Using up leftover Halloween pumpkin

Using up leftover pumpkin

Using up leftover Halloween pumpkin

Using up leftover Halloween pumpkin 1024 673 Alternative Kitchen

You’ve carved a fantastic design and scared the little trick-or-treaters. Now what do you do with your Halloween pumpkin? Turn your leftovers into something delicious with a selection of delicious and easy to prepare sponges, snacks, sweets and family suppers.

1. Squidgy pumpkin & ginger loaf

A slice of this squidgy pumpkin & ginger loaf, with a cup of hot chocolate, is the perfect antidote to chilly evenings. The dense loaf, laced with black treacle, golden syrup and aromatic spices tastes even better having been left for a couple of days for the flavours to mature. It’s even better smeared with butter.

  • 250g chunk of pumpkin or squash flesh (the scoopings from your Halloween pumpkin are perfect)
  • 50g black treacle
  • 140g golden syrup
  • 140g light soft brown sugar
  • 100ml plant-based milk
  • 100g cold plant-based butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten (1 vegan egg = 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 8-10 chunks crystallised ginger, thinly sliced
  • STEP 1

    Put the pumpkin or squash in a microwave- proof bowl with a dribble of water. Cover with cling film, pierce with a couple of holes and cook in a microwave on High for 5-10 mins, or until the pumpkin is soft and mashable. Drain off the water and mash until smooth. Put the treacle, syrup, sugar and milk in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.

  • STEP 2

    Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with a strip of baking parchment. Sift the flour, bicarb, spices and a pinch of salt into a bowl together. Tip in the diced butter and rub with your fingertips until no big lumps remain.

  • STEP 3

    Whisk the mash and the egg into the lukewarm syrupy mixture, then stir everything into the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, scatter with most of the crystallised ginger and bake for 45 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out with just moist crumbs attached. Scatter over the remaining sliced ginger to stick, then cool in the tin. This cake tastes delicious once thoroughly cooled and sliced, but even better if wrapped in parchment and foil, and left for a couple of days to mature. Perfect with a cup.

2. Pumpkin hummus

Turn a carved out pumpkin into a spooky centrepiece with this creamy pumpkin hummus. The nutty tahini, roasted garlic and earthy pumpkin make for a very tasty dip – guaranteed everyone will be going back for more of this simple, healthy snack. Serve it in the pumpkin shell for an eye-catching display.

  • 1 small pumpkin (about 500g)
  • olive oil, for roasting
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded, and sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, de-seeded, and sliced
  • mini breadsticks and pitta chips, to serve
  • STEP 1

    Cut the top off the pumpkin, about two-thirds of the way up. Remove the pumpkin seeds, then scoop the flesh out of the bottom and the lid.

  • STEP 2

    Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the pumpkin flesh into pieces and put in a roasting tin with the garlic and a good glug of oil. Season, then bake for 45 mins until very tender. Leave to cool.

  • STEP 3

    Tip the pumpkin into a food processor with any juices from the roasting tin and the garlic. Add the lemon juice, tahini paste and chickpeas. Season with salt and blend to a paste – add a little more oil if it’s too thick. Scoop the hummus back into the pumpkin and serve with the peppers, breadsticks and pitta chips.

3. Creamy pumpkin & lentil soup

Use soft pumpkin flesh to make a creamy pumpkin & lentil soup, topped with crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds. This wholesome seasonal bowlful makes a great family-friendly dinner, served with hunks of crusty bread or buttery garlic bread. Mix the ingredients in a blender with crème fraîche for a silky smooth soup that packs plenty of flavour.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • approx 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus the seeds
  • 100g split red lentil
  • ½ small pack thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
  • 1l hot vegetable stock
  • pinch of salt and sugar
  • 50g plant-based crème fraîche, plus extra to serve
  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme, then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils and vegetables are tender.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. Remove any flesh still clinging to them, then dry them with kitchen paper. Heat the 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently, but cover the pan in between to keep them in it. When the seeds look nutty and toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar, and stir well.

  • STEP 3

    Whizz the cooked pumpkin mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and whizz again. Taste for seasoning.

  • STEP 4

    Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a few thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.

4. Pumpkin pancakes

Turn chunks of pumpkin into a mouth-watering brunch treat. These pumpkin pancakes with salted pecan butterscotch make for a very serious snack. Soft, fluffy pancakes, salty, sweet sauce, crunchy pecans and a scoop of vanilla ice cream will certainly turn everyone’s head.

