Last weekend the Canadians in our compound celebrated Thanksgiving. My task: bring the pumpkin pie.

I started on Saturday night by roasting a pumpkin. Cut it up into little squares leaving the skin on and brushed the pieces with olive oil. Put them into the oven until they became soft. Let them cool overnight.

The next day I mashed the pumpkin, removing the skin. Then I started my dough using:

  • 1 1/4 cups of flour
  • a pint of salt
  • 1/2 cup of butter, cold and cut into squares
  • 2 tbsp ice cold water

I used a fork to blend the flour and butter, making a sand like mixture. I added a little water at a time – just enough to make everything stick together. Rolled it into a ball and let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Next came the pumpkin pie filling.

I scanned the internet looking for a recipe with ingredients I had. I went with this one, and adapted it slightly.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg (that I ground myself with nutmeg I bought in Zanzibar!)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree ( you could use canned or make your own* as I did)

First I rolled out my chilled dough and put it in my newly purchased pie plate. Then I mixed all of the above together, working from the top of the list, down. I poured it into the pie plate and was pretty impressed that it smelled exactly right.

I baked my pie at 425f (220c) for 15 minutes, then I turned down the heat to 350f (175c) for another 45 minutes. I took it out and it looked exactly as it was supposed to.

After we were all stuffed from the various dishes everyone else brought, we cut into the pie and the verdict was: you can totally have pumpkin pie in Juba!

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* If you are making your own pumpkin puree and find your mashed pumpkin to be watery, you may need to drain it in cheesecloth, preferably overnight but at least for a couple of hours. This was a lesson learned from the time I made pumpkin pie in Paris. 

By the way, I also made a very nice roasted carrot dish by combining carrots sticks with 2tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 2tbsp of honey and 2tbsp of olive oil. I baked this mix for about 30 minutes, turning a couple of times. It was delicious!

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