. Throw this in for 30-40 minutes until soft. Cool.

Whizz the squash chunks  up to a puree in the food processor and then add the remaining filling ingredients. Mix until well combined. This should by now be a creamy, pouring consistency. Pour into the patiently waiting pastry case and pop into the oven for 30-35 minutes until the filling is just set in the centre.

Leave to cool on a rack for an hour or so before serving. You can decorate with pecans, pumpkin seeds or top with shapes from the leftover pastry as I have here.




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