Pumpkin Season

By Megan Tapper Pumpkins

At this time of year we’re used to seeing those big, shiny, orange funny-shaped vegetables piled high everywhere – pumpkins, of course. They’re a signifier of the autumn season and really easy to grow in your garden.

While they’re lots of fun to carve into ghoulish faces and in some cases impressively intricate designs, my favourite thing to do with a pumpkin is to eat it!

It’s a very tasty and versatile vegetable that is ideal in stews, soups and pies. You can even roast the pumpkin flesh and add it to your Sunday Dinner. Oh, and don’t throw away the seeds -  roast them with a little salt and olive oil for a tasty, healthy snack full of healthy minerals and omega oils.

I usually buy one and make a delicious pumpkin pie. It goes down really well with my family and friends – it basically tastes like a sweet egg custard. I follow the BBC Good Food recipe and it never fails for me. Give it a go! You’ll be surprised how delicious pumpkins can be.

Pumpkin Pie

  • 750g/1lb 10oz pumpkin, 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

Method:

1.   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.

2.  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. (Alternatively, you can buy ready-made pastry tart shells. I do this sometimes if I feel like cheating a little! J)

3.  Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. I like to blend it to make sure the mixture is really smooth. 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.

4.  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.

5.       Enjoy!

Categories:Food and Drink, Autumn

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