Autumn in a pie plate. Sweet fresh pumpkin heady with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and sweetened with maple syrup, I have been making this recipe since heaven knows when. Just about the best pumpkin pie you'll ever eat. —[email protected]
Add the butter cut into cubes and, using thumb and finger tips, rub the flour and butter into each other vigorously until it resembles sand on the beach and there are no more large chunks of butter.
Pour the lightly beaten egg over the flour-sugar-butter mixture and stir vigorously with a fork until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and it starts to clump.
With fingers, press together into a ball and place on a floured surface. With the heel of one hand, smear the dough forward quickly, a little at a time (a tablespoon maybe) until all the dough has been "smeared". This blends in the last of the butter. Scrape the dough together and work briefly, just enough to form into a smooth, homogeneous ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge until needed or, if making your pie right away, just until it is firm enough to be easy to roll out without sticking to your rolling pin.
Lightly butter a pie plate and line with the uncooked sweet pastry pie dough, trimming off any excess dough. Prick lightly with a fork.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Purée pumpkin by cubing the pumpkin flesh and putting in a large pot with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover tightly and let steam until soft. Pour into a collander in the sink and let drain really well, allowing it to cool at least slightly. Purée and measure, draining any excess water if necessary.
Put the purée into a large bowl. Add the flour, spices and salt and stir until well blended.
Add the eggs, or if the purée is still hot, add just enough milk to cool it a bit then stir in the eggs quickly. Add the milk and maple syrup and stir everything together until very well blended.
Pour into the prepared pie shell until filled about half way. Transfer the pie onto the rack of the pre-heated oven and then carefully pour the rest of the filling into the shell (this should avoid sloshing it onto the floor while carrying it to the oven. (Just a trick.)
Let cook about 40 minutes or until the center is just set and the shell is browned around the edges and underneath.
If you have leftover dough, you can roll it out and cut out shapes (like a pumpkin or leaves) and very carefully place on the pie about 10 minutes before the pie is finished baking.