Food&Drink Writer Akeefah Lal Mahomed gives us her signature recipe for pumpkin pie which is a tasty treat to enjoy as the nights draw in


As the festive season approaches, pumpkins are on everyone’s minds. A pumpkin pie can provide the perfect after-meal treat, not too sweet and definitely not too savoury. Having often seen it as a ‘thanksgiving staple’ on American TV shows, it is a contrast to the sweet British trifle. It also provides a useful recipe for extra pumpkins from Halloween. 

The key to a good pumpkin pie lies in the purée. Be sure to taste the mix before pouring it into your pastry crust and time the first 15 minutes in the oven. This classic pumpkin pie was inspired by The Farmers Daughter.

Top Tips:

  • Roast pumpkin seeds for flapjacks, granola, or salads.
  • If your pastry is too crumbly, slowly add water. Alternatively, if it is too sticky then add flour.
  • Add 1-2 large egg(s) into the mix to reduce cracking on surface. If do this, also leave for 3 hours to set in the fridge.


Shortcrust pastry:

  • 5 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1lb butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2tbsp vinegar
  • 7 tbs cold water


  • Pumpkin (small)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of sea salt


  • 300ml double or whipping cream
  • Drop of vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar


Before beginning the pastry, roast the pumpkin so that it will have enough time to cool down before puréeing. Cut down the pumpkin, pull it open and scoop out any stringy flesh. Cut the pumpkin into slices, the shape does not matter but try to make them equal. Drizzle the pumpkins in olive oil and place into the oven at 200 degrees for 45 minutes.

Although you can buy pre-made shortcrust pastry, this recipe is a quick way to create a rich pastry. Firstly, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and brown sugar into a bowl. Give it a stir to blend all together. Then cut the butter into cubes and work it into the mix, to create a crumbly texture. Break the egg into a separate cup, beat well, then add the vinegar and water. 

Pour the liquid mixture over the flour mix and stir together with a wooden spoon. Once the mix starts to stick, start to work the dough with your hands. Using your hands will give you a good indicator of when the dough is ready. Careful not to overwork the dough here. Ball the pastry dough up and leave it to sit whilst you make your purée. This process should only take around 10-15 minutes. 

Whilst you make the purée, preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. The cooled pumpkin will be ready to deskin and blend. If the pumpkin is difficult to blend, add 2 tbsp of water. Once blended, mix in condensed milk, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Stir until the mixture is smooth and pale orange. This is also a quick 10-15-minute process.

Now that the pastry and the mixture are ready, grease the tin(s). I would recommend buttering the tin rather than using greaseproof paper, to create the ideal pie crust shape. After greasing the tin, roll out the dough – remembering to flour surfaces to avoid sticking. The dough should be thin enough that you need 2 hands to lift, but thick enough that it is not see-through.  Pour the mixture until the pie crust is about half-way full. 

Gently shake the tray to get rid of any bumps and then put into the oven at 200 degrees celsius for 15 minutes. After this, turn the temperature down to 120 degrees celsius and leave for 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the pie in the last 5 minutes. It is done when you can insert a knife into the pie and it comes away clean. Take the pie out the oven and let it sit for 30 minutes, this will ensure an even bake. Chill in the fridge for 1½ hours.

In the last 5 minutes, whip together the cream, icing sugar and vanilla essence. 

Plate up and Enjoy!

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