With Halloween just around the corner, sales of pumpkins are at their peak and many of you will end up picking up 2 or 3 over the next few day to start your traditional lantern carving. But while carving lanterns for Halloween can be great fun, it often generates huge amounts of waste when all of that delicious pulp is scooped out and thrown away. In fact, while most children grow up being surrounded by pumpkins at Halloween, surprisingly few have actually tried eating this delicious vegetable.
Here are a few delicious pumpkin recipes to try next time you carve a Halloween pumpkin, letting you use up the whole of the vegetable and reduce waste.
This classic pumpkin desert might be more popular across the Atlantic than here in the UK, but serve it up at a Halloween party or any autumnal get together and it’s bound to go down a treat.
1 large pumpkin
500g shortcrust pastry
175g light brown sugar
1 small pot double cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Remove the inner flesh from the pumpkin, both the squishy pulp containing the seeds and the more firm flesh around the edge. Cut the flesh into chunks and add to a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on a high temperature for 10-15 minutes until soft.
Roll out the pastry thinly and line a 25cm pie tin, allowing a small overhang around the edge. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat your oven to 200 degrees/gas mark 6 or 180 with an electric fan oven.
Line pastry with foil and baking beads to maintain its shape as it cooks. Bake for 15-20 minutes, before removing foil and baking beads and baking for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees/gas mark 3 or 140 degrees with a fan.
Blend the pumpkin, eggs, sugar, spices and cream together until smooth and spread evenly into the crust. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and remove when the filling has risen.
Allow to cool and slice. Serve with fresh cream and a little grating of nutmeg.
Crunchy pumpkin seeds
It’s not just the flesh of the pumpkin that can be used in delicious recipes, pumpkin seeds make a tasty and healthy snack and make popular nibbles at parties.
The seeds of 2 medium sized pumpkins
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons coarse table salt or sea salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pre heat oven to 150C degrees/ gas mark 2. Spread seeds out evenly on a sheet of baking parchment and slowly bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until dry and crisp.
Remove from oven and add to a bowl with butter, salt, sugar and cinnamon and toss until evenly coated.
Return to oven and toast at 170C degrees for a further 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.
These sweet and salty seeds have a unique taste making them both healthy and moreish, perfect for snacking on on an autumn evening!
Hearty pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup is an old favourite and a great way to warm yourself up on a cold evening, not to mention one of the best ways of reducing waste in your kitchen this Halloween.
The flesh of one pumpkin cut into chunks
2 tablespoons oil
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves chopped finely
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 large carrots, diced
1 large potato, diced
vegetable stock or 1 vegetable stock cube
a bunch of fresh coriander leaves chopped roughly
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200C degrees
Lay pumpkin chunks on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes.
Melt butter in a frying pan and fry onion until golden. Add garlic, coriander, cumin and chilli and fry for another minute.
Add diced carrots and potatoes and cover pan with lid. Leave to sweat for 20 minutes on a very low heat.
Add the roasted pumpkin and enough vegetable stock to cover all the vegetables (or cover the vegetables in water, crumble in a stock cube and stir). Simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Add to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pan and re heat, adding a splash of single cream and chopped fresh coriander. For a slightly different flavour, replace the single cream with a drizzle of coconut milk to highlight the flavours and spices.
Image sourced: Ernabtagshalloweenpumpkinrecipesseasonal vegetables