A twist on the much-loved American holiday dessert, made using a non-traditional method. Instead of a smooth, set pumpkin custard pie, this is more textured but just as delicious. And…spoiler alert…chefs do use a microwave! Here ‘Chef Mike’ helps us produce an easy and great-tasting filling that is all pumpkin!
Pumpkin is pretty much available all year round, so why wait for Christmas? You can enjoy this pie any time of year and it is fun to serve at Halloween or Thanksgiving as well. Gingerbread spice, also known as lebkuchen spice mix (and similar to pumpkin pie spice sold in the US), is available from specialty ingredient shops.
Christmas tip: Fresh is always best chef, but if you are pushed for time then this pie will freeze well.
60 minutes (allows for chilling pastry)
45 minutes (plus 45 minutes for the filling) – plenty of time to knock over The Nightmare Before Christmas
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Cut the pumpkin into similar-sized chunks and put in a large microwave dish (with a lid that allows the steam to escape). Cook in the microwave on High (100%) for 20 minutes. Drain off any water from the pumpkin.
Add the vanilla bean and seeds, orange zest and juice, sugar and spices to the pumpkin and return to the microwave. Cook on high for a further 20–25 minutes, stirring the filling every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. Leave to cool completely before filling the pie.
This is an edited extract from Chefs Host Christmas Too by Darren Purchese published by Hardie Grant Books $29.99 and is available where all good books are sold.
Photographer: © Ari Hatzis
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