Pumpkin Pie, Soup & Risotto…
Halloween is my least favourite holiday. I detest being scared, the dark and anything spooky. But one thing I do love is how easy it is to get hold of Pumpkins. Pumpkins are not only great fun to carve, which the whole family can get involved with, but you can make very delicious dishes with the pumpkins flesh.
How to prepare a pumpkin
Cut the top off of the pumpkin using a sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds with the stringy flesh. You can rinse the seeds and roast them in the oven. Throw away the stringy flesh. Scrape as much of the non-stringy flesh out using a solid spoon. Use this flesh in all the recipes below.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
• 2 Onions, finely chopped
• 1Kg Pumpkin flesh, deseeded, peeled and roughly chopped
•700ml Vegetable stock
• 250ml Double cream
• 1 Large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
• 1tsp Coriander
• 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
Boil potatoes in a separate pan until soft. In a large saucepan gently cook the onions until soft.
Once the onions are soft add the deseeded, peeled and chopped pumpkin flesh along with the chopped garlic. Cook this for around 30 minutes or until golden.
Add the vegetable stock, boiled potatoes and coriander and bring to the boil.
Then simmer this until the squash is very soft.
Pour in the Double cream and bring back to boil.
Take the pan off the heat and blend using a hand blender.
Butter some crusty rolls to enjoy with your warm autumnal soup.
Pumpkin & Chicken Risotto
• 200g Arborio rice
• 700ml Chicken stock
• 1 Cup of white wine
• 2 Garlic cloves (Finely chopped)
• 1 Medium red onion (Finely chopped)
• 1 Chicken breast (Cut into small cubes)
• 400g Pumpkin (Cut flesh into small cubes)
• ½ Cup grated cheddar
• 1tsp Basil
• 1tsp Butter
• 100g Chestnut mushrooms
Pre-heat the oven 180⁰C (gas mark 4). Cube pumpkin and place on a baking tray then drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft. Splash some rapeseed oil into a frying pan and heat, then add the chicken. Remove the chicken once browned and place to one side. Place onions in the frying pan, have the pan on a medium heat. Once onions are soft add the garlic, rice, chicken, basil, white wine and mushrooms. Stir well. Once the wine has reduced add the stock, 100ml at a time. Do this each time the risotto starts to dry. Repeat until all stock is used up. If the rice is still hard then add more stock until the rice is cooked. Once the rice has cooked then add the pumpkin. Add the butter and the cheese then stir well. Leave off the heat for a few minutes for the butter and cheese to melt into the risotto.
This pumpkin Pie is actually my mums recipe but I have tweaked it a bit to satisfy my sweet tooth. This Pie is made using the flesh of a Pumpkin and a delicious sweet pastry. It has two parts to it, one being the filling and one being the pastry but don’t be put off as both parts are simple to do and so worth the time.
Nannas Pumpkin Pie
• Sweet Pastry
• 225g Plain flour
• 110g Butter
• 80g Caster Sugar
• 1 Large free range egg
• 1tsp Cinnamon
• 500g Pumpkin puree
• 300ml Double cream
• 3 Free range eggs
• Zest of one small orange
• 150g Caster sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1tsp Ground ginger
• 1tsp Ground cinnamon
• 1tsp Ground nutmeg
To make the sweet pastry, stir together the plain flour, cinnamon and sugar, then add the butter and rub together to make bread crumbs. Once the mixture is looking like bread crumbs add the egg and knead until you can produce a ball. This is quite a wet dough at this point, so it needs to be wrapped in cling film and placed in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour. The dough will firm up within this time.
Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (gas mark 4). To make the pumpkin puree you need to deseed the flesh of a pumpkin then roughly chop it before putting it in a pan of slightly salted boiling water. The pumpkin needs to be boiled until soft then drained using a sieve. Whilst the pumpkin is draining, remove the pastry dough from the fridge. Flour the rolling pin and the surface that you will roll the pastry out on. Roll the pastry to a £1 coin thickness. Grease the tart tin with butter then line the tin with the rolled out pastry. Blind bake for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, remove the clay beads and baking paper then bake the pastry for a further 5 minutes. Whilst the pastry is baking, blend the pumpkin with a hand blender to make the pumpkin puree. In a large bowl lightly beat the cream and eggs together then stir in the orange peel, sugar and pumpkin puree. Add the salt and spices into the mixture and stir well until all is combined. Once the pastry has baked and cooled, spoon in the filling mixture then bake for around 45 minutes or until the pie has set and turned a light brown colour. Serve on its own or with cream.
Read more in the Autumn magazine
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