Pick of the pumpkin recipes
25 October 2018 / Food and Drink /
If you’re looking for a way to use up your Halloween pumpkins, or some inspiration for a Thanksgiving feast, then fear not. We have you covered.
Arguably the most famous of the winter squashes, pumpkins are in season between October and December here in the UK. They might make perfect spooky lanterns, but their bright orange flesh is honied and nutritious, so they also lend themselves perfectly to both sweet and savoury dishes.
Pumpkins are often associated with Thanksgiving too, which will be celebrated this year on 22nd November. With this on the horizon, our executive chef Stephen Wheeler has compiled three crowd-pleasing recipes to make the most of this autumnal ingredient – all of which will impress guests at all manner of dinner parties.
Serves 4 – 8
For the pastry
- 900g plain flour
- 400g salted Butter
- 150g parmesan
- 4 egg yolks
For the filling
- 1.2kg peeled pumpkin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 8 tbsp caster sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 400ml double cream
- For the pastry – sift the flour into a large bowl. Dice your butter into 1cm cubes and then add to the flour.
- Using your fingertips, crumb the flour and butter together until it is fully combined. Add the parmesan and eggs yolks and mix well with your hands. Be careful not to overwork the dough. otherwise you will lose the beautiful flakiness of the pastry.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
- While the pastry is in the fridge, you can start to prepare your filling. Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds, place in a pan and cover with water. Boil the pumpkin until soft and then put to one side to cool. In another pan, add the double cream and bring to the boil along with the caster sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. Bring to the boil and leave to cool.
- Once everything is cool, mix together with a spatula and then finally add the egg yolks, put to one side whilst you prepare your tart case.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Once the dough is rested, roll out your pastry to 1cm thick and mould into an 8-inch tart case, pushing the pastry into all the corners. Line your tart with greaseproof paper, and cover with baking beans. Place into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Once golden, remove from the heat, pull out the paper with the beans and put to one side to cool. Add your pumpkin mix, smoothing the top and to finish, and add plenty of pumpkin seeds for crunch and presentation.
- Bake at the same heat for a further 20 – 25 minutes until it is lovely and golden but still with a little wobble in the centre when you remove it from the oven.
- Leave to cool for 15- 20 minutes before serving at room temperature. It’s best accompanied by a side salad of bitter leaves, pomegranates and parmesan.
Roast pumpkin salad
Serves 2 – 4 people
- 1 large pumpkin
- A sprig of rosemary
- A sprig of thyme
- A sprig of sage
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp of dried chilli
- ½ a pomegranate
- 1 clove of garlic
- 100ml olive oil
- 80g wild rocket
- 60-100g of parmesan
- Start by preheating the oven to 220°C.
- Top and tail the pumpkin, then cut in half from thick end to thin end, keeping it as long as possible. Scoop out the seeds and cut each half lengthways into four, so you end up with long “boats”.
- Chop all the herbs roughly, slice the garlic and mix all the ingredients (apart from the parmesan, pomegranate and rocket) together with the pumpkin boats very well in a large bowl. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt and cracked black pepper then place onto a baking tray.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the outside is blistered and the middle will just give way to the touch, then put to one side to cool.
- Once cool put onto a large plate, sprinkle over the rocket leaves. Using a peeler, peel over the parmesan (or grate it if you prefer) and finish with the pomegranate seeds by hitting the back of the pomegranate with a spoon until the seeds fall out.
Roast pumpkin soup with spelt and cumin crème fraîche
Serves 6 – 8 people
- 1 small pumpkin
- 3 sticks of celery
- 1 large white onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 pints of vegetable stock
- 200g of spelt
- ½ tsp dried chilli
- Fennel seeds, crushed
- A sprig of fresh sage
- 10 tsp of crème fraiche
- A pint of ground cumin
- 25ml rapeseed oil
- Put a large sauce pan onto the stove and add the oil to get hot.
- In another pan, add the spelt and cover with cold water. Bring it to the boil and simmer until about 40% of the water has gone, then strain and leave to one side. Meanwhile, dice your vegetables and herbs and add them to the hot pan with a pinch of salt to start sweating down.
- There are two ways to prepare the pumpkin. You can either: Roast it as per the above pumpkin salad recipe, before dicing it into 2cm rough pieces and adding to the vegetable mix on the stove or peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and dice into 1 cm cubes, and add this to pan with the rest of the vegetables and herbs.
- Fry everything for five minutes then add the vegetable stock. Boil for 15-20 minutes.
- Blitz a third of the soup in a food processor to thicken and add colour to your soup. Add the spelt you cooked earlier, plus the dried chilli, fennel and salt.
- Mix together the crème fraîche with the cumin. Bowl your soup, finish with a few dollops of the cumin crème fraîche and freshly-cracked black pepper.