wrote this recipe for the Custard Tarts & Cheesecakes section of my book
National Trust Simply Baking (see Books). It`s perfect for Hallowe`en, especially if you`re carving out pumpkin lanterns, but it`s also an excellent way of using up different types of squash such as butternut squash.
Custard tarts come in all sorts of guises including this
delicately flavoured pumpkin pie, which I’ve adapted from my 1909 edition of
Mrs Beeton’s Every-day Cookery. The terms
‘pie’ and ‘tart’ have always been interchangeable in Britain. You could use
butternut squash in place of pumpkin. One small pumpkin will yield about
Rich shortcrust pastry
225g/8oz plain flour
pinch of salt
115/4oz cold butter, diced
1 medium egg yolk
400g/14oz peeled, deseeded pumpkin flesh
200ml/7fl oz water
85g/3oz caster sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 medium egg yolks
140ml/ ¼ pint double
icing sugar for dusting
1 To make the
pastry put the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and whiz to fine
crumbs. Tip into a bowl. Beat the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons cold
water. Using a fork, mix into the dough
and add enough cold water to bind the dough (about a further 1-2
2 Lightly knead on a floured surface, then roll
out and line a 20cm/8in tart tin with a removable base or a china quiche
dish. If there are any holes in your
pastry, patch them up with little pieces of pastry – you don’t want the custard
to leak out. Prick the pastry with a fork,
line with greaseproof paper and baking beans.
Chill for 30 minutes.
roughly chop the pumpkin flesh and put in a saucepan with the water. Cover, bring up to the boil, then simmer for
about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is very soft and the water has
evaporated. The final mixture should be quite dry. Purée the pumpkin.
4 Preheat the
oven to fan 180°C/gas 5. Bake the pastry
for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for 8-10 minutes more
or until the pastry no longer looks raw.
Remove from the oven.
5 Mix the warm pumpkin
purée with the sugar, lemon zest, sherry and cinnamon. Beat the egg yolks and cream together and
stir into the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the pastry case. Bake for 30 minutes or until just set, with a
slight wobble. If baked in a tin, remove gently and serve warm or cold dusted
in icing sugar.