With everything else we have embraced from our American cousins across the Pond, it’s a little surprising that we haven’t also ‘stolen’ Thanksgiving.
Think of Halloween (let’s be honest it’s only fairly recently that we have started making it a ‘thing’ in the UK), fast food (American favourites like Dennys, Five Guys, Shake Shack and Taco Bell have all started springing up on our island in recent years) and Black Friday (which is linked to Thanksgiving anyway!).
And given we already piggy-bag on the celebrations of other countries, St Patrick’s Day and Burn’s Night to name just two, why haven’t we jumped on the Thanksgiving bandwagon, especially when it celebrates English Pilgrims arriving in the USA?
Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to be reminded that it is a holiday commemorating an invasion of a country that already belonged to someone else?
Perhaps it’s the thought of sitting down for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings at the end of November knowing you will be doing it all again in a month’s time, and turkey really is for Christmas isn’t it?
Or perhaps it’s the thought of eating pumpkin pie? Well, pumpkins have usurped turnips on Halloween so what wrong with eating them we say!!
So, at a time when American culture has never been more evident here in good old Blighty, perhaps we’ll never know why Thanksgiving also hasn’t become a ‘thing’, but there’s time yet – we oldies still remember when American fast food only stretched to McDonald’s!
Here’s this week’s recipe:
- 750g pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and cut into chunks
- 350g sweet shortcrust pastry
- plain flour120g caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh, grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 25g melted butter
- 150ml milk
- Whipped cream for the topping
1. Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins, Drain and leave to cool.
2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Sprinkle flour on a surface and roll pastry until it fits a tart tin. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 mins. Cool.
3. Turn oven up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Sieve the pumpkin and in a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour into the tart tin and cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set.
4. Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Serve cool with a dollop of whipped cream on top.