germinating basil plants.

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In the absence of anything real to post about this morning, I think I’ll pop a picture of up my lovely germinating basil plants. They’re not the only thing we’ve got going – also rhubarb, parsley, tomatillos, fennel, chervil, carrots and borage – but they are the one I’m most excited about.

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prune, chilli and cinnamon hummus.

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This stuff is nectar. I seem to like it a lot more than other people though. Sad face. I suspect it is because it is a “weird” flavour. Ah, well.

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new zealand style pumpkin pie.

Whilst browsing the interwebs the other day, I chanced upon this amazing recipe:

http://frugalfeeding.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/pumpkin-pie/

It’s just a pumpkin pie, don’t get me wrong – but it is remarkable in that it is a pumpkin pie made entirely from scratch.

Living in New Zealand and being a total fan of pumpkin pie is problematic for one primary reason: we can’t get canned pumpkin, which American pumpkin pie makers – and recipes – use. So it’s always been a mystery to me what on Earth I’d put with the pumpkin when making the filling myself. I had a pretty good list of spices, but no idea how to make the thing set. So, ‘New Zealand style’ essentially means ‘includes sweetened condensed milk, like all the best baking’.

So, the recipe from Frugal Feeding was a godsend.

I changed it up quite a lot, mainly due to being too lazy to go shopping for ingredients I was missing, and this is what I wound up with:

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Om nom nom!

I used pre-rolled pastry. That’s definitely not usually my style, but don’t judge! It was given to me, and needed to be used. It was sweet short pastry.

 

Filling recipe:

450g seeded, skinned pumpkin

a splash of water (maybe a 1/4 cup?)

1 cup of sweetened condensed milk

75g brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp each nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, ground ginger

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk

 

Blind bake the pastry shell (line it with baking paper, fill it with dried beans or chickpeas or something along those lines, and whack it in a baking temperature oven for ten minutes or so – it’s done when the baking paper comes easily away from the pastry).

 

Stew the pumpkin. Put the pumpkin, chopped into relatively small pieces, in a saucepan with the water. It will kind of steam. Do this for 15-20 minutes, depending on the consistency of your pumpkin, or until it’s soft. Then use a food processor or a stick mixer or a potato masher to turn the whole lot into a puree. The pumpkin will have soaked up a lot of the water. That’s just fine. The water goes into the puree anyway.

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this is about how much water you need – there’s maybe 0.75cm in the bottom there.

In a saucepan, mix all the spices with the condensed milk and sugar over a medium heat. It doesn’t need to boil, or anything, just warm it up a little. Then add it to the pumpkin. When that mix is cool enough (if you can stick your finger in it, you’re all good) mix in the eggs (they’re best pre-whisked). Whisk the whole lot together, make sure it’s combined well, and pour into your pastry shell.

 

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling has set. The oven temperature you’re after is 180 degrees Celsius.

 

Note that if some of your crust is too brown from being baked twice, just cover it with a little tin foil – that ought to stop it from cooking any more than it needs to.

 

Enjoy!

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