Organic fruit has natural taste that canned filling can't match

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am


Local pumpkins share a similar flavour and texture to some of their popular American cousins. The local version is great for making a classic pumpkin pie.

Josh Chu, executive chef of Posto Pubblico, uses local farm-grown organic Chinese pumpkin in this healthier version of the treat, instead of canned pie filling. 'There is really no comparison. The canned filling is so full of artificial flavour enhancers and added sugar that, when tasted side by side, it doesn't even taste like real pumpkin,' he says.

The base is made with whole wheat flour rather than the usual refined white. 'It is rich in dietary fibre and manganese, which is great for people who are on diets and can prevent diabetes,' Chu says.

He uses full fat cream to get the traditional texture of pumpkin pie, but it can be replaced with skimmed milk or even water. 'This particular recipe is special because it's healthy and diet-friendly, but it tastes just like what Mama used to make,' he says.

Pumpkin pie

For the crust

11/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp granulated sugar

A pinch of kosher or sea salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

2 tbsp whole milk, cold

Sift flour into a bowl and add sugar and salt. Add butter and squeeze together flour and butter until mixture forms small lumps. Add milk and shape mixture into a ball.

Roll dough out into a sheet. Mould dough into a greased glass pie bowl and poke holes into the dough with a fork to prevent bubbles.

Blind-bake the base by covering the dough with baking paper and filling with rice or pebbles. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Cool inside the bowl on a rack. The base should be half-cooked.

For the filling

450 grams of local organic pumpkin, seeded, baked and pur?ed

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger powder

1/8 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

3 eggs, free range

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup skimmed milk

A squeeze of lemon juice

Whisk all ingredients together until semi-smooth, and pour into pie shell.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-35 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the centre of the pie; if it comes out clean, it's done.

Cool on a rack for 11/2 hours. Refrigerate or serve.