I think that this french pumpkin pie might be my ultimate baking masterpiece. As I have mentioned several times I have a bit of a hatred when it comes to making pastry. A few failed attempts when I first started baking and an entire genre of baking is expunged from my kitchen. The shame is that decadent fruit filled tarts are always the first thing to catch my eye at bakeries (and whilst whiling away my hours on pinterest). Whenever I pass a patisserie it reminds me of eating raspberry topped tarts on a whirlwind trip to Paris when Dan and I first started dating. I dragged my friends to the other side of Amsterdam to try what had been hailed as the best apple pie in the city. So the moral of the story is that I love pastry, so long as I have had no hand in it’s making (even after my pear tarte tatin turned out so well earlier this year). Sometimes days off call for baking challenges.
French pumpkin pie is not a quick dessert. It take a few hours of pottering around the kitchen warm cup of tea in hand, flicking through brightly coloured cookbooks whilst slowly stirring a simmering pan on the stove. The result is a subtly sweet flakey pastry holding a silken vanilla filling, closer to an egg tart than it’s strongly spiced American cousins. If I was serving this for dessert at a dinner party, I would pipe delicate rosettes of whipped cream around the crust as an elegant end to the meal. As it was it was, this incarnation of the french pumpkin pie was consumed in much the same way as it was created, whilst relaxing at home, with a steaming cup of hot tea in my hand.
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makes one loaf recipe by Jennifer Brown
85ml flavourless oil (I used rapeseed) plus extra for greasing
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
200g caster sugar
2 tbsp treacle
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Speculaas spice or ½ tsp ground cloves ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
170g plain flour plus extra for dusting
50g walnuts (optional)
- Start by preheating the oven to 160C (fan) and greasing and dusting a 2lb loaf tin - this is my favourite.
- In a large bowl whisk together the mashed bananas, oil, sugar, treacle, vanilla and spices. Whisk until slightly lighter in colour, which takes about a minute.
- Sift in the bicarbonate of soda and flour, add a pinch of salt and fold together using a wooden spoon. If adding walnuts stir through. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for an hour. If after about 35-40 minute the top looks dark brown you can cover with foil to stop the top from burning. When cooked an inserted skewer should come out with only a few crumbs attached.
- Store in an airtight container. Serving suggestion, whipped cream and crushed walnuts.