It’s fun to make lanterns from pumpkins for Hallowe’en but it’s a pity to waste the flesh and seeds, so try our sweet and savoury recipes.
Beautiful, golden-orange pumpkins are in season in Britain right through the autumn, but they’re at their best now. For Hallowe’en, it’s traditional to scoop out the flesh, cut a face into the skin and place a nightlight inside to make a spooky lantern to ward off evil spirits! But there’s no need to waste the flesh, or even the seeds. Pumpkin, though it’s a vegetable, is delicious in either sweet or savoury dishes.
English pumpkins are soft-fleshed and when cooked will pulp down to a puree easily, making it ideal for soups or pumpkin pies. Or, simply diced and braised in butter, it makes a deliciously different vegetable.
To remove the flesh from the pumpkin without damaging the skin, cut off the top, by the stem, with a sharp knife; reserve the lid if you plan to make a lantern. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and membrane from the centre. Then, using a spoon and a small, sharp knife, begin to scoop away the solid flesh. Scrape away evenly from the walls of the pumpkin, taking care not to damage the skin, leaving an even thickness all round.
Cost: about 66p
Approx preparation time: 15 mm
Cooking time: 22 min
Serves 6 to 8
1 oz butter
1 onion, chopped
1 lb pumpkin, pealed and
14-oz can tomatoes
1 level teaspoon tomato purée
1 pint stock
1 level tablespoon parsley, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
Melt the butter and cook the onion for 5 min until soft. Add the pumpkin, tomatoes, puree and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 min. Add the milk and use a blender to purée or pass it through a sieve. Return to the pan with the parsley, reheat and season to taste.
SALTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
Cost about 5p
Approx preparation time: 10 min Cooking time: 2 hr 18 min
4 oz pumpkin seeds, washed
2 pints water
1 level tablespoon salt
Put the seeds into a pan and cover with water. Add salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for 45 min before draining. Set oven at 275°F, 135°C (Mark 1). Spread the seeds on a baking tray and place in the oven to dry out, shaking them occasionally. This will take about 1 hr 30 min and when they are completely dry store them in an airtight tin. Serve as an alternative to peanuts; extracting
Cost about £1.08
Approx preparation time: 25 min
Cooking time: 1 hour
4 oz self raising flour
Pinch of salt
21. oz shortening (Spry or Trex)
1 lb raw pumpkin
4 or soft brown sugar
1 level tablespoon thick honey Grated rind and juice of lemon and 4 orange
2 eggs, beaten
5 fl oz double cream
1 level teaspoon icing sugar level teaspoon cinnamon 1 oz walnuts, chopped
Make the pastry by sieving the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the shortening until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough water and mix to a firm dough. Roll out on a floured surface to line the base of an 8-in deep pie plate. Set oven at 375°F, 190°C (Mark 5). To make the filling, peel the pumpkin and cut into pieces, removing the stringy parts and seeds. Put in a pan with 4 pint cold water and cook gently until tender, about 15 min. Drain and mash. Mix the sugar, honey, rinds and juices with the eggs and stir into the pumpkin mixture. Pour this into the pastry-lined dish and bake for about 45 min until set. Allow to cool. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and cinnamon to a soft dropping consistency and cover the pie filling with this. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and serve.