The cooler weather is creeping in and the russet leaves are slowly falling from the trees. The autumn season is well and truly here.
In this month’s recipe selection, we are helping you make the most of pumpkin, a vegetable that is popular at this time of year, but not often popular in cooking. This quirky orange vegetable is a member of the squash family native to North America, and is a traditional feature of the American Thanksgiving meal as well as Halloween in the UK, Europe and the US.
Incorporating vegetables into traditionally sweet desserts or drinks is a current trend, and it’s a great way to get vitamins into your diet. So when you’re busy pumpkin carving this Halloween, consider using some of our tasty recipes to get the most out of this quality produce.
Baked Pumpkin Fondue
“Make the most of your leftover pumpkin with these delicious recipes.”
Serves as many as you want to make for.
This is the perfect starter for an autumn evening or Halloween celebration. Share the love with this pumpkin cauldron of cheesy goodness. Serve with bread sticks, chicory leaves or ciabatta.
1 whole pumpkin – choose a size to match the number of people you want to feed
Crusty bread, to serve
For 300ml of fondue:
100g emmental, grated
100g Gruyère, grated
100g mature cheddar, grated
1 tbsp cornflour
100g crème fraîche
2 tbsp white wine
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Start to prepare your pumpkin as you would for carving: cut off a ‘lid’ and scoop out all the seeds and membranes. Put the lid back on and sit the whole pumpkin on a sturdy baking tray. Bake following the size guide in the ‘Tip!’ part, the larger the pumpkin the longer you will have to bake it for.
- Mix the grated cheeses with the corn flour until completely coated and no excess flour remains. Remove the pumpkin from the oven, discard the lid and increase the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Layer up the cheese, crème fraîche, white wine, shallot and garlic inside the pumpkin. Lift back into the oven and bake for 30 mins or until the fondue is melted and bubbling. Eat with spoons, scooping out chunks of soft, roasted pumpkin with the melted cheese.
Creamy Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon and Leeks
This risotto makes the perfect main course. Pair pumpkin with the traditional bacon and leek combination for a nutritious heart-warming bowl of goodness.
50ml olive oil
1 leek, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 slices of bacon, chopped to 1cm pieces
210g arborio rice
950ml hot chicken stock
235ml white wine
330g pumpkin puree
Black pepper and chilli pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for about five minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Add the bacon and fry until it starts to get crispy.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until it is slightly toasted. Add about 235ml of broth and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed into the rice. Repeat this process with the remaining broth and the white wine.
- Stir in the pumpkin, black pepper and chilli pepper, and cook for a few more minutes.
- Serve the risotto.
Pumpkin pie is the desert of choice at the Thanksgiving table in the USA. It’s light texture and spicy flavour is the perfect way to round off a hearty meal.
250g shortcrust pastry
450g pumpkin (flesh, diced)
125g light brown muscovado sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
150 ml single cream
- Pre-heat oven to 190ºC.
- Roll out pastry and line a deep, 8 inch flan dish. Prick the base, cover with baking paper loosely and bake blind for 10 mins.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the pumpkin and cook until tender. Drain, then liquidise to a puree.
- Put the puree into a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into the pastry case and cook for 45 mins until set (ovens may vary).
- Serve with ice cream, cream, custard – pretty much anything!