Halloween Pumpkins: Not just an ugly face!

As you are carving out your artistic creations this Halloween, don’t waste the lovely flesh from the inside of your pumpkins.

Winking Pumpkin                                        pumpkin pie

Here are two lovely recipes that use the seasonal pumpkin:  for the virtuous, a healthy and nutritious Quinoa Pumpkin Biryani and for those after something a bit sweeter, a delicious Pumkin Pie for pudding (or anytime for that matter….)

Also, don’t forget to leave the scooped out pumpkin seeds for the birds (you can dry them in the oven first and crush them up a bit for smaller birds)


pumpkin bird feedersquirrel and pumpkinchickens and pumpkins


Quinoa Pumpkin Biryani

What you need:

2 tbsps Olive Oil**

1 tsp fennel seeds**

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

450g pumpkin flesh, cut into small cubes

1 tsp chilli powder**

250g quinoa**, well rinsed and drained

75g cashews**

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of nutmeg

Handful of fresh parsley

What to do:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add fennel, onion and garlic and saute until onions are golden.
  2. Add pumpkin, chilli and quinoa with half the cashews and saute for 5 minutes
  3. Stir in 720mls of hot water with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally until the quinoa is tender, the pumkin is cooked and all the moisture is absorbed.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with remaining nuts and parsley.

Pumpkin Pie

What you need: 

For the pastry-

200g plain flour**

A pinch of salt

75g unsalted butter (cut into small cubes or grated)

2.5 tbsps cold water

For the filling-

450g pumpkin puree (made by roasting or boiling the pumpkin flesh and mashing it up/whizzing it in a blender, the smoother the puree, the silkier the pie! Add some sugar if it isn’t as sweet as you’d like it to be)

3 free range eggs

100mls double cream

150g light brown sugar**

1 tsp ground cinnamon**

0.5 tsp ground ginger**

0.5 tsp ground star anise**

0.5 tsp ground allspice**

1 tsp salt

3 tbsps maple syrup

Finely grated fresh ginger (optional)

Black pepper (optional)

What to do:

  1. Heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  2. To make the pastry sift the flour and salt and add the butter, mix gently until coarse sand consistency. Sprinkle with water and mix until it forms a cohesive ball of dough. Wrap it and leave in fridge for 30 mins or more before using
  3. Whisk all the filling ingredients together, except the fresh ginger, in a large bowl.
  4. Taste the filling, add fresh ginger and a good grinding of balck pepper if desired.
  5. Roll out the pastry as thin as possible and press into a 23cm fluted flan tin with a loose base, them trim the edges.
  6. Pour the filling into the case and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the custardy filling is just set but still has a slight wobble
  7. Cool and serve with ice cream or sweetened (Chantilly) cream