The beginners guide to easy autumnal pumpkin recipes

Although most people would traditionally only buy one pumpkin a year for the purposes of Halloween decoration, it’s an incredibly overlooked and diverse food that makes for some really incredible Autumnal recipes. So, this year between relaxing spa breaks and nights tucked up in your dressing gown, take some inspiration from this article and try and bring the beloved pumpkin into your kitchen, and your meal plans.

Pumpkin is also a fantastic ingredient for anyone who is focusing on eating a healthier diet and is of course perfect for vegetarian of vegan-based diets. Pumpkin is a high fibre food, but also has very few calories (on average 26 per 100 grams.)  It is also high in a lot of vitamins, especially Vitamin A, in which 100 grams will provide you with 170% of your daily recommended amount. 

In this article we look at a range of recipes that include pumpkin, from making your own pumpkin spiced lattes at home, to a warming autumnal salad.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is the most commonly thought of pumpkin-based food. This American classic is yet to become really popular in the UK, and this makes it a great dessert to make for friends and loved ones. The great thing about making pumpkin pie is it can be done quickly and easily using pre-pureed pumpkin and a pre-made base, or if you have more time you can create your own base and pumpkin filling.

This recipe from Good Housekeeping tells you how to make the perfect pumpkin pie from scratch.

Ingredients for the pastry:

- 175g plain flour

- 125g butter, cold and cubed

- 40g caster sugar

- 1 medium egg yolk

Ingredients for the filling:

- 2 medium eggs

- 100g caster sugar

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- ½ tsp mixed spice

- ½ tsp ginger

- 275g pumpkin puree (made simply by pureeing your pumpkin in a food processer)

- 200ml evaporated milk

- Double cream or crème fraîche to serve

Method:

- To make the pastry: Blend your flour and butter in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor you can do this by rubbing it between your fingertips. Then combine the caster sugar, and finally add the egg yolk and 2tsp of water. Once all of the ingredients have blended, bring the pastry together into a disc with your hands, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

- Lightly flour a work surface with flour and roll your pastry out. Use this to line a cake tin (8-inch round, roughly 4 centimetres deep.) Once lined, prick the base with a fork and chill for a further 20 minutes.

- Preheat your oven to 200˚c and line your pastry case with baking parchment, then fill with baking beans (or uncooked rice if you do not have baking beans.) Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the beans and parchment and bake for a further 8 minutes, or until cooked through and feeling sandy to the touch.

- To make the filling: Beat your eggs in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. With an electric whisk this should take about 3 minutes. Fold through sugar, spices and pumpkin. Then gently mix through the evaporated milk. Pour into your cooked pastry.

- Reduce your oven temperature to 180˚c and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the filling feels lightly firm.

- Leave to cool completely and serve with cream!

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

We are sure that pumpkin spiced lattes conjure up images of that famous green and white coffee logo, cold air and cosy nights. But, did you know it doesn’t always contain actual pumpkin? If you want to create this treat in your own kitchen, using real pumpkin, then it’s a lot simpler than you may think, and a much healthier alternative.

This recipe from Wellness Mama is quick and easy, plus you can take all of the unnecessary sugars out of the drink. You can tailor the recipe to your own taste and soon you’ll be creating pumpkin spiced lattes everyone will want.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of milk (use dairy free milk for a vegan friendly drink)

- 1 tbsp of fresh pumpkin puree (made simply by pureeing your pumpkin in a food processer)

- 1 tsp of vanilla extract

- ½ tsp of cinnamon

- A sprinkle of cloves and nutmeg

- ¼ cup of strong coffee

- 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup (to taste)

- Whipped cream (or coconut milk for a vegan friendly drink) to top

Method:

- Blend all of your ingredients (except your whipped cream or coconut milk) together in a food processer.

- Place your mixture into a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes until hot. Stir this often.

- Pour your mixture into mugs and top with your whipped cream or coconut milk, and a dash of cinnamon to make it picture perfect.

Chorizo, squash and pumpkin seed salad

One of the really amazing things about pumpkin is you can use every bit of it. Pumpkin seeds are a delicious and simple snack by themselves and by taking them out of the squash and washing you can eat them raw, or toasted they make a fantastic addition to a warming autumnal salad. Toasting pumpkin seeds really helps to bring the flavour out and transforms the texture.

