Wholemeal Maple Pumpkin Pie with Salty Sweet Pumpkin Seeds

39 Comments on Wholemeal Maple Pumpkin Pie with Salty Sweet Pumpkin Seeds

Maple Pumpkin Pie, Wholemeal Spelt Crust

Seasonal baking is something that often seems to pass me by. Although I’ll eat the occasional mince pie (mostly for the pastry and an excuse to eat an extra spoonful of brandy butter), I’m not the biggest fan of mincemeat, while boozy Christmas pudding, marzipan-filled Simnel cake or stollen leave me pretty cold.

Rewind the calendar a month or so and Halloween, for me, has always been about the bags of sweets gleaned from a trick-or-treating spree rather than any great tradition of pumpkin-based treats. Not surprising then, perhaps, that until last week I’d never eaten, let alone attempted to make, a pumpkin pie.Maple Pumpkin Pie, Wholemeal Spelt Crust / thelittleloaf

If you’re a fan of Pinterest, Instagram or regular food blog reader you won’t have failed to notice the proliferation of orange recipes that arrived along with autumn. Although at times it feels like everywhere I look, pumpkins and squash are leaping from my computer screen, people are posting these recipes for a reason. Seasonal produce tastes best, should be made the most of and can provide us with a warm, comforting food-based hug as the temperatures drop and the nights draw in.

Maple Pumpkin Pie, Wholemeal Spelt Crust / thelittleloaf

Last Thursday some friends came over for a Halloween meal. As they told us they were planning to bring a carved out, candle-lit pumpkin, I decided to put the one I’d already bought to edible use and attempt to make a pie. I knew I wanted lots of spice, a spelt crust and maple syrup to complement the sweet nutty pumpkin flesh and after a bit of experimenting, this is the end result.

Maple Pumpkin Pie, Wholemeal Spelt Crust / thelittleloaf

The only individual tart tins I own are shallow so these don’t quite have the spoon-sinking depth of some of the pies out there, but what there is of the filling is beautifully smooth, sweet and full of flavour, made more substantial with a pillow of maple whipped cream on top. The wholemeal spelt flour in the crust works wonderfully with the pumpkin and nothing goes to waste as the seeds are toasted up to salty-sweet perfection.

This might be my first pumpkin pie but it certainly won’t be my last. Here’s to seasonal baking and who knows, this could be the year that I finally learn to love all sorts of Christmas desserts too. Perhaps . . .

Maple Pumpkin Pie, Wholemeal Spelt Crust / thelittleloaf

Wholemeal Maple Pumpkin Pie with Salty Sweet Pumpin Seeds
(makes 6 x 9cm tartlets)


For the pastry
85g unsalted butter, room temperature
50g granulated sugar
1 large free range egg yolk
140g wholemeal spelt flour
Pinch salt

For the filling and seeds
1 small pumpkin
70ml maple syrup, divided
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
Pinch salt
65ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Scrape of fresh nutmeg
1 large free range egg

To serve
200ml double cream
1 tbsp maple syrup


Start with your pumpkin. Cut into quarters and remove the seeds. Detach any stringy bits of pumpkin from the seeds, wash thoroughly then pat with paper towel until your seeds are dry. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and line two trays with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine one tablespoon of maple syrup with the olive oil and a pinch each of cinnamon and salt. Toss the pumpkin seeds in the mixture then spread out one one prepared tray. Place the pumpkin quarters on the other tray and pop both into the oven. Bake the pumpkin seeds for 15 – 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and sticky (they will harden as they cool to become more crunchy). Remove from the oven. The pumpkin quarters will need 30 – 40 minutes, checking every 15 minutes or so depending on the size of your pumpkin. Once the flesh is nice and soft, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the pastry, beat the butter and sugar together until just smooth in a medium bowl, about one minute. Add the egg yolk and mix for 30 seconds, then add the flour and salt, mixing until the dough just comes together. Press into 6 individual 9 cm tartlet tins with a removable base, prick the base with a fork and freeze for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Remove the pastry cases from the freezer and bake for 5 minutes (no need to line with beads). If the pastry has puffed up slightly, pat it flat with the back of a spoon then bake for a further 6 – 8 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 180 degrees C.

To make the filling, peel your cooled cooked pumpkin then blend in a food processor. Weigh out 100g of pumpkin purée (you will have more than you need, but can freeze the leftover purée  or use it to make pumpkin spice granola), then blitz with the remaining 65ml cream, 50ml maple syrup, vanilla extract, spices, salt and egg to form a smooth cream.

Pour the filling into your par-baked pastry shells and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until lightly golden and set with a slight wobble. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

When ready to serve, whip the cream and maple syrup until soft peaks form. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe round the edge of each tart. Top with crunchy pumpkin seeds and serve.

39 RESPONSES TO Wholemeal Maple Pumpkin Pie with Salty Sweet Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Leah -

    wow, this looks incredible and such a treat. We don’t really eat pumpkin pie much here in Australia but looking at your photo makes me want to give it a try! well done.

  2. Mince pies! You know you can do it! As long as you make your own mincemeat – it really does make a world of difference, I don’t like them without. Homemade stollen is also so, so much better than shop bought. [/yearly attempt at persuasion]

    This looks delicious – I like the touch of the seeds on top.

    • I do eat mince pies occasionally but they’re never my number one treat of choice. I know I need to learn to love festive baking more…maybe homemade stollen would convince me. And yes, homemade mincemeat is so much nicer! 🙂

  3. Skye -

    I love cooking with pumpkin – it’s so ridiculously yummy – but have never made a pumpkin pie either. Looks like this is the recipe for me. And love how you’ve made a spelt crust – I bet that it’s wonderfully nutty.
    Also, Emma – I completely agree – homemade mincemeat is a must. Categorical must.

