If you're struggling to find a ripe orange-fleshed pumpkin, use butternut squash as they tend to be consistent in flavour and ripeness. This recipe is part of the #PumpkinRescue.

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

For the pastry

125g unsalted butter

180g caster sugar

1 large egg, beaten

250g plain flour

Flour for dusting

For the filling

700g orange-fleshed, ripe pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded and cut into rough chunks

1/2tsp mixed spice

60g of butter

1 small egg, beaten

200ml double cream

200g good quality dark chocolate

150g caster sugar

To serve

Pumpkin seeds

Icing sugar


  1. First make the pastry. In a food processor, mixer or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until they are smooth and creamy.
  2. Slowly add the beaten egg, scraping the sides of the bowl every so often if you are using a mixer, until mixed well, then slowly fold in the flour, mixing to a smooth dough. Mould the dough into 2 balls, wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the pastry out on a floured table to about 3mm thick.
  4. Cut 4 discs large enough to line 6 x 10cm x 3cm-deep individual tart tins or a large one measuring approximately 18-20cm wide and 4-5cm deep. This pastry is quite delicate, but forgiving. If it starts breaking up on you, just patch it up when lining the tins and mould the pastry back together with your fingers.
  5. Lightly brush the tins with some melted butter and line with the pastry discs to just above the top of the tin. Neaten up the edges of the pastry by pinching with your thumb and forefinger all the way around, then leave to rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.
  7. Put the pieces of pumpkin in a roasting tray with the mixed spice and the rest of the butter. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes until soft, giving the occasional stir.
  8. Take out, drain and cool in a colander. Blend the pumpkin in a liquidiser until smooth and push through a conical strainer if you have one or a colander if you don't (a sieve is fine too) to remove any fibrous strands. You will need approximately 250g of the purée for the pie; don't worry if you're a little short.
  9. Bring the cream to the boil, mix with the chocolate and sugar and stir until dissolved. Return the pumpkin to the blender with the chocolate mixture and egg and blend until smooth.
  10. Turn the oven down to 150ºC/300°F/ gas mark 2.
  11. Remove the tarts from the fridge and line the pastry cases, or the single case, with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake blind for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden.
  12. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Remove the beans and paper.
  13. Pour the pumpkin mix up to the top of the tart case and bake for 15 minutes for individual tarts or 30 minutes for a large one until the filling has set.
  14. To serve, put the pumpkin seeds on some foil on a baking tray, dredge with icing sugar and bake for 10 minutes or so until golden.
    Carefully cut the pie into generous slices and scatter the seeds on top and serve with crème fraîche or mascarpone.

This recipe was kindly donated to the #PumpkinRescue campaign by Mark Hix.