Monday, December 24, 2012

Piquant pumpkin pie

December 22, 2012

As a vegetarian, I generally enjoy the vitriol on Cooking for Assholes more than the recipes. But I liked that Cooking Asshole's take on pumpkin pie - less sugar'n'spice, more thyme and blue cheese. I should've known that his name for it, blumpkin pie, has other unsavoury connotations. (If you don't know, I don't recommend googling it - you won't be able to look at the above photo in the same way again.)

It seems better suited to autumn than mid-summer, but Aussie Farmers saw fit to deliver us a pumpkin this fortnight and we went with it. Sadly our food processor was unwilling to come along for the ride, and this took a couple of hours longer than it should have with much wrestling of sloppy pastry along the way. Feel free to substitute your own more reliable food processor or a different shortcrust recipe for what I've outlined below.

The pie was a little mushy and messy served warm and much better behaved when given some time in the fridge to cool down. Either way, the filling works: sweet working with savoury, smooth studded with crunchy.

Piquant pumpkin pie
(slightly adapted from Cooking for Assholes)

1 1/4 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
120g butter
3 tablespoons iced water

700g pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cream
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Preheat an oven to 200°C. Slice the pumpkin into thick wedges and remove the seeds and stringy bits in the centre. Place the wedges an oven tray and cover them loosely with foil. Bake the pumpkin for 30 minutes, or until tender. 

Turn the oven down to 180°C and work on the crust. Place the flour and salt in a food processor. Cut the butter into cubes and throw it in too. Pulse the ingredients until they clump like breadcrumbs. Add the iced water and blend until the pastry dough comes together.

Roll a large sheet of plastic wrap onto a bench and toss the dough on it, bringing it together into a ball. Cover it with a second sheet of plastic wrap, then gently roll it out to fit a pie dish. Take off one plastic sheet ease it into a pie dish pastry-first, removing the second plastic layer and trimming the edges to fit. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork and bake it for 10 minutes.

Cut the skin away from the pumpkin wedges and place them in a large bowl with the sugar, cream and eggs. Use a stick blender to puree the pumpkin filling. Fold in the cheese, pecans and thyme and sprinkle over salt, to taste. Pour the mixture into the pie crust, smooth over the top and cover the pie with foil. Bake it for about 55 minutes, until the pie has set through. Allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes, and potentially several hours, before slicing and serving.


  1. I love the look and sound of this pie, so I think I will take your sage advice and not Google "blumpkin". Merry Christmas to you both!

    1. Merry Christmas to you too, Cakelaw! I think the pie can be enjoyed on its own terms. ;-)

  2. I love pumpkin pie...but since we're in mid-winter here in the US (and it's snowing right now, I might add), I am dreaming of sunny summery pies --like strawberry or blueberry. BTW, that CFAssholes site is a scream

    1. Hi urban vegan! The opposite-season thing is one of the weirdest parts of food blogging, I think. :-)

  3. looks intriguing - the sweet and blue cheese combo sounds odd and yet I can imagine it might work - I am sure I would prefer it to the sweet pumpkin pie

    1. Hi Johanna - I often enjoy blue cheese with slightly sweet things! I was dripping a little maple syrup on blue cheese and crackers just the other day. :-)