As a chronic American, there were many cultural references I didn't understand in the very British Harry Potter books. For example, what is a treacle tart? A trifle? A...humbug? ...Okay, now I think you're pulling our legs, because no one in the English-speaking world would name a foodstuff "spotted dick".

But the one that always brought my mind screeching to a halt was the pumpkin pastie. What on earth is a pastie? How do you even pronounce that? Paste-y? Past-ee? Past-ay?

My elementary school self would've been interested to know that it's pronounced "past-ee", and that rather than some orange paste that bored wizards squirt into their mouths, the pumpkin pastie is one of the most awesome and American foods possible: a pumpkin pie, to go.They are the very best part of Thanksgiving, in your lunchbox, any day of the year.

I'll give you a basic recipe with some interesting variations, but keep in mind that recipes should be followed about as closely as the rules of Hogwarts, and just like in the children's story from which they're drawn, you will be awarded House Points for flagrant disregard of safety and authority.

Step 1: Reagents

You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of pastie-making. As there is little difficulty here, many of you will hardly believe this is baking.

You will need:

For the filling

  •     4 eggs
  •     1 29oz. can of pumpkin (substitute with 29oz. (800 grams) 1-inch cubed sweet potatoes, steamed for 20 minutes and mashed if canned pumpkin is unavailable in your country. The pumpkin pie flavor comes from the spices, not the pumpkin)
  •     1 1/2 cups (450 g) sugar
  •     1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
  •     1 teaspoon (5ml) ginger
  •     1/2 teaspoon (3ml) ground cloves
  •     24 oz.  (6.5 dl) evaporated milk

For the crust
  • Three cups (400 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8ml) salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.75 dl) oil
  • 3/4 cup (1.75 dl) water
  • (NOTE: this will only make enough crust for about 1/2 of the filling. The filling is tasty on its own, though, so you don't have to use it all in pies. If you do want to, just double the recipe for crust.)
nice. Your kitchenaid stand mixer looks like a monster with eyes. <br>
*more like a skeleton skull. <br>

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