Mummy-head pumpkin pie recipe

, Mummy-head pumpkin pie recipe, The Evepost News
, Mummy-head pumpkin pie recipe, The Evepost News

Use a good, flavoursome pumpkin or squash for this recipe; ones for carving can be tasteless.


Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill 

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes 

, Mummy-head pumpkin pie recipe, The Evepost News


four to six 


For the pastry (or use 400g shop-bought shortcrust)

  • 230g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 150g very cold butter
  • 1 egg yolk

For the filling

  • 500g pumpkin or squash (unprepared weight), peeled, deseeded and diced into 2cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
  • 35g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • leaves from ½ small bunch of parsley or chives, finely chopped
  • 200g Caerphilly or cheddar, coarsely grated
  • good grating of whole nutmeg, about 1 tsp
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml double cream
  • 2 black olives


  1. Put the flour in a large bowl with a pinch of salt and grate in the butter. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Beat the yolk with two tablespoons of ice-cold water then add to the bowl, mixing briefly but assertively, using a knife, to combine. You may need a splash more cold water, but don’t add too much as this will make for tough pastry. Mix just enough to bring the dough together, then wrap in parchment paper and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a circle about 3mm thick and large enough to line a 20cm tart tin. Line the tin with the pastry and trim the edges (gather and wrap the trimmed bits, and place in the fridge). Place the tin in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4.
  5. For the filling, toss the pumpkin or squash with the oil, sage leaves and some salt and pepper on  a baking tray, and roast for about 15-20 minutes, until very soft and bronzed in places.
  6. Meanwhile, fry the leek in the butter in a pan over a moderate heat, until completely soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the heat.
  7. Stir the roast pumpkin, parsley or chives, and cheese into the leek. Season with the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
  8. Line the chilled pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and pale golden.
  9. In a jug, beat the egg into the double cream and season well.
  10. Roll out the reserved pastry on a lightly floured worktop to about 3mm thick. Cut into thin strips about 2.5cm wide and of various lengths, to make ‘bandages’.
  11. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the pastry case and pour over the cream. Lay the pastry strips across the tart, overlapping them a little. Leave space between the strips for the eyes.
  12. Bake for about 40 minutes, checking from 30 minutes onwards, until the pastry is crisp and golden brown, and the pie mix is bubbling beneath. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving, with the two olives placed between the ‘bandages’ to look like eyes.