cars, trains and pumpkins

Bertie (previously known as Loofah due to the first four digits of his number plate LOO4) finally rolled his wheels for the very last time and left Susie without a car.  A replacement was found, but it (name yet to be discovered) was in Gateshead and Susie was in Leeds.  So she she hopped on the train to Durham for a few hours R&R (and freezer scoping) at home, pumpkin carving, slushy movie watching and a new car!

We’ve never been hugely into Halloween, and  my own personal interests tend towards Samhain (I will be drumming around my fire pit tonight) but it is hard not to be seduced into buying at least one pumpkin.  I read somewhere I think, that cutting the base of the pumpkin rather than the top reduces rot and consequently makes the carved fruit last longer.  I have absolutely no idea if this is true or indeed why it should be true … but I tried it nonetheless.  Susie and spent ages on Pinterest checking out the carvings created by knife wielders far more deft than we and instead plumped for the simple but, we felt, striking.

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Now to work out what to do with the ghost’s innards.  Stuart is no fan of pumpkin and I knew better than to try an tempt him with pumpkin soup of any variety.  But I do know my daughter and she is partial to a sweet pie.  So whilst they went to pick up the  new wheels I made pumpkin pie.  I make no claim to this being my own recipe, it comes from my well thumbed copy of The All American Cookbook by Martha Lomask.

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 225 ml milk
  • 400g cooked pumpkin flesh*
  • 125g sugar (I used a mix of demerara and golden caster)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmet
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp melted butter (I forgot this and it was fine 🙂 )

*since I had scraped the flesh out of the pumpkin I couldn’t roast it so I added about 250ml of water and simmered gently for 20 minutes and then drained and squeezed out as  much water as I could.  From one medium pumpkin I got 700g of cooked flesh.

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  1. Line a 23cm pie tin with sweet shortcrust pastry.  If you can remember the butter (!)  brush it over the base of the pastry case.
  2. Whisk milk and pumpkin flesh together.  Then add the remaining ingredients and continue to whisk.  I shoved the whole lot in my magimix and it came out perfectly well.
  3. Pour into pastry case.

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4. Bake at 200C for 40-45 minutes until a knife in the centre of the pie comes out    clean.

5. Eat.

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The remains of the pie went back to Leeds with Susie in the as yet unnamed car with a second pumpkin for carving tonight.

Finally, the seeds.  Stuart, who as I  mentioned is not greatly enamoured of pumpkin flesh, thinks these are the best bits.  I usually struggle to remove the flesh from the seeds but heard a brilliant tip on the radio this week.  Put them in a salad spinner.  It worked a dream.

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Dry, place on a heavy roasting dish.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning of your choice, I used ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper)  Place in a hot oven for five minutes.  Don’t burn your fingers trying to get them out of the roasting dish …

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Happy Halloween

Love Gillie x

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