My mum thought she was growing butternut squash at her allotment but one clearly wanted to take Cinderella to the ball, and turned into a pumpkin! Rather than using as a prop for Halloween, I put it to better use and transformed the pumpkin into scrumptious meals and delicious treats.
You can see the pumpkin I used in the featured image and as you’ll see below, it went a really long way. With over 6.6m tonnes of food going to waste in the UK every year hopefully some of these recipes will get you to come up with more versatile uses for our spooky companion.
To start I made pumpkin puree, which is used in almost every pumpkin based sweet treat. Once you get round chopping and peeling pumpkin, this is probably the easiest thing to make. Peel, chop, steam and mash – you can refrigerate for a couple of weeks or divide up and freeze for later use – it really is that easy!
BBC Good Food has an extensive catalogue of home cooking recipes which is why they feature twice. The pumpkin pancakes pictured above were super easy to make and were a decadent breakfast treat. I left out the salted pecan butterscotch because I couldn’t be bothered but adding walnuts on top was a lovely crunchy accompaniment against the softness of the pancakes.
Curry by Meera Sodha
My friend, Kate, gifted me East by Meera Sodha shortly after we moved into our house in March. It is without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite cook book.
One perk of working from home at the moment means I can prepare meals that take longer during my lunch break, which was perfect for this Pumpkin Malai Kari (Bengali style curry). I was able to make the sauce and prep the slices of pumpkin for baking later.
I was surprised that pumpkin skin is edible but they turned out to be delicious and added texture to the curry. A warming recipe for a cold, wet day.
Risotto is a dish I’ve made so often I no longer need a recipe, and enjoy coming up with my own variations, this time using pumpkin. My tip, is that you use wine in the risotto, this gives it a creamy & rich flavour. I chopped up the last part of the pumpkin and roasted with rosemary and some of the pumpkin puree, before serving with a generous sprinkling of parmesan. The perfect savoury comfort food to warm your stomach on a dreary day.
As pumpkins are a very American staple, it’s tricky to find recipes that use UK measurements. I managed to find a cupcake recipe that used grams and weirdly used oil instead of butter, which then made me nervous because the mixture turned into more of a liquid than I’m used to with your basic cupcake batter.
I had a Bake Off moment and spent a lot of time nervously staring at the oven, but they came out perfectly. Moist and fluffy, with warming tones of nutmeg and cinnamon. I finished them off with a cream cheese frosting.
What are your favourite pumpkin recipes? Do you have any other ways to use pumpkin so that they don’t go to waste?