Friday, 15 November 2019
Sweet Greek Pumpkin Pie
St Philip (Agios Filipos) in the Greek orthodox calendar.
K says it is/was the tradition today to make pumpkin pie, greek style. He says he will grate the pumpkin, which is actually squash. You can't get real pumpkin here. Ok I say. Go and get a squash, and raisins, and walnuts. So he did. He must have been dreaming last night of pumpkin pie he's so eager to make it.
Meanwhile the in-laws from across the water phone today to say good morning. When I mention pumpkin pie they are mystified. Seems pumpkin pie is made on St. Theodora's day, in April.
Beef is eaten on St Philips day even though the 40 fasting days before Christmas have already started. St Filip came home hungry after working in the fields all day and slaughtered his ox (cow?) to feed his family. When he went out to the stables the next day there was the ox alive and well. A miracle, I would say, if I believed in miracles. Anyway, that's why everyone around here eats beef on the 14 November
Back to pumpkin pie -
Now we have the squash, raisins, walnuts and the appetite so we make it anyway.
First prepare the squash. Peel it, de-seed it, cut it into manageable pieces and grate it. You need about a kilo of grated flesh for a large baking dish of pie
Hard work. You need a strong man to grate a kilo of pumpkin
I made the pastry myself and my man rolled that out as well.
It should really be that thin filo pastry. He just rolled mine out as thinly as possible.
The finished pumpkin pie
And the seeds which I have dried and put aside to plant in the spring. My squash usually do very well and I end up with 4 or 5 to harvest at the end of summer. This year there were none. And the NZ pumpkin seed produced leaves and flowers but no fruit. Twas not a year for any sort of squash or pumpkin.
Recipe for Greek Pumpkin Pie -
pastry of your choice
1 kilo grated pumpkin
4 spoons of semolina
1 cup of sugar
3 tsps cinnamon
1 level tsp ground cloves
2 cups of raisins and sultanas
1 cup crushed walnuts
icing sugar to sift over the top
Once you've grated your pumpkin then pick it up a handful at a time and squeeze all the juice out of it. This needs a man's strong hands too.
Mix all the rest of the ingredients into the squeezed squash.
Oil or grease a baking dish. Roll out and lay pastry on the bottom, so it over hangs. Spoon in the filling. Cover with another layer of pastry.
Bake at 180o for about half and hour. Till it is nice and brown on top. Sift icing sugar over the top.
Savoury pumpkin pie is made with feta cheese. I'll make that another day