160g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
115g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3-4 tbsp ice-cold water, as needed
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter (using a pastry/dough blender or your fingers) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add just enough ice-cold water to bring the dough together. Begin by adding the smaller amount, blend in, then add more only as necessary. It is helpful to take a handful of dough and squeeze it: the dough should be neither wet, nor dry and crumbly.
Form the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk, wrap with cling film, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (The dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance, or frozen at this point for use in the future.)
Place the chilled disk of dough on a lightly floured surface. Using floured hands, flatten it slightly.
Dust a rolling pin with flour, and roll from the centre outward using light, even pressure. Roll until the dough is about 6mm thick and 25-28cm in diameter.
Drape the pastry over the rolling pin and place it in a pie plate or tin. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of the tin. If you like you can trim at this point: use a paring knife to trim the dough, leaving at least 1.25cm all around.
Crimp the edges using the side of your forefinger and thumb, or the tines of a fork to press down along the edge. Place the pie case in the freezer for 10 minutes (or chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes).
To parbake the pie case, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7.
Remove the pie case from the freezer or refrigerator and prick it all over with a fork. Place a sheet of foil or parchment paper in the pie case and fill with baking beans, dried beans, or rice. Place the shell in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil or parchment and weights.
Reduce the oven temperature to 190C/170C fan/Gas 5.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, cream, eggs, both sugars, and spices. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake until the centre is just set, around 35 to 40 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before slicing and serving.
Recipe taken from The Great Dixter Cookbook: Recipes from an English Garden by Aaron Bertelsen (Phaidon, £24.95)
Reaping what he sowed: Great Dixter’s Aaron Bertelsen