My grandad is a keen gardener and has an allotment where he grows all sorts of different vegetables. Last year he gave me a glut of marrow and liking a challenge I decided to use this not much used vegetable to make something delicious, so I made THIS chocolate marrow cake.
This year he has given me a huge piece of pumpkin- something I have never used or cooked with before, and again I thought I’d do his growing power justice by trying to make some tasty recipes so that none of it would go to waste.
Here are the three recipes I tried- if you have a pumpkin and you’re not sure what to do with it why not give one of these recipes a try?
Pumpkin Pie with Meringue topping
I got this recipe from the BBC Good food website HERE. (You can either use ready made pastry or make your own, I used Dan Lepard’s Sweet shortcrust pastry recipe to make mine that you can find HERE) I have to say I had never tried pumpkin pie before and although it looked great I wasn’t that keen on the texture- it’s a bit like an egg custard- but I’m not a big fan of any of the American style dessert pies, but if you are, then go for it. (Robin liked it.)
- 450g/ 1lb pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
- 350g sweet shortcrust pastry
- plain flour, for dusting
- 140g caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 25g butter, melted
- 175ml milk
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain pumpkin; let cool.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 mins. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 mins until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. (I whizzed it in a food processor instead) In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set. (I added a meringue topping here about 15 minutes before the end of baking time. to make the meringue topping you will need 2 egg whites, 4 tablespoons of caster sugar.
- Beat the egg whites until frothy.
- Gradually add in the sugar,continuing to beat until stiff.
- Spread over pie and bake at least 10-15 minutes at 350.)
Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. Serve chilled.
Pumpkin and cider farls
This is a Dan Lepard recipe from one of my favourite cook books “Short and Sweet”. If you’re not a fan of sweet things, these savoury Farls are a great way to use up Pumpkin or even carrot or butternut squash leftovers. We served ours with crispy bacon, poached eggs and fried mushrooms! YUM!
1 small onion (around 150g), finely chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
250g cooked pumpkin mashed
50ml cider or scrumpy
250g plain white flour
75g cheddar, finely crumbled
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp baking powder
Oil, for frying
Put the onion and butter in a saucepan on a low heat, and cover until it sizzles wildly. Turn off the heat and leave to steam for five minutes more. Tip into a bowl, then mix with the other ingredients to form a soft dough. Rub a generous layer of oil over a large dinner plate and scrape the dough on to it. Oil the top, pat it out to barely 2cm thick, then cut into six to eight wedges.
You’ll need to cook the farls in two batches. Heat three or so tablespoons of oil in a large, thick-bottomed frying pan until hot but not smoking. With a spatula, slip three or four wedges of farl on to one half of the pan, allowing room to scrape under and flip them. Keep the heat low, so that one side crisps and browns in about four minutes; they’re thick, so need time to cook. When the underside is a good brown, scrape underneath with a spatula to release the cheesy bits, flip over and fry until the other side is crisp and golden, too.
Pumpkin, walnut and ginger cupcakes
These delicious cupcakes are easy to make and very tasty. They are also a Dan Lepard recipe from his “Short and sweet” cookbook. I decorated mine with glitter (naturally) and sprinkles, or you can decorate with stem ginger like Dan Lepard recommends. It’s up to you!
175g stem or glacé ginger in syrup
175g muscovado or molasses sugar (I used caster sugar…)
200g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
250g pumpkin or butternut squash flesh, grated
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp each ground ginger and allspice
¼ tsp each ground nutmeg and clove
125g chopped pecans or walnuts (I used walnuts)
200g icing sugar
125g full-fat cream cheese
Finely chop 125g of the ginger. Beat sugar and 125g butter until smooth, then beat in the eggs one by one. Stir in the pumpkin and chopped ginger, sift in the flour, baking powder and spices, add the nuts and stir until smooth. Line the pockets of a deep muffin tray with muffin papers, then fill each one almost to the top.
Bake at 190C (170c fan-assisted)/ 375F/gas mark 5 for 25 minutes, then set aside to cool. Once the cupcakes are cold, beat the icing sugar, cream cheese and remaining butter until smooth. Finely shred the remaining ginger and stir most of it in, along with just enough syrup to make it easily spreadable. Swirl a dollop of icing on each cupcake and decorate with a pinch of shredded ginger.