A Pumpkin Meringue Pie for the Eye and the Stomach!

A Pumpkin Meringue Pie for the Eye and the Stomach!
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Is there anything else better than a Pumpkin Pie and Meringue top?! I think NOT!

You’ll come to learn over the course of this blog, that I am head over heels obsessed with meringue on top of all my tarts, and really anything sweet, simply so I can whip out the blow torch.

This was actually my first time making a Pumpkin Pie when I took these photos. It was out of Pumpkin season but I used a range of Squashes which work absolutely fine in it’s replacement. I had no clue what taste I was searching for, as I not even tried one before. All I knew was I need that pumpkin flavour paired with warm spices.

Safe to say when I took it for a taste to an American friend, they fell in love with it! More so loved the the fact of the meringue peaks too!

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I always use the same sweet shortcrust pastry recipe for all my tarts, but feel free to use a pre-bought pastry if you don’t want that added effort!

As for the spicing in my tart, I went with spices that were very familiar to myself and heritage. opting for Cardamom, Cloves, Nutmeg & Saffron instead of the traditional cinnamon, all spice & ginger. The aroma that immersed my house while this was baking, was simply incredible. Definitely something different to the same normal version, but still holds onto that authentic spiced pie essence.

Make sure that your tart has really chilled before putting the meringue on top. If you don’t have a blow torch, it’s also fine to toast the top under a grill or on a high heat in your oven, for about 5 minutes. Either way the meringue is already cooked and the burnt parts just make it that much better! However, you really should invest in a blow torch…. It’s like my BEST kitchen gadget ever!

Likewise, if you don’t fancy meringue, this tart is served perfectly with a dollop of cream or ice cream.

Italian Meringue

  • 225g Caster Sugar

  • 100ml Water

  • 3 Large Egg Whites

  • 1 TSP Cream of Tartar or 1 TSP Lemon

Ingredients:

Pastry Base

  • 200g Plain Flour

  • 100g Cold Butter (Chopped into Small Cubes)

  • 100g Icing Sugar

  • 1 Egg Yolk (Keep White for Meringue)

Pumpkin Filling

  • 500g of Pumpkin or Squash Flesh

  • 2 Eggs

  • 1 Egg Yolk (Keep the White for the Meringue)

  • 100g Caster Sugar

  • 150ml of Coconut Milk

  • 1 TSP Ground Nutmeg

  • 1 TSP Ground Cardamom

  • 1/2 TSP Ground Cloves

  • Few Strands of Saffron

Method:

Begin with the base

  1. Heat the oven to 180°c.

  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and combine with the chopped butter.

  3. Using your fingers, rub all the butter and flour together until the whole thing resembles breadcrumbs.

  4. Sift in icing sugar, along with the egg yolk and a dash of coconut milk to help bind, if necessary.

  5. Bring the dough into smooth ball.

  6. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes - 1 hour before using.

  7. When the dough is ready, place on a floured surface and bash the ball with your rolling pin a few times, to help soften it.

  8. Roll the dough out it into a large circle, thin as a coin or roughly 1/2cm thick.

  9. Place the dough into the tin pushing it gently into all the edges. Using a fork prick the base, this will stop the base from getting soggy when baking.

  10. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Now trim the excess pastry using a sharp knife.

  11. Place the pastry tin back in the fridge for 20mins to chill and set.

  12. Bake the pastry case blind for about 16 minutes or until the pastry is slightly golden and dried out - remove the paper and beans, lower the oven heat to 150°c and cook for a further five minutes.

Pumpkin Filling

  1. Boil your pumpkin flesh in a saucepan with some water and allow it to boil slight for about 10-15mins. You want it to completely soften.

  2. Remove it from the heat, drain the water and allow it to cool slightly.

  3. In a blender, place all the ingredients along with the pumpkin and blitz it till it is smooth puree.

  4. Pour the mixture into your tart base and bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, till it has firmed, and there is a slight jiggle in the middle.

  5. Remove from the oven, allow to cool to room temperature then place in the fridge.

Italian Meringue

  1. Whisk your egg whites to a soft peak stage.

  2. Then place your sugar and water in a saucepan and place on a medium heat till the sugar has dissolved.

  3. Once it has dissolved, turn the heat up and allow the sugar syrup to reach 125°c (roughly another 7mins on the boil).

  4. As soon as it reaches this temperature, remove from the heat, turn on your mixer to a slow speed, and slowly pour in the sugar syrup against the edge to stop it from splashing.

  5. Once all poured in, turn the speed up and add in your cream of tartar or squeeze of lemon and allow the meringue to turn glossy, and form stiff peaks.

Assembling

  1. Remove the tart/pie from the fridge and finish with your meringue.

  2. You have free range in how you decorate the meringue on. I prefer to dollop it on and use a spatula to form peaks. Gives it that ‘rustic’ look!

  3. If you don’t have a blow torch turn your grill onto high and place the tart inside the oven to allow the meringue to brown. You’ll get an overall even browning and few burnt peaks.

  4. Otherwise whip out the blow torch and have fun!