Friday, July 23, 2010

Pumpkin and Apple Meringue Pie

This amazing recipe is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittinstall. I saw him make it on his River Cottage Autumn series and hunted down the recipe. It is the pie to end all pies!
It's high maintenance but oh so very worth it! And it has the best sweet shortcrust pastry recipe I've ever made.

Pumpkin and Apple Meringue Pie

1 small pumpkin or squash, weighing about 1kg
large knob of unsalted butter
2 TBSP brown sugar
75gms brown sugar
a little freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch salt
2 cooking apples
5 eggs, seaparated
100mls double cream
300gms caster sugar

For the sweet shortcrust pastry

450g plain flour
140g icing sugar
pinch of salt
225g cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 180degC.

Halve the pumpkin or squash and scoop the seeds out. Put the pumpkin halves, cut side up, into a roasting tray. Put a knob of butter and 1 tbsp soft brown sugar in the cavity of each half. Pour a little water into the base of the roasting tray, cover with foil, then put in the oven for around an hour, or until the pumpkin is completely tender.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor and blitz briefly to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and pulse just until the pastry starts to clump together, adding a few tablespoons of cold water if you need to. Tip out onto a lightly floured board, knead a couple of times to make a smooth ball of dough, then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for half an hour.

Roll out the pastry and use to line a 3cm-deep, 30cm diameter pie dish or tart tin. Leave the excess pastry hanging over the edge. Put the pie dish on a baking sheet, line the pastry with greaseproof paper and baking beans, and bake for 20 minutes at 180decC. REmove the paper and beans, prick the pastry in a few places with a fork, and bake for another 10 minutes. Leave to cool completely, then trim off the excess pastry using a sharp knife. Reduce the oven to 150degC.

When the pumpkin is cooked, scoop out the soft flesh and buttery juices. Add the spices and a pinch of salt and mash thoroughly together or puree in a food processor.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Put them in a pan with a little water to stop them burning and cook them for about 20 minutes or until they have reduced to a puree. Let this cool, then stir in the pumpkin mixture.

Whisk the egg yolks, cream and remaining brown sugar together in a separate bowl, then fold them into the pumpkin mixture.

Pile the apple and pumpkin mix into the baked pastry crust and smooth out with a knife.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then add the caster sugar a little at a time. Keep going until you have smooth,thick and glossy meringue. Spread the meringue on top of the pumkin, swirling it up into peaks and making sure it completely covers the pastry edges.

Bake at 150degC fora bout 45 minutes or until the meringue is turning golden on top. Serve warm or cold, with cream.

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