Pumpkin carving doesn’t have to end with a lopsided, spooky smile…

It can end in a cake, or a curry, soup or pie!

Carving pumpkins is a must-do activity every year, is it even Halloween if you haven’t created an awkward orange character that resembles nothing of the image you had in your head? No, no it’s not.

So you’ve lit a candle, plonked it inside your creation and it’s sat flickering it’s spooky, wonky grin at you. What to do with all that pumpkin that you’ve scraped out? Don’t let it go to waste… try one of these recipes from Delicious Magazine to make the most of your leftovers.

Pumpkin, poppy seed and lemon loaf

Ingredients

  • 225g peeled and deseeded pumpkin or butternut squash, cubed
  • 4 tbsp full fat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  •  ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 50g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • Grated zest of 1 small lemon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with baking paper or greaseproof paper, then grease well once more. Cook the pumpkin in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Drain well and leave until the steam dies down, then blend to a smooth purée in a food processor. Scoop into a mixing bowl and mix in 3 tablespoons milk and the egg.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, mixed spice, nutmeg and seasoning into the cleaned bowl of the food processor. Add the butter and process until the mix looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add to the purée and stir until just mixed, adding the remaining milk if the mixture seems dry. Stir in the poppy seeds and grated lemon zest. Spoon the mix into the loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes until well risen and golden.
  3. Remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Remove the paper and serve cut into slices.

Pumpkin and peanut curry

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Small handful fresh coriander, with roots (if possible)
  • 2 red chillies, halved and deseeded
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1cm piece fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 800g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly diced
  • 400ml can coconut milk

Method

  1. Stir the peanut butter into a jug containing 200ml hot water, until it dissolves. Stir in the purée, lime zest and juice, soy or fish sauce and sugar. Set aside.
  2. Remove the leaves from the coriander and set aside. Chop the stalks and roots as finely as you can, along with the chilli, garlic and ginger.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or good-sized pan and fry the onions quite briskly for a few minutes, so that they catch slightly. As soon as this starts to happen, add the pumpkin and stir-fry for a few minutes. Stir in the chilli mixture for 1 minute, then add the coconut milk. Stir, then add the peanut butter mix. Cook at a brisk simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the pumpkin is tender. Season to taste or add more soy or fish sauce, as you like. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with cooked rice.

Pumpkin, spinach, ricotta and sage tortilla

Ingredients

  • 1 mini pumpkin or small squash, about 750g
  • 11/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 225g spinach, washed and stalks removed
  • Good pinch of saffron (this adds colour to the omelette)
  • 2 extra-large eggs and 8 extra-large egg whites
  • 25g vegetarian Parmesan, finely grated
  • 150g ricotta, drained

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Cut the pumpkin into 8 wedges and scoop out the fibres and seeds. Cut each wedge into 3 thinner wedges and put into a non-stick roasting tin with half the oil and plenty of black pepper. Toss until all the slices are well-coated, then arrange so the tips point upwards in the tin. Roast for 25 minutes, until just tender. Remove and lower the oven temperature to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in an 23cm non-stick, ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 6-7 minutes, until soft and lightly golden. Add the sage and cook for 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. Wilt the wet spinach in a pan over a medium heat for 4 minutes. Tip into a colander and press out the excess liquid. Set aside.
  4. Put the saffron into a mortar and grind into a powder with the pestle. Add 1 teaspoon hot water and mix well. Put the eggs into a bowl with the saffron water and seasoning, and beat with a fork. Stir in half the Parmesan.
  5. Arrange the pumpkin, spinach and spoonfuls of ricotta between the onion wedges, pour over the egg and sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan. Transfer to the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until set, puffed up and lightly golden. Cut into wedges and serve hot.

Spiced filo pumpkin pie

Ingredients

  • 350g pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 small squash), peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 75g pine nuts or chopped walnuts
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • 100g cottage cheese, ricotta or quark
  • 2 medium free-range eggs,beaten
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp each salt and black pepper
  • 270g filo pastry sheets
  • 100g melted butter
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds (or sesame)
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Put the pumpkin on a baking tray and roast for about 30 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, dry-fry the pine nuts in a frying pan, then set aside. In the same pan, fry the onion in the butter or olive oil for about 8-10 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Lower the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and set aside.
  4. In a bowl, mix the cooked pumpkin, pine nuts, cooked onion, feta and cottage cheese, the beaten eggs, 2 tsp of the oregano, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.
  5. Put the baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper on a work surface, with the shorter end facing you. Lay 2 filo sheets lengthways on the baking sheet, brushing each one with melted butter. Take 2 more sheets and rotate them so they’re at the 11 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Continue to arrange the sheets, rotating each pair as though further around the clock face, until you have a slightly overlapping circle, buttering each sheet liberally as you go.
  6. When all the filo sheets have been used, put the pumpkin mixture in the centre and spread out, leaving a 5cm border. Carefully fold the filo sheets over the edge of the mixture, leaving the centre uncovered. Brush the edges of the pie with the rest of the butter and scatter the nigella/sesame seeds all over. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden and the centre is just set.
  7. Remove from the oven, drizzle with the honey, sprinkle with the rest of the oregano and the chilli and let the pie stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Feature image: Delicious Magazine