Pumpkin pie does not always have to be sweet, a savoury version is beautifully salty, a bit tangy with a hint of sweetness from the pumpkin and figs. Now that autumn is in full bloom, there is nothing more enjoyable than pumpkin pie with a hot cup tea overlooking the kaleidoscope of fall colours. All the leaves have turned a vibrant yellow in Finland and slowly they will begin to drop as we get closer to colder more darker days. This morning the temperature was zero degrees, so it seems that winter is near us.
To make the crust, I use the same staple recipe that I mostly use, that requires butter, flour and a bit of water. It really is so easy to make and after this, you will not buy store bought dough anymore. For the pumpkin filling, I roast some pumpkin in the oven and mix it in with a little bit of garlic, onion and feta cheese. Eggs give the filling some solidity and it is topped with luscious figs. Figs are my favourite during this time of year all the way until winter, as I think they give that decedent festive feeling to nearly anything.
Pie crust ingredients
To make the butter crust, add the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. This can also be done without a food processor, by hand. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse about 20-30 times, until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Drizzling in the cold water while pulsing again until a dough is formed. If the mixture looks too dry, add a little more water. Turn out onto a floured surface and form it into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. This process can be done a day in advance as well.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface as thin as possible and place over the buttered cake tin. Press on all surfaces until even.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Slice the pumpkin (do not need to remove the crust) and place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle some oil on top along with a pinch of salt. Place into the oven for about 45min or until the flesh is cooked.
Once the pumpkin is cooked. Take out the flesh (remove the skin and sides) and place in a bowl. Then, heat a sauce pan with a bit of butter and add in the chopped onion and garlic. Stir gently so them soften (not burn) and add in a few twigs of thyme. Then mix in the pumpkin flesh, along with some ground nutmeg. Let it gently simmer on low heat and add in the crumbled rich feta. Check for flavour in case it needs more salt or pepper. After a few minutes, remove from the heat and place the filling into a bowl to let it cool a bit. Once a little cool, mix in the eggs. Pour the filling on top on the crust in the cake tin. Slice some fresh figs and add them on top. Meanwhile, in a little pot over medium heat, melt a little butter that will be brushed on top of the figs. Allow the butter to brown on the stove and add in a pinch of honey. Remove from heat and brush over the figs and the sides of the crust.
Place into an oven of 180C for about 40 minutes until the sides begin to golden.