Savoury Pumpkin & Fig Pie

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 

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter cut in cubes
  • About 4 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter melted (for brushing)

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.

Pumpkin Filling

  • Pumpkin Slices (small pumpkin)
  • Pinch of salt/pepper/ thyme twigs
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Crumbed feta cheese ( about 1 dl)
  • ground nutmeg
  • 1-2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of honey

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.

Autumnal Pumpkin Pie

 

‘The end of October calls for an outdoor picnic with some pumpkin pie and piping hot tea.’

Last weekend while doing some wood work in our future plot, I set up a modest little picnic for us. We had some hot tea that beautifully warmed us up and made some pumpkin pie back home. I also made a little wreath from materials nearby. I used some fall hydrangeas, lingonberry/pine branches and some sage colored moss that is found on pine. Finding moss like this on pine indicates that the nature around is very clean and it is often found in the woods of Lapland. I love the color of it, interior wise as well. As I was taking some pictures, a swan and its baby swam in the backdrop making the atmosphere even more beautiful. A lot of leaves have started to fall on the ground and it is interesting to see how this property changes with the transitioning seasons.

 

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

Pumpkin puree

  • ½ cups sliced pumpkin
  • 1-2 teaspoon honey or syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cranberries

Base

  • Ready-made puff pastry

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Slice a piece of pumpkin (around 1 1/2 cups roughly diced pumpkin) into rough pieces and place into a saucepan. Cook over medium sized heat in a bit of butter for about 5 minutes. Add in a couple of tablespoons of water and place the lid on and let it gently steam throughout for about 10 minutes. Once the pumpkin is soft, add in a generous teaspoon of honey, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Mush it up with a fork until somewhat smooth.

With an electric whisk, beat the eggs and sugar until frothy. Sieve in the flour and baking powder. Fold in with a spatula. Next fold in the pumpkin puree.

Take a cake tin and line the edges with butter. Roll out some puff pastry and mold it on top of the cake tin. This amount of filling is enough for 2 little cake tins. Pour the filling inside the cake tin and press some cranberries into the middle.

Bake in the oven for about 30-40minutes. Allow to cool and garnish with coconut shreds, cranberry and oregano flowers.