Issue 103 is out now
Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

25th October 2015

Nothing evokes Autumn quite like the taste of pumpkin. Once you’ve gouged out all the flesh to make grinning jack-o-lanterns, it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with it. If you have a glut, you could make it up into a puree and then freeze it as a tasty addition to soups and breads later in the year. Or you could try one of these pumpkin recipes for a nutritious Samhain feast.

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

25th October 2015

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

25th October 2015

Pumpkin Pie (from Abel and Cole)

A traditional and favourite recipe at this time of year, pumpkin pie has a lovely smooth texture and is delicious served with cream or ice cream.

175g/6oz plain flour 75g/3oz butter 100g caster sugar 2 tbsp cold water pinch salt 450 g (1 lb) prepared weight pumpkin flesh, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) chunks 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg ½ tsp ground allspice ½ tsp ground cloves ½ tsp ground ginger 275 ml (10 fl.oz) double cream

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water to mix it into a firm dough, then wrap it in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, steam the pumpkin, then put it in a sieve and press lightly to extract any excess water.

Lightly whisk the eggs and the extra yolk together in a large bowl.

Place the sugar, spices and cream in a pan, bring them to simmering point, stirring with a whisk regularly. Then pour this mixture over the eggs and whisk it again briefly. Add the pumpkin pureé, still whisking everything until it is thoroughly combined.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, then use it to line a 20cm flan dish. Prick the entire surface with a fork and bake blind at 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5 for 15 minutes until just firm to the touch. Then pour the filling into your pastry case.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, by which time it will puff up round the edges but still feel slightly wobbly in the centre. Then remove it from the oven and place the tin on a wire cooling rack.

Serve chilled (stored loosely covered in foil in the fridge) with some equally chilled créme fraïche, but warm or at room temperature would be fine.

Autumn Vegetable Stir Fry (from Veg Box Recipes)

A quick and easy recipe for a family meal, using up any glut vegetables in your veg box or garden.

Ingredients

1 butternut squash/pumpkin 1 onion Handful of runner beans Cauliflower florets 200g chick peas (or kidney beans or butter beans – whatever you’ve got in stock) 2 tbsp sesame oil (or vegetable oil) 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce 1 tbsp peanut butter (optional) 1 egg (optional)

Peel the squash with a potato peeler. Chop off the stalk and flower end. Chop in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Chop into 1 cm cubes.

Heat the sesame oil in a wok (or a large pan, if you don’t have a wok)

Put the squash in the wok and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.

Peel the onion and slice it finely. Add it to the wok and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly

Break the cauliflower into small florets and add to the wok. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly.

Slice the runner beans into 1 cm chunks and add to the wok. Cook for 2 minutes, covered.

When all the vegetables are almost cooked, mix together the sauce: the sweet chilli sauce, the peanut butter and the egg (optional). Note: this sauce is thick – add a little water, if you find it hard to mix.

Add to the wok and stir well for 2 minutes, to make sure the egg is cooked.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup (from Allotment.org.uk)

Yummy! There’s nothing quite like coming home on a chill autumn evening to a bowl of warming pumpkin soup. Nutmeg sets off the taste of pumpkin beautifully, as with the pumpkin pie recipe above.

1 pumpkin (4–5 lbs/1.8–2.3 kgs in weight) 4 tablespoons butter 1 large onion ½ pint (285 ml) double cream Salt, pepper and nutmeg 2 pints (1.1 litres) water

Wash the pumpkin and then cut the top off to form a lid. Remove the pulp from inside the pumpkin lid. Remove the seeds from inside the pumpkin and discard.
Scoop away most of the solid flesh from the pumpkin using a small, sharp knife, leaving a sturdy wall of pumpkin, being careful not to cut through it. Put the shell to one side.

Peel and slice the onion. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion to it. Cook gently until tender.

Chop up all of the pulp of the pumpkin and add to the onion with about 2 pints of cold water.

Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.

Put the mixture through a blender in several small batches. Return the mix to the pot and add the cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Reheat the soup and pour into the reserved pumpkin shell (you don’t have to serve the soup in the pumpkin shell, but it goes down well with kids this way). Serve hot.

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