10 top recipes for using up the remnants of your Halloween pumpkin
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Come Halloween time, you just have to get in the spirit of the occasion – and carving a pumpkin is part and parcel of it.
But what do you do with all the innards? The sweetly scented flesh and multitude of seeds are very often discarded in the excitement, which is such a shame, as both can be used in lots of different ways.
Let’s show you how…
These are a common Mexican snack made with pumpkin seeds. All you need to do is clear off the flesh from the seeds, give them a good wash and dry them with a paper towel. To make them savoury, drizzle with a little olive oil and toss to coat in a thin layer, then sprinkle over a little salt and pepper and ground cayenne, cumin and coriander. Lay on a single layer on baking trays and bake at 180C for around 10 minutes until dried and crunchy. Alternatively toss in a little sunflower oil, vanilla extract and caster sugar and bake similarly.
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2. Pumpkin pie filling
Combine in a pan, over a low heat, 700ml cooked and pureed pumpkin flesh, 100g caster sugar, 100g light brown sugar, 1tsp each of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger, pinch of nutmeg, 1tsp vanilla extract, 4 large eggs, one large and one small tin of evaporated milk. When slightly thickened, pour into your prepared pastry cases and bake at 200C for 15 minutes then 160C for 45 minutes to an hour.
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3. Pumpkin gingerbread
Combine 450g caster sugar, 150ml sunflower oil, four eggs, a teacup of warm water, 450g pumpkin puree, 2tsp ground ginger, and 1tsp each ground allspice, cinnamon and cloves. Sieve in 500g plain flour, 2tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1/2tsp baking powder. Mix then pour into two large, greased and papered loaf tins. Bake at 175C for about an hour until risen and firm.
4. Thai pumpkin soup
In a little oil, fry two crushed cloves of garlic, four finely chopped shallots, one finely chopped red chilli and the finely chopped heart of a stick of lemongrass. Saute until softened and add 500ml chicken stock, a tin of coconut milk, a splash of fish sauce and the flesh of a small pumpkin. Simmer for an hour, then blend. To finish, tear in some fresh basil leaves and a squeeze of lime.
5. Very simple ‘dhansak’ curry
Cover 300g split red lentils with water in a pan and cook until turning tender. Drain, set aside and dry the pan then fill with a little oil. Chop three chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan to brown all over. Then add one finely sliced onion and brown. Add 2tbsp curry paste and cook for one minute. Add a small tin of tomatoes, one peeled potato chopped into pieces, 200g chopped pumpkin flesh, the lentils and a small bag of spinach. Cover with a little water or stock, bring to the boil then simmer until the potato and pumpkin are cooked through and the sauce is thickened. Check seasoning, then stir in a little fresh lemon juice and coriander at the end.
6. Aromatic pumpkin puree
Roast the flesh of a small pumpkin in the oven, then puree with a little vegetable stock, single cream, garam masala, salt and pepper. Serve alongside duck, chicken or lamb.
7. Pumpkin butter
Combine 900g roasted, pureed pumpkin flesh with a cup of apple juice, 2tsp ground ginger, 1/2tsp ground cloves, 225g caster sugar, 2tsp ground cinnamon and a large pinch of ground nutmeg. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook for one hour until thick and unctuous. Pour into sterilised Kilner-type jars and use to spread on toast, in cakes or in desserts.
8. Pumpkin jam
Place 850g chopped pumpkin, 1/2tsp ground cinnamon, 1tsp each ground nutmeg, ginger, 1/2tsp each allspice and ground cloves and 900g jam sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook to jam setting point on a kitchen thermometer. Pour into sterilised jam jars.
9. Pumpkin gnocchi
Boil 750g floury potatoes in their skins until tender. Allow to cool a little then peel and mash or pass through a ricer. Add 100g pumpkin puree, 125g grated parmesan, an egg, a pinch of nutmeg, 1/2tsp sea salt and a little fresh ground pepper. Put on a floured surface and knead to form a soft dough, then split into six and roll each into ropes, cutting 3cm pieces from each. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a few gnocchi at a time –they are cooked when they float. Drain then sauté in a pan with butter and sage leaves. Serve with a drizzle of the butter and some crisp pancetta.
10. Pumpkin pancakes
Combine 350ml milk, 250g pumpkin puree, 2tbsp cider vinegar, 2tbsp vegetable oil, 250g plain flour, 3tbsp soft brown sugar, 2tsp baking powder, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2tsp ground allspice, 1tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2tsp ground ginger with a whisk. Cook as you would normal pancakes and serve with maple syrup.