Today was a special day in the North of the island, a celebration of pumpkin harvest. And I am told that 700 pumpkin pies were baked this week to prepare for the festivities of today.
These pumpkin pies here are not the sweet American versions we see popular around this time and at Thanksgiving. I have been wishing to make one for the last couple of years and was waiting for someone’s personal recipe. I know Simone makes a great one but I never got a chance to jot it down.
And yesterday during my Saturday baking session I was delighted to meet Elizabeth, one of my readers and Radio One followers and she shared her family recipe with me.
For the Sesame seed crust you will need:
800g plain flour
A pinch of salt
125ml olive oil
25g sesame seed.
cold water to bind
1 egg for pastry egg wash
Sift the flour and add the salt. Add the chopped up bits of butter and rub in. Mix. Add the olive oil and rub in. Add the eggs, in eat a time and if necessary add cold water, a spin each time to bind the dough. Knead in the sesame seeds. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
For Elizabeth’s filling you will need :
1 kilo partially boiled pumpkin, cut into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped up
1 garlic clove, chopped up
12 olives, destoned, chopped
169g canned tuna
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 spoon good oil
1 spoon chopped parsley
Heat up the oil and sauté the onion and garlic. Add the pumpkin and cook on low heat. Add the rice, cook for two minutes and mix in the anchovies and olives. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat until the pumpkin softens up. Do not let the mixture dry up and add more water if necessary, a few spoonfuls at a time.
Take out pastry from fridge. Roll it out on a clean floured surface.
Grease a deep pie dish. Roll the pastry round the rolling pin and drop into the pie dish. Press it in gently. Trim it. Scatter a spoon of raw rice onto the bottom of the pie dish so that the pastry remains crispy as the raw rice will absorb any liquid.
Spoon the filling into the dish. Flatten. Cover with pastry.
Beat an egg and brush on some egg wash onto the exposed pastry parts.
Bake at 160 C for an hour, the first 30 minutes on the bottom shelf so that the bottom of the pie cooks to a crispy texture, otherwise it will end up being soggy. Transfer to middle shelf after half an hour.
Elizabeth yesterday enjoying a glass of wine and some hot potato bites with rosemary and balsamic.
Thank you for the recipe :). She tells me that some people add hard boiled eggs …