For the base
6 oz(175g) digestive biscuits, crushed
3 oz (85g) butter, melted
For the filling
2 lb fresh pumpkin (this weight is untrimmed so in its whole form – it's about the size of a small/medium pumpkin!)
2 oz (50g) butter
3 oz (85g) demerara sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg, grated
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ pint (140ml) single cream
2 oz (50g) sultanas
9 inch (23cm) fluted ceramic flan dish
A small and large saucepan
1.First make the base. Weigh out the biscuits and crush them with a rolling pin in a sealed sandwich bag. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and when it is just melted, add in the crushed biscuits. Stir with a wooden spoon and tip into the flan dish. Pat out the biscuits in an even layer and press down with the back of the wooden spoon to make the base flat. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
2.You have a choice of preparing the pumpkin. Make a lantern at the same time and save the flesh from the inside for the pie. Or if you aren't making a Halloween lantern with your pumpkin, cutting down the centre and taking out the seeds and membrane with a knife. Then take off the tough skin. Which ever way you prepare it, cut the orange flesh into chunks and melt the butter in a large pan before adding in the pumpkin pieces. Coat the pumpkin in butter and on a low heat, cover with a lid till the pumpkin flesh is soft. This will take varying times depending on how large the pieces of pumpkin. Check after 20 minutes and then keep checking for 5 minute intervals till it is soft.
3.Preheat the oven to 200'C. Remove the pumpkin from the heat and puree with a hand blender. Flavour it with the spices, sugar and cream. You can taste it at this point to check whether it is sweet enough before adding the beaten eggs to the mixture and stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful when adding the eggs as they are going into warm liquid and might scramble.
4.Take the base out of the fridge. Fill the flan dish with the pumpkin mix up to millimetre below the top. As the sizes of pumpkins vary, you may have too much filling to fit in the dish. If that happens, transfer the rest into another dish and bake with pie as extra.
5.Smooth the top of the pie with a spoon and put in the oven for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and set.
6.Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving to your expectant guests - a Halloween treat for people of all ages!