Monday, December 29, 2008

Mediterranean Pumpkin Tart

Pumpkin and puff pastry make a beautiful combination rich and creamy. This dessert is a different way to serve pumpkin. You can also purchase a butter puff pastry which is as good as home made which saves the hassle of rolling out the puff pastry three times.

1 package puff pastry, thawed
300 grams fresh butternut pumpkin, grated
100 grams golden raisins
50 grams of dried figs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 250 C


Grease a large, rimmed baking sheet with butter and roll out the puff pastry and cut in half, and place one rectangle on the baking sheet. Dot with butter, then add the sugar, spices, figs and raisins. Mix the grated pumpkin and flour together and sprinkle over the base. Cover with the remaining pastry and paint a layer of milk on the top of the pastry so that it will go an appealing brown when cooked.

Bake in the preheated hot oven for about twenty five minutes or until the dough is flaky and lightly browned. Serve with lashing of fresh cream flavoured with the zest of an orange.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pumpkin and Ginger Ice Cream

This icecream is a creamy custardy icecream and it is perfectly complemented by the fresh ginger.


500ml/18fl oz double cream
2 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh ginger
4 free range egg yolks
125g/4½oz caster sugar
125g/4½oz cooked butternut squash, puréed
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Fill a large bowl with ice and a little water.Place the cream and ginger into a saucepan and bring to the boil.Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover, leaving the cream to infuse for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes return the pan to the heat and bring back to the boil.
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk together.Pour in some of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks and whisk continuously to combine.

Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan containing the rest of the cream and continue cooking gently for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the butternut squash to the cream mixture and, stir in throughly.Place the saucepan into the iced water bath, stirring occasionally, until chilled. Add the lemon juice to the cream and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn until smooth. Keep frozen until ready to use.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pumpkin Laksa

This Asian style soup is a quick and easy nourishing Winter soup
50g of Dried Noodles
100g of roasted pumpkin ( or steam some fresh until soft) chopped into chunks
1 Fresh Red Chilli
Handful of fresh coriander
Handful of fresh mint
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
a cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
Fresh lime juice

Pour sufficient boiling water over dried egg noodles, to cover top wioth a plate and leave for ten minutes to soften.

Make a paste from the chilli, ginger, coriander, garlic, oil in the food processor.Fry the pumpkin in the paste add the coconut milk and pour in the noodles including the water , and dash of fish sauce .

To serve add extra coriander leaves and a squirt of lime

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pumpkin Spice Bread With Perry Cider Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a moist rich pumpkin bread with a pear cider cream cheese frosting which is a wonderful moist Christmas icing.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup pear butter
1/2 cup pear cider
2 large organic eggs.
1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Combine first five ingredients in a small bowl and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Gradually add second bowl to pumpkin mixture and beat well.

Pour mixture into 9"x5" loaf pan -- either non-stick, or lightly oiled. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 65 - 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool.

Apple Cider Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups pear cider or perry
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 stick of butter, softened

Boil the cider in a saucepan until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup and let it cool. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, the butter, the confectioners' sugar, and the reduced cider until the icing is smooth.

To assemble the cakes slice the bread into slices and sandwich together with the icing and quarter.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaves

I am not especially fond of traditional Christmas food, as a vegetarian the traditional Christmas diner is out, I am more likely to eat a vegetable curry than anything else at Christmas. I do not like Christmas cake, or Christmas pudding but love Gingerbread and of course the eponymous name of this blog indicates that I love pumpkin. This gingerbread recipe is rich and for me a perfect accompaniment to morning coffee. I love them for Christmas morning with breakfast I cut thick slices and dip them in eggs mixed with more ground ginger and then fry them in butter.

Pumpkin Gingerbread

2 1/2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large organic eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup treacle
16 ounces pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Grease two large loaf tins. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add the milk, treacle and vanilla and beat until well mixed. Fold in the pumpkin and spices. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are incorporated. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for about an hour or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Originally uploaded by p.tam

One of my favourite foods is pumpkins and my favourite chef is Emeril Lagasse, so this recipe which combines both is pretty memorable.

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar, plus 4 teaspoons
8 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Arrange 8 (1/2-cup) ramekins or custard cups in a large metal baking pan.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and lemon-colored. Slowly add 3/4 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture to the remaining hot cream, and whisk. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin, and whisk until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Divide among the prepared custard cups.

Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the custards are just set in the center but not stiff, 45 minutes to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle each custard with 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining sugar. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. (Alternately, preheat the broiler, and broil until the sugar melts and caramelizes, watching closely to avoid burning and rotating the cups, about 1 to 2 minutes.) Place on small dessert plates and serve.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pumpkin Gnocchi With Sage Butter

Pumpkin Gnocchi With Sage Butter
pumpkin gnocchi
Originally uploaded by houkouonchi

These pumpkin gnocchi have a mild flavour made nutter with the nutmeg a spice combination made in heaven for pumpkin. The Sage butter is a perfect accompaniment with a hint of chilli.


1 cup pumpkin, cooked and mashed
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch garlic powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon red chili pepper
12 sage leaves
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste


Cut the pumpkin, if it is organic you can leave the skin on, if not, cut away the outer parts, de-seed and cut into medium size chunks.
Place them in a pot with very little water and steam them until soft about five or six minutes.

Remove from the heat and puree or mash with a potato masher.
Add the pinch of garlic powder, the pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon. of nutmeg, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the allspice and mix well.

Slowly mix in flour and knead until it forms a smooth dough. If it is too wet, add a bit more flour until it is a smooth ball of dough. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into bite sized pieces. Mark them with the tines of the fork.Cook them in boiling water until they float

In a smaller sauce pan, saute garlic with olive oil and butter add the red chili pepper and the sage leaves. When ready to serve, pour the sauce over the gnocchi and mix well. Dust with cinnamon and grate fresh parmesan over the top.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Butternut Squash Chips

Butternut squash chips
Pre-Dinner Snack
Originally uploaded by sonicstallone

These chips are a healthier alternative to potato crisps, becasue they are baked they have a much less fat content. I like then with cumin, but I have a hankering to try them with nutmeg or also sage fried in butter. Whatever spices you use do not attempt to do them without a madoline because you will never be able to slicew them thin enough.

1 butternut squash, preferably one with a long, narrow neck
spray olive oil
Cumin is great
Special tools: mandoline

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Set up an ice bath by placing ice in a large bowl of water. Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil. Bring a pot of salted water to boil

Cut off the bulb part of the squash and set aside for another use. Peel the skin off of the squash and cut crosswise into 3-inch chunks. Using your mandoline cut the squash, crosswise into 1.3mm slices.

Blanch the squash in the boiling water, about two minutes then transfer it to the ice bath to cool. Dry all of the chips with a towel or paper towel and lay them out on the baking sheet. Spray them with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt or spices.

Set the squash on your oven’s middle rack and bake until golden brown and crispy. Keep and eye on them as some may cook faster than others even though they are sliced evenly.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pumpkins stuffed with wild Mushroom Sage and Cheese.

Pumpkins stuffed with Mushrooms Sage and Cheese
Stuffed Pumpkins
Originally uploaded by J-Hob

I used a parmesan cheese for this recipe but any sharp cheddar would be lovely and in the past I have also made it with gorgonzola. I sometimes add cubes of boiled bacon or ham for flavour.

2 small butternut squash pumpkins
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Gernerous amount of freshly ground black pepper


12 Ounces of sage and garlic wholemeal croutons
1 cup pumpkin ale
4 tablespoons butter
2 large leeks halved, rinsed and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 oz cremini mushrooms
12 oz chantrelle, morrel, shitake or other wild mushrooms mushrooms
Handful of fresh sage
1teaspoon of fresh thyme,
Ground black pepper


Halve the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Rinse and pat dry, inside and out. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and a few turns of a peppermill. Rub your fingers in the oil, then coat the inside of each pumpkin. Set pumpkins aside.

Saute the leeks, celery, garlic, and mushrooms in the butter, and cook until the mushrooms have released all their moisture. Stir in the pepper, thyme and sage. Add the stuffing cubes and poor the ale over the cubes. Toss the stuffing until it is combined thoroughly and the cubes have absorbed all the moisture.

Stuff each pumpkin with the stuffing, pressing down with a spoon to ensure that the pumpkins are well packed. Top with freshly grated cheese and bake the pumpkins in a preheated oven at 350 for at least three quartes of an hour but it may be as long as ninety minutes until the pumpkins are completely done

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Praline Sauce

A rich bread pudding redolent of the flavours of the Southern USA, this pudding is definitely a keeper. Next time I may be
tempted to add walnuts, pecans would be more authentic,
but I cant get them, so it will have to be walnuts.


Pumpkin Bread Pudding
1 1/2 cups whole cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons bourbon
3/4 cup mashed pumpkin
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old brioche
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup bourbon-soaked raisins**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together the pumpkin, milk, cream, bourbon, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, and spices in a bowl.Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and and toss to coat. Put your raisins in a small saucepan and add enough bourbon to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring the bourbon to a boil and then turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let the raisins soak in the covered pan until they absorb up most or all of the bourbon, about 30 minutes.Then add to the bread pudding mixture

Leave for an hour to let the bread absorb the egg mixture.
Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25-30 minutes. Serve warm topped with praline sauce and whipped cream.

