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Caramel pumpkin pie with spelt shortcrust

Make the most of pumpkin's natural sweetness.

By Paulette Whitney
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 45 mins cooking plus resting, cooling
  • Serves 8 - 10
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"The wholemeal-spelt shortcrust – inspired by a Jude Blereau recipe – gives a nutty flavour and pleasing texture to the pie," says Paulette Whitney. "And roasting the squash in their skins with rapadura sugar gives a rich, caramel flavour, as well as enhancing the pumpkinness of the filling."


  • 900 gm pumpkin, seeds removed and cut into 5cm chunks (see note)
  • 20 gm butter, softened
  • 100 gm rapadura sugar, or to taste, plus extra to serve
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) pouring cream
  • Large pinch of finely grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground black peppercorns
  • Whipped cream, to serve
Spelt shortcrust
  • 150 gm (1 cup) wholemeal spelt flour
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
  • 150 gm chilled butter, diced
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar


  • 1
    For spelt shortcrust, pulse ingredients and a pinch of salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl and, mixing with your hands, add 120ml chilled water a little at a time until dough just comes together. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Place pumpkin pieces on a baking tray, dot with butter, sprinkle with 2 tbsp rapadura sugar and bake, turning occasionally until tender (40-50 minutes). Set aside to cool, then scoop flesh from the skins and coarsely mash.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, grease a 25cm-diameter loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick and line the tin. Dock pastry with a fork and trim the edges, then blind-bake (see cook's notes p168) for 20 minutes, remove paper and weights and bake until light golden (5-10 minutes).
  • 4
    Reduce oven to 160°C. Combine eggs, cream, nutmeg, pepper and remaining sugar to taste in a bowl and whisk to combine, add pumpkin and stir to combine, then pass through a coarse sieve. Pour into tart crust and bake until just set (30-40 minutes). Cool briefly, then serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream and sprinkled with rapadura sugar.


Whitney says her pumpkin of choice here is tuffy acorn squash, but the recipe is forgiving; add sugar where necessary. Spelt flour is available from select supermarkets and health-food shops.
Drink suggestion: Grand old treacly topaque (tokay). Drink suggestion by Max Allen.