  4. What a pretty little tart! I like other people’s pumpkin pies but save my pumpkin for lots of other uses, breakfast through dessert, probably because I get so much in the garden and the farm share. I’ve never been a fan of the roasted seeds, though (which is possibly why my compost volunteers pumpkins each year).
    Thanks for a lovely individual dessert!

  5. Wow, I’d love to sink a fork into the maple whipped cream and pumpkin pie! Like Emma suggested, I’m planning to make my own mince pie from scratch and see if I like them better than commercial ones.

    • Homemade mince pies are definitely better than shop bought, happy baking!

  6. I must admit I was surprised to read you are not the biggest fan of seasonal treats! Personally, I do love the taste of many of these treats, especially the Christmassy ones. Christmas is just not the same without homemade Stollen, mince pies and a rather too large helping of German Lebkuchen, Vanillekipferl, Dominosteine etc.

    I have only had pumpkin pie once, at my first Thanksgiving in the US – definitely an unusual taste for me but I like that it isn’t too sweet a treat (and one I definitely preferred to marshmallow topped sweet potatoes!). I have a huge pumpkin at home so maybe I should give this a try!

    • I know, I’m a total festive fusspot! It’s almost always something chocolaty – often a log – for Christmas dessert in the little loaf house 🙂 ps marshmallow topped sweet potato sounds seriously scary!

      • Agree – although not as scary as what I understand is known as ‘Jello Salad’ which a friend of mine who lives in the US once had at a friend’s place. It’s a simple dish really, consisting of no more than diced jello mixed with whipped cream. And in case you wonder, this was served alongside other savoury dishes and was not a dessert or a sweet at some little person’s birthday party!

  7. Erin -

    That is a beautiful pumpkin pie! I am so looking forward to the autumn holidays where we have an excuse for pumpkin desserts. 🙂

  8. Sounds delicious, I’ve never made a pumpkin pie either but yours looks lovely – particularly like the idea of maple whipped cream.

  9. YES!!! To every bit of this pie- the crust, the spiced pumpkin filling, the salty sweet seeds- YES!

    • Love this comment. YES to salty sweet pumpkin maple wholemeal goodness!

  10. Ooh we’ve still got a fair bit of pumpkin left and this looks like a great way to use it, love the maple syrup addition

  11. Brigitte -

    This looks lucious but when I read mincemeat my ears perked up….can’t find my grandma’s mincemeat recipe and wondered if you have a traditional mincemeat recipe that you could share. Thanks and love your blog! Brigitte Lyon, Kansas

    • It’s something I’m not that keen on but I think the way round that might be to make my own! Promise this will be the first place I share the recipe if I end up finding one that I love 🙂

  12. This looks so fabulous– and delicious with the maple syrup. 🙂 Do you think it would work with whole wheat flour in the pastry instead of the spelt flour? Thanks!! I may make this for Thanksgiving!

    • Yes, absolutely! In fact I’ve made this crust with wholemeal/wholewheat flour before and it works perfectly.

      • Yay!! I will let you know how it comes out 🙂

  13. I’m not the biggest fan of seasonal treats either. Shortbread, mince pies, and christmas cake are all things I can happily go without. However this pie looks gorgeous, and even though the idea of pumpkin in a sweet dish is foreign to me I know it will be good because you made it! 🙂

    • Ah, thanks Jennnifer! Pumpkin in something sweet actually works really well – if you think along the lines of carrot cake or beetroot brownies, veg in sweet things isn’t too scary 🙂

  14. This looks so warm and the sort of grown-up treat I’d be thrilled to have during a busy day. I love the sweet and salty combination with seeds. X

  15. I would never know you were new to pumpkin pies from the look of that gorgeous creation! And that whipped cream topping has me drooling:)

  16. These look absolutely amazing – and I’m on a massive pumpkin kick at the moment.

  17. I find pumpkin pie a bit overrated -pies/tarts for me need something like fruit that is quite sharp to counteract the richness of the pastry, whereas pumpkin can be kind of sweetly bland. Love the idea of the spelt pastry though and the seeds – I bet I could get on board with this version!

    • I think if you add enough spice it’s not too sweet and bland, but do love a sharp fruit tart too! The crunchy seeds and nutty pastry tart it up nicely so there are lots of flavours and textures going on 🙂

  18. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually had a pumpkin pie but I really like your take on it especially with those crunchy pumpkin seeds on top.

  19. I will say that tastes change as the years pass… I have never been a fan of pumpkin pie despite loving this vegetable and being an American. Perhaps I should try it again, not that I am older ;o)

    • Maybe give this version a go – I’ve not eaten much pumpkin pie but I imagine it’s a little lighter and less sweet than some you may have tasted 🙂

  20. Lovely little partlet! I’m always late to the party when it comes to the big seasonal cooking/baking times…but it’s refreshing to walk to one’s own beat. 😀

  21. These pies look incredible! I love your use of wholemeal in them, I bet the flavours work so well with the pumpkin! these photos are gorgeous too!

  22. I must confess I have never made a pumpkin pie either, just the thought of pumpkin in a dessert kind of left me cold. My other half has eaten it once when he was on a trip around the USA and he reckons it is the best and has been bugging me to make it for him. I will have to try your version to see if I become a convert 🙂

  23. Your pumpkin pie looks so appealing. For some reason, I’ve never found pumpkin pie that appealing and this is someone who loves squash. I have just made some chilli, ginger and persimmon tarts though, which I really did like and are quite similar, so maybe it’s time to give that pie another go.

    • I think you should give it a try! If you like maple syrup it’s a must.

  24. Pingback: Baked Blackberry, Blueberry & Coconut Crunch Oatmeal | thelittleloaf

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