Praline Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
16 large marshmallows
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 dash salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in brown sugar, marshmallows, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk and vanilla and mix well.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pumpkin, Spinach, Mushroom and Walnut Lasagna

If I had to make this again I would use the recommended amount of spinach I had to compromise with this recipe because I had only half the spinach and it need the full amount and I have to say next time I would simmer the pumpkin with the tomato and merely layer the mushrooms without cooking them as they will cook in the oven.
pumpkin,spinach  mushroom and walnut lasagna

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions chopped
2 cloves garlic finely sliced
14 oz (420g) can tomatoes
½ cup fresh vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
Handful of chopped fresh sage
2 lb (1kg) Butternut squash cubed
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
6 Ounces (180g) dried lasagna sheets
8 Ounces (240g) frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry
4 Ounces (120g)of field mushrooms
8 oz (240g) ricotta cheese
3oz (100g) chopped walnuts
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F and lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil.

Sauté the onion in the olive for five minutes, stirring regularly add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes and crush lightly with the back of a wooden spoon, stock, nutmeg, salt, pepper and sage and simmer for ten minutes. Steam the pumpkin for five minutes until al dente soft. Place a small ladle of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and cover with a layer of lasagne sheets and cover with some of the tomato sauce, and a little of the pumpkin and mushrooms and then a layer of spinach, repeat the layers and then add the walnuts ion top. Cover with parmesan cheese to taste and bake for about thirty minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pumpkin and Chocolate Swirl Brownies


8 tablespoons (4 ounces) (1 stick) unsalted butter,

6 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped

2 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sugar

4 large organic eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups pumpkin

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 all spice

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Generously grease a 9-inch square baking dish with butter. Melt the dark chocolate and butter by gently heating in a heavy based pan.

Sieve together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Beat together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy and pale about five minutes. Fold in the flour.

Pour half of batter into a separate bowl and stir chocolate mixture into it. In other bowl, stir in the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan and top with half the pumpkin layer. Repeat the layers.

With a small wooden spoon gently swirl the two batters together to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with hazelnuts. Bake until set, for about forty minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pumpkin and Cranberry Cake

A delightful cake to serve in Winter, if you have not got fresh cranberries then soak dried cranberries in a dry sherry overnight. If you do make it kid friendly then use orange juice.



2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large organic egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Grease a nine springform baking tray. Boil the brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan until the butter has melted.Pour into the springform and sprinkle with cranberries and walnuts.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale, add the eggs and beat well. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, pumpkin and vanilla extract and fold in with a plastic spatula. In another small bowl, combine the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture. Spread the batter on the cranberry mixture in the pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean.

Cool for ten minutes then place a plate over the cake tin and invert, serve the cake warm from the oven with plenty of cream or crème fraiche.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thai spiced Pumpkin Soup

The colours of pumpkin skin also vary enormously. Start with every tint of orange, of course, from amber to apricot, coral to persimmon.

Then envision inky black or ghostly white; buttercream or slate blue; sage green or darkest myrtle. Some favour even more outlandish hues: baby pink; mustard; salmon; shiny, fiery red. Some aren't content with a single shade at all, so they tart themselves up in stripes, mottles, marbling, and speckles, however Pumpkin comes I love it I also love hot and spicy food and one of my favourite cookbooks is Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Silky Coconut Pumpkin Soup from their book Hot Sour Salty Sweet.

Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup

This recipe is modified from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Silky Coconut Pumpkin Soup from their book Hot Sour Salty Sweet.

I like roast pumpkin for a soup as it gives a depth of flavour missing from the boiled pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin, then cut the peel off it and cut into chunky chunks and drizzle with olive oil and roast in a hot oven until cooked.

4 cups mashed pumpkin
3 cups fresh chicken broth
2 (13.5 oz) cans light coconut milk
4 slices of bacon
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
5 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1 tablespoon of Thai green paste
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
In a heav pot, cook bacon on low heat until very crispy. Place cooked bacon on paper towels to drain. Pour off excess fat, leaving about 3 tablespoons in the pot. Add onions and shallots. Cook on medium heat until translucent and softened. Add garlic and cook another minute or two more. Stir in mashed pumpkin and cook until pumpkin is heated through.
Add coconut milk, chicken broth, and parsley. Bring up to a gentle simmer.Partially blend the soup if you like chunks of pumpkin for texture, if not then purée it until silky smooth.

Add spices, fish sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Gently simmer for 15 minutes or so to allow flavour to meld. Taste and re-season if needed. Serve soup with pieces of crumbled bacon on top.