This recipe from ASDA Good Living will help you create a simple, smoky salad, perfect for when you are entertaining guests, or to make lunches for your week ahead.

Ingredients:

- 1 butternut squash (you could always substitute this for your pumpkin flesh)

- 3 tbsp sunflower oil

- 25g pumpkin seeds

- 75g diced chorizo

- 4tsp cider vinegar

- 1tsp clear honey

- 1tsp coarse-grain mustard

- 180g baby spinach

Method:

- Preheat your oven to 200˚c/180˚c fan/gas 6

- Peel and dress your squash (or pumpkin) and cut into 2cm pieces. Put in a roasting tin with 1tbsp of the oil to coat. Cook for 25-30 mins, or until tender and starting to brown.

- Meanwhile, put the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

- Cook the chorizo in a frying pan, stirring often, until it crisps at the edges. Drain on kitchen roll.

- For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard and remaining oil, season to taste with black pepper.

- To serve, mix all of your components together in a serving dish and top with the dressing. (If you are making this for lunches, we suggest keeping the dressing separate and only adding when you are about to eat it.)

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup is a warming dish that is perfect for a cold, windy day when all you want to do is snuggle up in your dressing gown. It’s a warm hug after a long day, the sunshine after the rain, it’s a little piece of happiness. It’s also incredibly easy to make, and a great way to use up any left-over pumpkin quickly.

We take a look at Jamie Oliver’s ‘Glorious roasted pumpkin soup’ which is an easy and simple dish that can warm you on even the coldest of days.

Ingredients:

- 1.5kg of edible pumpkin

- Olive oil

- 1 tsp dried chilli

- 1 tbsp coriander seeds

- 1 large onion

- 3 garlic cloves

- 1 carrot

- 1 stick of celery

- 1 litre hot vegetable stock

Method:

- Preheat your oven to 170˚c. Half the pumpkin and remove the seeds (you can keep them for roasting.) Then, chop into wedges. Place the pumpkin on two large baking trails and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. In a pestle and mortar, grind the chilli and coriander seeds with a pinch of salt until finely ground. Sprinkle your spice mix over the pumpkin with some black pepper and then roast for 1 hour, or until soft and slightly caramelised.

- Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Heat a glug of olive oil over medium heat in a sauce pan and add the vegetables. Cook for 15 minutes or until soft, but not coloured!

- When everything is ready, add the squash and stock to your vegetable saucepan and blend with a stick blender. Ladle into bowls when ready to serve.

Stuffed Pumpkin with wild rice and fennel

This recipe is from BBC Good Food and is a great vegan table dish that looks and tastes delicious. The powerful taste of fennel that mixes with the sweet apple and lemon create a delicious and exciting treat.

Ingredients:

- 1 medium-sized pumpkin (about 1kg)

- 4 tbsp olive oil

- 100g wild rice

- 1 large fennel bulb

- 1 Bramley apple

- 1 lemon (zested and juiced)

- 1 tbsp fennel seeds

- ½ tbsp chilli flakes

- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)

- 30 g pecans (toasted and roughly chopped)

- 1 large pack of parsley (roughly chopped)

- 3 tbsp tahini

- Pomegranate seeds (to serve)

Method:

- Heat oven to 200˚c/180˚c fan/gas 6.

- Cut the top off of your pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and pith. Put the pumpkin onto a baking tray, including the ‘lid’ to one side, rub with 2tbsp of oil inside and out and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, or until tender.

- Whilst that is baking, rinse your wild rice well and cook following the pack instructions. The spread out to cool. Thinly slice your fennel bulb and apple, then squeeze over ½ of the lemon juice to stop discolouring.

- Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Fry the fennel seeds and chilli flakes, then once the seeds begin to pop stir in ½ the garlic and fennel. Cook for 5 minutes until softened, then mix through the apple, pecans and lemon zest. Remove from the heat and add this mixture to the cooked rice. Stir in the parsley and season to taste.

- Once your pumpkin is baked, fill with your rice mixture and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until piping hot.

- To make your dressing whisk together the remaining lemon juice, remaining garlic and tahini, add water to your desired consistency.

- Serve the pumpkin, topped with your dressing and pomegranate seeds.

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