It is now officially autumn – I now need no excuses for eating porridge in the morning, wearing thick woolly jumpers and boots to work and always wanting to cook some sort of hearty warming soup for supper. It’s also the time of the year that pumpkins can be found everywhere, whether they’re used for spooky decorations or for cooking with (or both!). Here are a couple of my favourite pumpkin recipes – I hope you enjoy making them as much as I enjoy eating them!
Pumpkin and Gruyere Gratin
You’ll need to grab:
1-2 tsp butter
1 tbsp oil, preferably olive
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, squashed
a few sprinkles of sage
300ml double cream
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and sliced
- Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and add in the onions, cooking them slowly over a low heat for around 12 minutes.
- In another saucepan pop in the garlic, some sage (I used about a teaspoon of dried as it’s what I had to hand, but you can use 4 sage leaves if you have them) the cream and the milk.
- Heat the mixture on a low temperature for 5 minutes and don’t let it boil.
- Remove the garlic and stir in the mustard, then set aside for 10 minutes to cool off. You will then need to preheat the oven to 180c/gas 4/350f (roughly).
- Layer the sliced onions and pumpkin in a deep baking tray or oven dish, alternating between the two and adding in most of the cheese and cream mixture between the layers. Make sure the last thing to go on the top is the remaining cream (so that everything is completely covered!).
- Then sprinkle over the left over cheese and a little more sage, and season.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, before removing from the oven.
- Increase the temperature to 200c/gas 6/390f (roughly) and put the dish back in with out the foil on top for another 20-30 minutes until the cheese has melted and turned golden on the top and the pumpkin is cooked through.This recipe has been slightly adapted from the BBC Good Food magazine.
A friend recommended this sweet pumpkin recipe to me last Halloween – it is a little different to the traditional pumpkin pie but very tasty nonetheless! The original can be found at BBC Food online but I’ve changed a couple of bits to suit my taste.
Pumpkin and Nutmeg Cheesecake
You will need:
225g digestive biscuits
juice 1 lemon (optional)
340g/12oz cooked pumpkin (steamed or roasted)
225g caster sugar
450g cream cheese
1 tsp nutmeg
4 eggs, beaten
90ml double cream (optional)
90ml natural yoghurt (optional)
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream per person (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170c/gas 3/375f.
- Pop the digestives in a plastic bag and break them up (read: smash) with a rolling pin (possibly my favourite part of this recipe).
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in all of the biscuit crumbs.
- Press this mixture into a loose bottomed cake tin or a pastry dish.
- In a separate bowl stir in the pumpkin, sugar, cheese and nutmeg, then fold in the beaten eggs. Spoon this mixture over the biscuit base and bake for 1 1/2 hours – it should still be a bit squishy.
- Let it cool and turn out onto a plate if using a cake tin, or leave in the dish otherwise. You can serve it with a mixture of whipped double cream, folded-in yoghurt and lemon juice, spread on the top, or stick with vanilla ice cream – simple but perfect.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
You will need:
2 tablespoons canned or scooped pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinammon
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1 to 2 shots espresso
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped until firm peaks form
- Whisk 1/2 cup milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup milk.
- Pour milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove pulp. Return milk mixture to saucepan and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes. Add espresso and whisk until foamy, 1 minute.
So there you have it now you can use all those innards you scooped out of your spooky Jack O’Lanterns, and make delicious seasonal treats, too!