Are you looking for a more creative way of using up your pumpkins these season than a bog standard pumpkin soup? If so, then this recipe is for you. And absolutely scrumptious it is. Although very sadly, I just couldn't seem to get the 'right' photo even after taking many, so I know the pictures here do not do this pie justice, on any level. It's one of those where you will just have to take my word for it.
My boyfriend also thought this Spiced Pumpkin Flaky Pastry Pie was once of the most delicious things he has tasted yet from my kitchen, and it certainly ticks all the boxes for me. It's filling, it's comforting, it's pastry (which I love!), it's spicy and it's full of tender, wholesome, roasted pumpkin. I'm sure the layers of pastry out-do the 'wholesome-ness', but hey ho.
I would definitely say this is a dish that tastes special enough to be served for holiday dinners, for people who are looking for a vegan dinner alternative to the poor and much-abused turkey for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, etc. You could probably even add some chopped chestnuts for a more festive feel if it's Christmas time.
Also, this pie doesn't take several hours to prepare either, which seems to be a prerequisite for a lot of holiday food, for some reason! It's unlikely pumpkins will be around at Christmas in the UK (I have no idea why they only make the edible ones available around Halloween in the general supermarkets here, because pumpkins are a yummy seasonal food!) so butternut squash could be a nice substitute.
One thing - this pie is quite spicy and peppery. I have included a half teaspoon of white pepper as well as a full red chilli. I would keep the quantities as they are though, as with all the pastry here, it carries well and you need the strong flavour. However, if you are a wuss, maybe cut the white pepper down a little.
Spiced Pumpkin Flaky Pastry Pie
1 x 500g pack of ready-roll vegan puff pastry (Jus-Rol is vegan!)
1lb / 500g cooked pumpkin, cubed and drained
1 cup / 125g onion, chopped
¾ cup 180ml coconut milk (I used the carton type, use canned for a richer, creamier taste)
⅓ cup / 40g ground almonds
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped including seeds
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ tablespoon coconut oil (for frying)
1. After you have cooked your pumpkin (roasting is probably best), when it is cooled ensure a lot of the liquid has been pressed out of the it (so you don't end up with the pie too soggy) by pressing it in a colander.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 355 F and have a large baking tray or roasting tin ready. In a large frying pan, melt the coconut oil on a low-medium heat then sauté the chopped onion for a few minutes until softened but not browned.
3. Add the garlic and chilli, and fry on the low-medium heat a couple of minutes longer, before adding the cumin seeds and frying for another minute. The add the rest of the spices and seasoning, as well as the pumpkin, then the ground almonds and coconut milk. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, until there is not much liquid left (see photograph)>
4. Turn off the heat and set aside. Now roll out the pastry. The easiest way to do this is to cut a large piece of greaseproof paper (parchment paper) about the size of your baking tray. Place the ready-made puff pastry on the paper and roll out into a rectangle approx 12in x 10in.
5. Spoon the spicy pumpkin mixture onto the bottom half of the rolled pastry, leaving an inch or so of space for sealing the pie. Bring the other half of pastry over the pumpkin mixture using the parchment paper to lift it, then seal the ends and all along the side by pressing and crimping with your fingertip.
6. Once sealed, use the parchment paper to lift the whole pie onto the baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 50-65 minutes, until the pastry is golden all over. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving.