Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line four
While the pastry is being prepared, place the pumpkin and a pinch of salt in a medium-sized pan and cover with cold water. Cover with a lid and boil until just cooked.
Once the pumpkin is cooked, drain off the cooking water and add the cream, sugar and spices. Mash together over the heat until it comes to a gloopy boil. Take off the heat and whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla. Tip the mixture into the tart shell(s) and bake in the oven until the mixture sets. As the mix is already quite hot, it should only take 8–10 minutes. It’s ready when it feels firm to the touch.
While the mix is baking, whisk the egg whites with the icing sugar until fluffy and glossy. Then spread this on the top of the pie(s), covering the crust. Turn the oven-grill to medium and place the pies on a baking tray about 15cm under it. Keep the door ajar and bake until the meringue colours golden. Take from the oven and carefully remove the pie(s) from the tin(s). Serve with runny cream or vanilla ice cream.
© 2007 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.