As we officially hit winter, there's nothing like a pumpkin pie to warm the tastebuds and light up the table. Devonport’s Megan Franklin shares her favourite pumpkin pie recipe.
Channel Maqgzine: Please tell us a bit about yourself, what kind of cook you are and what kind of cooking you most enjoy.
Megan Franklin: I was born and bred in Oamaru, and spent my final school year at a private girls school in Osaka, Japan. I then completed a BCom in Marketing and BA in Japanese at Otago University, which included a year at a Commerce University in Hokkaido, Japan. I moved to Auckland for a marketing job that needed someone who could speak fluent Japanese, and met and dated a man who took me to Cheltenham beach and Stanley Point on our first date (my first time to the suburb). Little did I know I would end up moving there, with him and our two young daughters some 10 years later. After time overseas, we moved back to Auckland and Devonport in 2012, where we bought our ‘forever’ home and began the next chapter in our lives. I am a stay-at-home mum who dips in and out of marketing/product management work and is passionate about sustainability and health/wellness. I wouldn’t call myself a cook at all (my husband does a lot of the cooking!) but I love to bake. Being brought up in a household where there were never any bought biscuits/cakes (we did despair as kids!) meant our house was always filled with the smell of homemade baking, so it’s no surprise I find comfort in this pastime myself.
CM: Where/when did you first make this recipe and why is it a favourite for you?
MF: I discovered it in Red magazine, while I was living in London in 2008. It was an autumn issue and I remember thinking that I had always wanted to try pumpkin pie, so I decided to have a go at making one myself. It’s a favourite because it was a total hit with the whole family (including the kids!). Surprisingly, it turned out to be a hit in the US too (we lived in New Jersey for eight months in 2014), when we were invited to a traditional thanksgiving party. We were the only non-family members out of 70 people and they were astounded to discover a Kiwi had made the delicious pumpkin pie!
CM: What is the secret to making this recipe work?
MF: Baking the pumpkin in tin foil, dusted with brown sugar, as per the recipe i.e. not buying puree pumpkin in a can, as you can (and as they do!) in the States. The caramelisation of the pumpkin really adds to the flavour and shouldn’t be missed! It’s best served warm, with a dollop of whipped cream but is also tasty cold the next day.
CM: What do you love (or hate!) about cooking?
MF: I love the smells and the nostalgia it invokes. I hate the mess it creates, especially when the kids are involved.
CM: Are you a self-taught cook, or did you have a cooking mentor?
My grandma probably first inspired me to bake – she could make the meanest peanut brownies, shortbread, yo-yos and ‘animal-shaped’ pikelets!
CM: What’s the biggest disaster you’ve had in the kitchen? Biggest success?
MF: Biggest disaster - overcooking a chocolate cake so badly that it came out of the oven as hard as a rock. I was 10 years old at the time. Biggest success - my pumpkin pie - it’s my signature dish.
CM: What’s your favourite cuisine and do you cook this at home?
MF: I really can’t choose one cuisine! The ones that come to mind are Vietnamese, Malaysian, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish and southern US bbq. Because I’m such a foodie and the fact that my husband has a natural flair with flavour, any one of these cuisines (or some fusion of them) could be on the menu at home.
CM: What foodie spots do you enjoy visiting locally?
MF: El Humero, the Columbian-style bbq restaurant in Takapuna for atmosphere and authentic food, made with love, and Casita Miro on Waiheke for Spanish tapas treats and great sherry.
50g soft brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
270g condensed milk
500g sweet pastry
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water to glaze
Lightly whipped cream to serve