Pumpkins. As a nation us Brits probably only encounter a pumpkin when Halloween rolls round and even then I doubt many of us eat the innards after we've finished hacking a face into one. I know Pumpkin Pie is a Thanksgiving staple in the U.S but we don't have anything like that here and I think a lot of people are a bit daunted about where to start with a pumpkin and what to do it, and most of the time pumpkins are generally bigger than the International Space Station and unless you have a meat cleaver it's a bit of a battle trying to slice them to bits.
Anyway, there's a pumpkin farm in Slindon close to where we live and every Halloween that put on a massive display of all their different breeds of pumpkins, and it really is a bit mental how many different types of pumpkins there are..although I kept walking past a grey coloured one which I thought looked a bit rank but which then turned out to be a cat. For anyone as ignorant as me, pumpkins are part of the squash family and they literally do come in giant mahusive size and teeny tiny size. We chose a fairly small medium sized stewing pumpkin (the green one) and a smaller 'onion' pumpkin (the orange one).
My dad has been a member of the British Heart Foundation for almost two years now and every quarter they send out a newsletter with loads and loads of heart healthy recipes (if you have heart problems or know someone who does get yourself signed up to be a member because they're a brilliant charity) and in the last issue there were a couple of recipes Dad and I thought we could tweak and change so they were gluten-free and utilised the pumpkins we'd scouted. Sorted.
- 'Onion' pumpkin or small squash of similar size (around 6oz/175g)
- 1Tbsp of rapeseed or olive oil
- A small onion
- 1 Tsp of ground cumin
- 2 Eggs
- 2oz Of feta cheese crumbled (or Cheddar grated)
- 100ml milk (I used semi skimmed)
- 1 Pack of Dietary Specials Shortcrust Pastry or if you fancy making your own pastry here's my recipe
- Pinch of paprika
- Salt and pepper to season
- 1 cupcake tray or if you want one big pie a flan tin
- Rolling pin
- Baking parchment
- A big baking tray
- A wicked sharp knife
- Pop your oven up to around Gas mark 5 and grease your baking tray/tin
- Roll out your pastry fairly thin and then use it to line the tray, before lining each with some baking parchment and weighing it down with baking beans or rice. Pop in the oven and blind bake for around 8-10mins then remove from the oven and leave to one side.
- Whack your oven up to gas 7 and start chopping your veg. The pumpkin/squash needs to be deseeded,skinned and then diced up to roughly the size of a sugar cube. Repeat with the onion but dice it to half the size of the pumpkin.
- Throw the onions and pumpkin in a bowl with the oil and the spices and give it a good mix so its all well coated in the oil before you scatter it on your baking tray. Pop the lot in the oven, it should take around 20minutes to cook and you'll need to give it a bit of a stir and poke about half way through. Turn the oven down to gas 5 again.
- Spoon the veggie mix into the tart cases (removing the parchment first!) and crumble a small amount of cheese onto each tart
- In a bowl whisk the eggs and milk together and the pour an even amount of the milk/egg mixture over the top of the veg mix.
- Pop the tarts in the oven for around 15-20mins, they shouldn't take any longer than that because they're so tiny so keep a good eye on them. They'll be set and the pastry should be starting to golden when they're ready.
- Take them out the oven and wait until they've cooled down a tad before you try and fish the tarts out of the tray.
- Warning: These are deceptively moreish, make and eat at your own peril!
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 2 white medium onions
- 1lb/450g of pumpkin (or butternut squash)
- 1 1/2 pints of veggie stock
- 2 large sticks of celery
- 2 Tsp of ground cumin
- 2 Tsp of ground coriander
- creme fresh (optional)
- Food processor or blender
- Large baking tray
- Big frying pan
- Peel and deseeded your pumpkin/squash and chop up into cubes, then pop in the oven at around Gas 6 for around 20minutes until soft.
- Chop up your onions and celery, slug your oil into the frying pan and then throw in your onions and celery and cook until softened. Add your spice and let the whole lot stew for about a minute before adding the pumpkin and stock.
- Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer, pop a lid on the pan and cook down for around 20-25minutes, giving it a poke every now and then.
- Once cooked, throw the whole lot into the blender and whizz up until completely smooth and pureed.
- The soup can be frozen and lasts for about 3 months in the freezer (bonus) but if you want some then and there, pop however much soup you'd like in a pan and heat gently until hot.
- Plop in some creme fresh or enjoy sans creme.