My married name may be Baker, but by nature I’m not one. However, the influence of the Great British Bake Off has led me to believe I’m some sort of domestic goddess. Today, we had a lunch date at a friend’s house, and rather than the usual stopping en route to pick up a Tesco cake, I thought I’d have a go at baking something.
After our wedding last year, I threw the pumpkins we’d used for decorations on the compost heap once they started rotting, and thought nothing more of it – until the summer when we discovered an impromptu pumpkin patch had taken over the lawn. Not wanting to waste our produce, and feeling like we were suddenly living The Good Life, we proceeded to make soup. So much soup. I’ve had pumpkin soup EVERY DAY for three weeks.
Anyway, I didn’t think our friends would fancy pumpkin soup for pudding, so I set about attempting a pie instead. I loosely based the recipe on this one from the BBC Good Food website, but I made a dairy free version, substituting the butter for coconut oil, and the milk for oat milk. Oh, and I added much more cinnamon than suggested and some ginger for good measure, because…why not?
Now, I would point out that this recipe reckons it takes 40 minutes of ‘prep’, plus 1.5 hours cooking time. I began the process of this pie at 8am and finished at 12.30pm. I then had to hold the pie for a 40 minute car journey hoping to both simultaneously cool it down and stop it sliding off the plate. But I don’t think regular BBC Good Food followers have these problems.
I’m scared of sharp knives, but it turns out it’s difficult to massacre a pumpkin with much else, so I was very brave, and spent a good 40 minutes butchering the thing. That was supposedly the whole prep time for the entire pie. Then you have to boil the fruit. The pan boiled over and burnt on the hob and I had to pause proceedings while I dealt with the mess.
I blind baked the pastry but I had no baking beans so I improvised and used dried buckwheat. It sort of worked, but the pastry did shrink back a bit from the tin and was, at best, uneven.
I then spent roughly three million years squashing the pumpkin through a sieve to create a puree to make the filling. But eventually I had some weird gloop that was at least orange, and I poured it into the pastry case.
AND IT MADE A PIE. Albeit, not an overly pretty or even one, but everyone loves a trier. Also, once it had been on a harrowing journey over to Bearsted it did get eaten. It tasted…okay. Maybe I’ve had too much pumpkin over the past few weeks to objectively judge the taste, but it was at least edible. Not likely to get Star Baker this week, but…