It's been a while, hasn't it?
There is a valid reason for this, I got myself a job!!
I'm now a waitress at Nando's. Not much I know, but it is the first proper job I've ever had, so it's all very new to me. And it's taken me a while to adjust, so I've been struggling a bit with getting stuff done for this blog.
But I think I've got the hang of it now, so I should be posting a bit more frequently. I hope.
Anyway, Autumn is my favourite season of the year.
I love it when it's a bit chilly out, and you have to wrap yourself up in scarves and gloves, and you can see your breath steaming from your mouth.
I love watching the leaves change colour, and how that translates over to our clothes.
Plus it means that Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks ;)
Autumn also holds a couple of important dates for me. One is my mum's birthday, while the other is, obviously, Hallowe'en. And that obviously means the internet is overrun with recipes containing pumpkin.
Every year I see bloggers making pumpkin pie, but I've never been brave enough to try making it, mostly because I've only recently liked eating vegetables as desserts.
However, a couple of weeks ago I found a couple of cans of pureed pumpkin at the supermarket, so I thought I'd finally give this American classic a go.
This recipe makes a 9-inch pie. I did make my own shortcrust pastry, which is easy to do, but if you don't have the time, using ready rolled shortcrust works just as well.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
200g Plain Flour
75g Caster Sugar
100g Cold Unsalted Butter (cubed)
1 Can of Pureed Pumpkin
1/2 Pint Evaporated Milk
165g Caster Sugar
1/2tsp Ground Ginger
9-inch Flan dish with a removable base
Ceramic Baking Beads
(If you don't have baking beads, use a load of copper coins, they conduct the heat better,a nd help cook the pastry.)
To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar and butter into a blender, and blend until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Add the egg, and blend until the mixture comes together to form the dough.
Wrap the dough in cling film, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface, until the dough is almost 0.5cm thick. Using the rolling pin, place the dough into a greased flan dish. Leave any overhanging bits of pastry.
Chill in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7.
Blind bake the pastry, using greaseproof paper and baking beads, in the oven for 15 minutes. Then remove the baking beads, and bake for another 5 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
Leave to cool, and cut off any overhanging bits of pastry.
Reduce the oven temperature to Gas Mark 4.
To make the pumpkin filling, mix the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the pureed pumpkin and evaporated milk, mix, and then add the spices.
Pour the filling into the pastry case, until you've almost filled the case.
Bake in the oven for about an hour, or until the filling is firm to the touch.
Leave to cool for a couple of hours.
The result is a yummy, sweet, autumnal pie, which is delicious served with either whipped cream or crème fraîche. I then like to sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on top, just because it looks good.