Pumpkins are smashing to bake with

Adella Miesner

Pumpkins are just starting to appear on shop shelves. They are quite versatile and can be used in lots of baking recipes. They are comparable to carrots so can be used in similar types of cakes and sweet loafs that create a rich dense crumb. If you have difficulty locating […]

Pumpkins are just starting to appear on shop shelves. They are quite versatile and can be used in lots of baking recipes. They are comparable to carrots so can be used in similar types of cakes and sweet loafs that create a rich dense crumb. If you have difficulty locating pumpkins you can substitute butternut squash in both the loaf and tart recipes included here.

The tart recipe calls for roasted cubes of pumpkin. For this, choose a pumpkin that feels heavy for its size as it will have more flesh. Quarter it and peel each quarter; scrape the seeds into a colander, then cut the flesh into cubes. You can weigh your pumpkin at this stage and toss the cubes you want for the tart in some olive oil and seasoning and roast until just soft. If you have extra pieces, you can add some spices and a drizzle of honey and roast them for a little longer, then toss them through a salad, or add them to a pasta dish.

Pumpkin seeds can be bought separately or you can save the ones from the pumpkin you buy. After you scoop out the seeds, wash any of the stringy flesh from them. The seeds themselves are small, green seeds that are enclosed inside the yellowish-white husk, or shell that you see. Dry these shells well and lay them flat on a baking tray. Heat your oven to 160°C and lightly bake the seeds for about a half an hour. It is quite laborious to remove the husks — they are perfectly edible but have no real nutritional value except as a good source of fibre.

Sweet pumpkin loaf

 Pumpkin bread loaf 
Pumpkin bread loaf 
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 175g butter, melted
  • 110g honey
  • 100g muscovado sugar
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbs powdered ginger
  • 250g raw grated pumpkin — you can peel and deseed it and then put it into a food processor, you should have 250g to put into the recipe rather than that amount before you start to peel
  • 30g crystalised ginger, sliced

Preheat your oven to 160°C and line a 1lb loaf tin with parchment.

Mix the egg, melted butter, and honey. Stir in sugar, flour, powdered ginger, and crystalised ginger, and the pumpkin. The mixture might be a little stiff but stir until well combined.

Scoop into your prepared loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes. Cover it with tin foil and bake for a further 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Dark chocolate and pumpkin seed biscuits

  • 120g soft butter
  • 60g muscovado sugar
  • 70g golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bread soda, sieved
  • 3 tbs cocoa powder, sieved
  • 60g pumpkin seeds

Preheat your oven to 180°C and line two large flat baking trays with parchment.

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gently beat in the egg until combined.

Mix the flour, bread soda, and cocoa powder until well combined; then add this to the butter mixture. Add in the pumpkin seeds and combine those as well.

Make 12 biscuits from the mixture. Spoon the dough onto your prepared trays — allowing some room for the biscuits to spread as they bake.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until firming up at the edges. Allow them to cool on the tray until cool enough to handle; then transfer onto a wire rack. You may need to be gentle as they will be a little soft in the centre when you are transferring them.

Pumpkin, apricot and brie savoury tarts

  • 4 large sheets of filo pastry, each one cut into four 
  • olive oil for brushing 
  • 300g pumpkin cubes, roasted 
  • 50g soft dried apricots, sliced 
  • 50g walnuts, roughly chopped 
  • 1/2 tsp of honey 
  • 100g brie cheese, roughly chopped

Preheat your oven to 190°C and line a large flat baking tray with parchment.

Lay four of the small rectangles of filo onto the tray. Brush each sheet with oil and lay the other sheet on top at right angles. Repeat this so that each pastry pile is made up of 4 sheets of pastry.

Toss the apricots and walnuts in the honey and mix this with the roasted pumpkin. Scoop the mixture into the center of each pile of pastry and season with cracked black pepper and some sea salt. Pinch up the sides of each pastry bundle until it forms a parcel around the filling. Sprinkle cubes of brie on top and bake for about 15 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is heated through.

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