Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius
Line your pie dish with the (poha) sweet short pastry, refrigerate the lined dish for 60 mins. Use any pastry cut-offs to cut out star shapes. These will be used to decorate the pae (pie).
Peel and chop the kumara into 3 cm piece, lay out on a bakng paper lined roasting tray.
Sprinkle the kumara with the rau kikini (spices) (natimeke, tinitia, hinamona), spread the diced pata (butter) around the pieces of kumara, and drizzle the kumara with the marahihi mapere (maple syrup).
Cover the roasting tray with tin foil, bake for 30 mins until the kumara is soft, the maple syrup and butter will form a caramel on the base of the lined tray.
While the kumara is roasting, blitz the aramona (almonds) and pihikete tinitia (gingernut biscuits) in a food processor to form a fine crumb
Remove the baked kumara from the oven, and allow to cool on the bench
Take the chilled pastry case, gently press a layer of the gingernut and almond crumb into the base of the pastry (you will use around ½ crumb, reserve the rest to go on the top of the cooked pie. Blind bake the pastry case for 10 minutes at 200 degrees celsius. You can bake the stars at the same time.
Purée the cooled kumara, be sure to scrape all the yummy sweet bits from the baking paper into the purée. If you need a little extra liquid for your blended to create a smooth purée, use a little of the 250 ml krimi (cream).
In a large bowl, whisk the heki (eggs), (krimi) cream, iho haperei (vanilla essence), and huka haura (brown sugar).
Stir the kumara purée through the egg mixture, until you have a smooth consistent pie filling.
Pour the kumara filling into the blind-baked pastry in your pie dish. Reduce the temperature of your oven to 160 degrees Celsius and bake the pie for 45-50 mins, until the filling is firm.
(Tip): To release the pastry from the pie dish, fill your sink with warm water. Dip the pie dish into the water (being careful to not let any water into the actual pie.) This will stop the pie from sticking when you remove pieces.
Decorate the pie, sprinkle a ring of the gingernut almond crumb around the edge of the pie filling. Press the stars around the edge of the pie