In the Autumn of this year my mum and brother were driving south along the NSW coast, staying with friends along the way and when they finally arrived in Melbourne they had boxes of organic gramma pumpkins and squash from Desma’s property on the mid-north coast of NSW. The pumpkins still had red dirt on the side that rested on the ground as it grew. Faced with all this Autumnal bounty we put the call out for an excellent pumpkin pie recipe. Sarah and I were lucky enough to be given this recipe from a friend of a friend’s partner’s paternal grandmother, Dot (phew – what a mouthful). She was a great cook and a real southern belle, and Verity (our friend of a friend) says the recipe comes from one of those old depression-day recipe books, full of crafty menus for the thrifty housewife. It was brought to Australia, from America, a generation ago.
A gramma is an old fashioned sort of pumpkin and I’ve never seen them in the supermarket, but I’m sure they could be sourced in season from a farmer’s market. They are sweet, richly coloured and perfectly delicious. It’s thanksgiving in America on Friday. Sarah is making a pie for our friend Colin who’s from Minnesota. Hopefully the kitchen will smell warm and spicy - like an out of season autumn.
Adapted from Dot’s ‘Atlanta Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie’
When Sarah and I made this pie past week there were no grammas to be found, alas, but the pie was still very yum made with a kent pumpkin. We also made this pie in my new tart tin with a halved mixture – yours should be much taller than the one in our photograph.
1 pre-made pastry crust
1 1/4 cup gramma pumpkin, steamed, drained and pureed
2/3 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 cup of cream
For the pastry use your favourite sweet shortcrust recipe, blind baked and ready for filling!
Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Mash the pumpkin. Beat egg and sugar, then add in other ingredients. Pour into pie crust (the trick here is to pour in half before you put it into the oven, then when the crust is in the oven, pour in the rest to the top of the crust otherwise it all spills out when you try and move it). Bake for 50 minutes to an hour - whenever it’s set. Leave it to cool slowly for a couple of hours with the oven door open. It may crack in the middle but it’s supposed to.