Fall is truly in the air, and we’ve got warming comfort food on the brain. This season brings with it a whole host of delicious offerings including apples, pears, the trendy sweet potato, winter squash and the much-loved pumpkin!
The pumpkin has been a big deal in the US forever, and not just for carving Jack-O-Lanterns and Lattes. Pumpkin was a key feature in the diets of Native Americans across the fall and winter months and they introduced the Pilgrims to the benefits of the bright orange squash. Without the pumpkin many early settlers wouldn’t have survived:
For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.”
Pilgrim verse, circa 1633
Nowadays, pumpkin isn’t the only source of food for us, however, it is still a great way to give your body a boost of nutrients, fiber and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Inspired by the delicious pumpkins we have in store we’ve pulled together four top recipes that, yes you’ve guessed it, involve pumpkin!
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
You Will Need:
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Cinnamon
¼ Tsp Nutmeg
¼ Tsp Allspice
½ Tsp Salt
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
¼ Cup Butter
¾ Cup Water
Sea Salt to Taste
Begin by toasting the pumpkin seeds if not already toasted. Spread evenly on a baking tray and sit in the oven for around 8 minutes at 350°F.
Whilst the seeds toast, prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Take two small bowls, in one combine the baking soda and vanilla and mix well. In the other combine the salt and spices, leave to one side.
Into a heavy bottom pan put the butter, sugar, and water and sit over a medium heat, stir occasionally. You want the butter to melt and all the sugar to dissolve giving you an amber color mixture with a temperature of 335°F on a candy thermometer (you may need to turn the heat up!).
Take the mix off the heat and carefully add the contents from the two small bowls- take care as the mixture will bubble up a bit!
Stir in your pumpkin seeds and combine well, then quickly pour out onto the baking sheet and evenly spread it out. Sprinkle with sea salt and leave to cool!
You will have a tasty brittle that can be tweaked to your tastes, why not temper some semi-sweet chocolate and dip chunks of brittle to create chocolate edges, then sprinkle with salt and finely chopped raw pumpkin seeds! Get creative.
Wave goodbye to the same old, dare we say it, mildly boring pumpkin pie. Say hello to the dreamy, creamy pumpkin meringue pie!
You will need:
1 Ready Made 9” Pie Crust
1 Can Pumpkin Puree (15oz)
1 ¼ Cup Heavy Cream
⅓ Cup Granulated Sugar
⅓ Cup Brown Sugar
3 Eggs, divided
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
¼ Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Cinnamon
½ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
4 Large Egg Whites
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
Roll out your pie crust into a 12 inch round and place into either a 9-inch pie dish.
Fold and crimp the edges with a finger and thumb to make a neat edge.
Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Line the crust with foil or parchment and fill with pie weights then blind bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden.
Remove the weights and lining and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden all over. Leave to cool on a rack.
Whisk together pumpkin, cream, both sugars, 2 eggs, vanilla along with salt and spices. Take care not to over beat, just combine well. Beat the remaining egg and brush the edges.
Transfer mixture into the pie crust and bake at the same temperature for 50 minutes to 1 hour, look for set edges and a slight wobble in the center. Leave to cool.
For your meringue, place egg whites and sugar in a bowl and give a little whisk to combine. In a saucepan pour some water and have over a medium heat.
Place the bowl with eggs and sugar mix over the saucepan and whisk occasionally as the sugar dissolves, this should take about 4 minutes.
Take off the heat and whisk until the bowl cools, add in the vanilla and mix until medium stiff peaks form.
Onto a cool pie, pipe the meringue mixture like a giant cupcake and brown the edges with either a kitchen torch or a few minutes under the broiler and enjoy!
Jazz up your waffles with a touch of pumpkin. These are perfect for a savory or sweet treat, so experiment with your toppings!
You will need:
3 Tbsp Melted Butter
1 ⅓ Cup Milk
¼ Cup Maple Syrup or Honey
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Cups All Purpose Flour (you can swap this for alternatives)
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
2 Tsp Cinnamon
½ Tsp Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
Set your waffle maker to a medium-high heat and leave to reach temperature.
In one bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients.
In a second bowl sift together the dry ingredients. Then pour the wet mix into the dry and using a spatula stir together until fully combined, do not overmix.
Grease your preheated waffle maker and pour in the mix! You should make around 6 waffles with this recipe.
Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes are the perfect side for a whole range of dishes, and they’re a deal breaker when it comes to Thanksgiving. No potatoes – we ain’t coming! But this year make your mash a little different with the addition of pumpkin.
You will need:
2lbs Potatoes (pick your favorite for mashing)
¾ Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 Cup of Milk
In a large saucepan cover potatoes with water and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender and drain. Put to one side.
Soften the butter and combine with the milk. Then add pumpkin puree.
Add the potatoes back to the pan and beat the ingredients together with a mixer for 4-5 minutes until smooth. Alternatively, you can press the potatoes through a ricer then add to the mixture.
Beat in the pumpkin puree and season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Return to a medium heat and heat through before serving.