Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Pocahontas, That Tree's Talking to Me

Disney Classic # 33 - Pocahontas

Not particularly attractive, but very tasty!

For Pocahontas I'd decided I wanted to attempt a Native American recipe, possibly something corn-based (corn is the "gold" that Pocahontas' tribe has and Governor Radcliffe wants...) so I ran a google search for "Native American desserts" to see what came up. For a while I was really keen on making these sweet hominy chimichangas, however I could not find hominy for sale in the UK for love nor money. And I found the same with other recipes I came across, each seemed to have one key ingredient that I couldn't get my hands on unless I imported it from the US (at a seemingly high cost!)

So, I had to go with the back up plan of pumpkin pie. Not that I'm complaining, I love pumpkin. (And don't underestimate how difficult it is to find pumpkin in the UK outside of October!!) Pumpkin pie was suggested way back in November - when Mike was feeling nostalgic for his time in America and craving pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving he suggested that we have a pumpkin pie for Pocahontas, creating a link through the story of Thanksgiving Day. (From what I understand it, the American Indians and the Pilgrims decided to be best friends and all sat down together to have a big feast of turkey and pumpkin pie and it DOES relate to Pocahontas somehow, honest!)

So pumpkin pie it is!

I got this recipe from BBC Good Foods 101 Tempting Desserts, and followed it pretty much to the letter.

Prep/cook time: A long time!! Approx 3.5-4 hours (although a lot of this time is baking/cooling time so you can do other things too!)

Serves: 8-10


1 small green pumpkin (or a 425g tinned pumpkin, or 425g pureed pumpkin)
500g pack ready made shortcrust pastry
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
250ml double cream
397g can condensed milk
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground mixed spice

For the topping:
50g butter
25g chopped pecan pieces
25g chopped walnut pieces
85g light brown sugar

To serve:
200ml double cream
1tbsp icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  2. Remove the stalk and stem of the pumpkin and chop it in half. Remove the seeds from the middle and then chop into roughly 1 inch slices, leaving the skin on. Place these into a roasting tin and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the pumpkin flesh and place the flesh into a blender. Blend to a smooth paste and leave to cool completely.
  4. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, and grease a pie/flan dish.
  5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use this to line the pie dish. Trim the edges and press a pattern into the top edge. Place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Prick the pastry base all over with a fork, then cover with greaseproof paper. place some baking beans or uncooked rice on top of the greaseproof paper to weigh it down. Bake for 12 minutes then remove from oven.
  7. Reduce the heat of the oven to gas mark 4.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks until frothy. Add the cream, the condensed milk, 425g tinned/pureed pumpkin, cinnamon and mixed spice and whisk thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for 50 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2 hours.
  10. Melt the butter over a low heat, then stir in the chopped nuts and sugar. Spoon this mixture over the pie. Cover the edges of the pastry with foil, then place the pie under the grill for 2-3 minutes, until the topping is bubbling.
  11. Remove from the grill and allow to cool a little before placing the pie in the fridge to chill. Refrigerate until serving.
  12. To serve, whip the cream in a large bowl with the icing sugar and vanilla extract. Spoon or pipe onto the pie and enjoy ^_^

Next time it's the Hunchback of Notredame (which I love and think is completely under-rated!!) and I'll be serving up some choux pastries.

Happy Thoughts

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