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Plea­sures of pump­kin

It’s worth grow­ing pump­kins for the fun and sat­is­fac­tion of har­vest­ing your own for Hal­loween. Ob­vi­ously per­fect for lanterns, they are also full of nu­tri­ents and very ver­sa­tile in the kitchen.

Mini Pump­kin Pies

You have to have pump­kin pies for Hal­loween and these mini ver­sions are very sim­ple to make. Makes 24 Pas­try 240g plain flour 120g cold salted but­ter, diced 25g golden caster su­gar 3½ ta­ble­spoons cold wa­ter Fill­ing 450g cooked pump­kin flesh, cubed 75g soft brown su­gar 1½ tea­spoons cin­na­mon 1 tea­spoon ground gin­ger ¼ tea­spoon ground cloves Good grat­ing of whole nut­meg 4 ta­ble­spoons golden syrup 2 medium eggs 240ml dou­ble cream Method Pre­heat oven to 180C (fan oven) or equiv­a­lent You will need 2 x greased muf­fin tins, a 7½ cm fluted cut­ter and a food pro­ces­sor Whiz flour and but­ter to­gether into fine crumbs. Add su­gar. Whiz briefly. Add wa­ter and whiz un­til large clumps form. Re­move from ma­chine and form gen­tly into a ball. Roll out to the ap­prox­i­mate thick­ness of a pound coin and cut out cir­cles. Press lightly into tins. Whiz pump­kin smooth with su­gar and spices. Add re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents and whiz to com­bine. Pour into pas­try cases and bake for 12-15 min­utes un­til the pas­try is crisp and the fill­ing just set.

Pump­kin Soup and Crispy Potato Skins

Bake the pump­kin and pota­toes for easy prepa­ra­tion, deeper flavour and bonus potato skins.

In­gre­di­ents 1 medium pump­kin

(ap­prox­i­mately 1.5kg) 3 medium pota­toes 1 large onion, chopped 2- 3 sticks cel­ery in­clud­ing leaf, sliced 3 ta­ble­spoons oil 1 level dessert­spoon medium curry paste 200ml hot wa­ter or veg­etable stock (or use liq­uid from cen­tre of baked pump­kin)

Method Pre­heat oven to 180C (fan oven) or equiv­a­lent Lightly grease pump­kin and make small slits around the top. Bake for about an hour in a shal­low dish un­til soft. Leave un­til cool enough to han­dle. Prick pota­toes and bake along­side. Fry onions and cel­ery slowly un­til soft. Add curry paste for fi­nal 5 min­utes of fry­ing. Scoop out pump­kin and potato flesh. Add stock or wa­ter. Whiz in a blender or food pro­ces­sor with wa­ter or stock un­til smooth. Heat un­til pip­ing hot. Driz­zle potato skins with a lit­tle oil and re­turn to oven for 5-10 min­utes un­til crisp but still slightly chewy. Serve im­me­di­ately with soup.

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