  • 250g pumpkin or squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into large chunks
  • 2 eggs (1 vegan egg = 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 3 tbsp light brown soft sugar
  • 25g plant-based butter, melted, plus a little for cooking
  • 125ml plant-based buttermilk (or use the same quantity of milk alternative, with a squeeze of lemon juice)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • drizzle of flavourless oil, such as sunflower or groundnut, for frying
  • plant-based ice cream, to serve, or plant-based yogurt or plant-based crème fraîche

For the salted pecan butterscotch
  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 50g plant-based butter
  • 50g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 100ml plant-based coconut cream (full fat)
  • STEP 1

    Put the pumpkin or squash in a large heatproof bowl, add 1 tbsp water, cover with cling film and microwave on High for 5-8 mins or until really soft – different types will take a varying amount of time. Drain the pumpkin well and cool completely. If you want to eat the pancakes for breakfast, this step is best done the night before.

  • STEP 2

    Once cool, put the pumpkin in a food processer with the remaining pancake ingredients and add a good pinch of salt. Blend until everything is well combined to a smooth, thick batter (alternatively, mash the pumpkin well, then whisk in the remaining ingredients). Transfer to a jug or piping bag and set aside while you make the butterscotch sauce.

  • STEP 3

    Toast the pecans in a saucepan for 1-2 mins until a shade darker. Tip out and set aside. Add the butter, sugar, salt and cream to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then bubble gently for a few mins until you have a shiny sauce. Stir in the pecans and set aside to cool a little.

  • STEP 4

    Heat a knob of butter and a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1, to keep the pancakes warm while you cook them in batches – have a baking tray to hand. When the butter is foaming, swirl it around the pan, then pour tennis-ball-sized amounts of batter into the pan – they will spread a little as they cook, so leave some space between each pancake and don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook over a low-medium heat. Don’t touch the pancakes until you see a few bubbles appear on the surface – have a look underneath and, if the pancakes are golden, flip them over and cook for another 2 mins on the other side. Transfer the cooked pancakes to the baking tray and keep warm in the oven while you continue cooking.

  • STEP 5

    Once cooked, pile the pancakes onto plates, top with ice cream, yogurt or crème fraîche, and pour over the salted pecan butterscotch sauce.

5. Pumpkin curry with chickpeas

Try this pumpkin curry with chickpeas and fluffy naan. Soft chunks of pumpkin serve as a perfect base, and it tastes even better the next day after the flavours have had a change to intensify.

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp Thai yellow curry paste, or vegetarian alternative
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large stalks lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 piece pumpkin or a small squash (about 1kg)
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 400g can chickpea, drained and rinsed
  • 2 limes
  • large handful mint leaves
  • naan bread, to serve
  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a sauté pan, then gently fry the curry paste with the onions, lemongrass, cardamom and mustard seed for 2-3 mins until fragrant. Stir the pumpkin or squash into the pan and coat in the paste, then pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring everything to a simmer, add the chickpeas, then cook for about 10 mins until the pumpkin is tender. The curry can now be cooled and frozen for up to 1 month.

  • STEP 2

    Squeeze the juice of one lime into the curry, then cut the other lime into wedges to serve alongside. Just before serving, tear over mint leaves, then bring to the table with the lime wedges and warm naan breads.

6. Classic pumpkin pie

Fill the kitchen with mouth-watering seasonal aromas and treat the family to a slice of classic pumpkin pie with pecan & maple cream. Use up the lantern carvings and create something delicious in the process. A substantial slab with a dollop of coconut cream makes for a dangerously dreamy dessert.

  • 550g piece pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 500g pack shortcrust pastry
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs (1 vegan egg = 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 142ml pot coconut cream (full fat)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • small grating of nutmeg

For the pecan and maple coconut cream
  • 142ml tub coconut cream (full fat)
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 25g pecans, finely chopped
  • STEP 1

    Place the pumpkin pieces in a large microwaveable bowl. Cover, then cook on High (850W) for 15 mins or until soft. Tip into a colander to drain, then leave to cool.

  • STEP 2

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin so it’s wide enough to line a 25cm tart tin. Ease the pastry into the case, making sure there’s an overhang, then chill for 30 mins. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Line the case with foil and baking beans, then bake for 15-20 mins. Remove foil and beans, then cook for a further 10 mins until the pastry is golden. Turn oven down to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, place pumpkin, sugar, eggs, cream and spices in a food processor, then blend until smooth. Pour into the baked pastry case, then bake for 1 hr until the filling has puffed up in the centre (it will sink as it cools). Remove from tin, then leave to cool.

