Up until last weekend I'd never before made my own pastry.
It gets worse.
Up until last weekend, I'd never made a sweet pie or tart of any kind.
You have my full permission to stop reading now. All my credibility as a foodie has likely vanished. I get it.
If you're still with me at this point, please let me explain. I'm a person who likes structure generally in life, but for some reason prefer to use recipes as inspiration, rather than a step by step guide to a dish (i.e. what they're meant for). This works perfectly well for savoury dishes, breads, even some cakes, where you can taste as you go. My experimental approach to cooking does not gel so well, however, with more technique-focussed dishes, where specific quantities, ingredients and cooking times are required in order not to...well...this:
You'll be pleased to know that, while not the prettiest pie in the world, this pumpkin pie was a resounding success and most definitely not an epic fail.
While it's clearly not the most beautiful pie to grace the face of the planet (does the word "rustic" jump to mind, anyone?), it sure as heck was tasty! I *basically* used this recipe (yup, even after recognising that such delights require me to follow a recipe, I couldn't help but make some modifications). Because pumpkin puree is not readily available in pre-made form in Australia, I wrapped my slabs of pumpkin in foil and baked in the oven for around an hour, before scooping the flesh from the skin and pulverising in the blender. I also upped the levels of spice on all fronts - big flavours are the best. Finally, I couldn't quite get the pastry to roll out on a lightly floured bench, so I sandwiched it between two sheets of grease-proof paper and had no problem.
The result was a most delicious dessert. And you know what? Pastry isn't as scary as I thought. It does require forethought and planning, so it may not make a regular appearance on our menus (probably a good thing for our waistlines, mind!), but I can certainly see myself adding to my tart repertoire (once a tart always a tart?!) for special occasions in the future.