Halloween is the time of tricks and of treats (in italian called "dolcetti"), so this year I am bringing you an unusual combination: the traditional Halloween treat, pumpkin pie, decorated as a Halloween trick and paired with Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba Costafiore wine. A match made in heaven!
The American and Italian traditions meet to bring you a dish that will surprise you with its scenography and flavour. This pie is perfect for both a children’s Halloween party and a dinner with friends.
For the pastry
170g plain flour
A pinch of salt
70g vegetable oil
1-2 tbsp water
For the filling
150g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger(or 1/2 cm fresh grated ginger root)
tsp ground cloves
400g pumpkin purée (or 650g fresh peeled pumpkin)
200ml whole milk
20g butter (plus some extra butter for greasing the tart tin)
1 tbsp cornflour
For the decorations
100g white chocolate
Heat oven to 180C (conventional oven). In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and vegetable oil with a fork. Add the water one spoonful at a time and keep mixing until completely absorbed. Add a second spoonful only if the pastry seems too dry. Pat the pastry into a flat round and let rest for 30 mins at room temperature in a closed container.
Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 20 cm loose-bottomed tart tin that you greased and dusted. Trim the edges. Melt the cornflour in a little milk to prevent lumps, then mix in the remaining milk. Add the sugar and butter and bring to the boil while mixing. Cook for 15 mins, stirring until the mixture thickens.
Steam the pumpkin for about 8-10 mins until very tender, then purée it in a food processor.
Combine the pumpkin purée and the milk cream, warm it on the hob while stirring constantly. Add eggs one at a time and mix in the spices. Pour the cream into the tart shell, then bake for about 1 hour until the pastry is pale golden and the pie feels firm and set. Leave to cool.
Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate in a piping bag with a small tip, and draw a spider web on the pie. Start with the diameters, then add the arches between them. Store in the refrigerator but keep at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.
Ph. credits: brododicoccole.com