  • STEP 4

    Whip the cream with the maple syrup until thickened, then fold in the pecans. Serve spoonfuls of the cream with slices of the pie.

7. Pumpkin & veggie ham pasta

Indulge in something savoury with this veggie ham & pumpkin pasta, topped with plenty of ‘cheese’. We guarantee the whole family will love this versatile autumnal bowl of goodness. The veggie ham can also be swapped for mushrooms fried with the onion, or, add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach before the cheese is sprinkled on. Takes ten minutes.

  • STEP 1

    Heat a heavy-based saucepan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and veggie ham, then cook for a few mins. Add remaining oil and the onion. Cook for 5 mins, until the onion softens and the pancetta is crispy.

  • STEP 2

    Stir in the butter, then tip in the pumpkin or squash and sage. Mix well to combine, then season. Cover and cook for 6-8 mins, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin is soft, but not falling apart.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Drain and add to the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the parmesan and season. Serve in pasta bowls sprinkled with extra parmesan.

8. Pumpkin spice scones

Feeling like snacking? These pumpkin spice scones, served warm with a spread of butter or soft cheese, are sure to keep everyone going until it’s dinner time. The golden bakes can be whipped up in under 30 minutes with just a few simple steps. Unexpected guests? One of these pumpkin scones is sure to please any palate.

  • 450g self-raising flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 100g cold plant-based butter
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 1-2 tsp pumpkin spice (or mix ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp ginger, a good grind of nutmeg and a pinch of allspice)
  • 200g cooked pumpkin
  • 80-100ml milk alternative
  • plant-based butter or cream cheese flavoured with a pinch of cinnamon, to serve
  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put the flour in a bowl and coarsely grate in the butter (dipping the butter into the flour can make it easier to grate; do this as often as you need). Use a butter knife to stir the butter into the flour, then mix in the sugar and spice.

  • STEP 2

    Add the pumpkin and 80ml milk to the flour mixture and quickly stir everything together. Add more milk if you need to.

  • STEP 3

    Tip the mixture onto a floured surface and lightly bring together with your hands a couple of times. Roll out until 4cm thick and stamp out rounds with a 7cm cutter. Re-shape the trimmings until all the dough has been used. Place the rounds on a lightly floured baking sheet and brush the tops with any remaining milk. Bake for 10-12 mins until risen and lightly browned.

9. Pumpkin cupcakes

Try grating pumpkin and mixing into spiced pumpkin cupcakes. This twist on a classic carrot cake is simple to make – the feather-light sponges are delicious with a dollop of icing or served plain.

  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs (1 vegan egg = 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g coarsely grated pumpkin or butternut squash flesh
  • 100g sultanas
  • grated zest 1 orange
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the frosting
  • 200g tub full-fat plant-based cream cheese
  • 85g icing sugar
  • toasted chopped pecans to decorate (optional)
  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases. Pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat together, then add the grated pumpkin, sultanas and orange zest.

  • STEP 2

    Stir in the cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will be quite wet. Spoon into the cases. Bake for 25 mins until firm and springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. At this stage you can freeze the cakes for 4 months.

  • STEP 3

    To make the frosting, beat the plant-based cream cheese and sugar together until smooth then spread on top of the cupcakes. Leave plain or decorate with toasted pecans. Store in the fridge, but return to room temperature to serve for the best flavour and texture.

10. Pumpkin pie s’mores

Merge two American classics into one bite-sized treat. These easy pumpkin pie s’mores with melty marshmallow filling and warming ginger biscuits are an absolute gooey delight. Add a sprinkling of cinnamon for a touch of sweetness and spiciness.

  • 16 ginger nut biscuits
  • 8 marshmallows (vegetarian brand)
  • 8 tsp pumpkin purée
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • STEP 1

    Preheat the grill to high and line a baking sheet with parchment. Put 8 ginger nuts on the tray and top with a marshmallow. Grill until the marshmallow is turning brown and melty.

  • STEP 2

    Mix the pumpkin purée with the cinnamon and put a tsp on each of the remaining ginger nuts.

  • STEP 3

    Sandwich both together until oozing.

Halloween pumpkin pie
Photo by Kelsey Weinkauf