Now we’ve got you all liquored-up on Halloween-themed cocktails, it’s time to turn our attentions to that other traditional Halloween item: the pumpkin. As you might have noticed, they’re everywhere at this time of year, and after this Saturday they’ll be even cheaper. But the humble pumpkin is not just a vehicle for lunatic children to carve into hideous, grinning monstrosities. They’re also delicious, and more versatile than you might suspect. And although we’re big fans of all kinds of pumpkin-based cuisine, our favourite is the pumpkin pie. There’s something very satisfying about tucking into a slice accompanied by a fancy coffee or perhaps a mug of mulled wine when it’s dark and drizzly outside. And once you’ve done the faffing of hollowing out and de-seeding your pumpkin (which you’ll be doing anyway if you’re making jack-o-lanterns), it’s actually really easy. And if you can’t be arsed with the real deal, then you can usually get tinned pumpkin at supermarkets at this time of year. (Canned pumpkin is much more popular in America, they have it all year round, but it’s trickier to find over here when it’s not Halloween-induced pumpkin-fever season).
What you’ll need is:
½ tsp ground ginger
300g pumpkin purée
350g evaporated milk
Pie crust (I am a messy but enthusiastic cook, so I usually buy the ready-made ones so as to avoid unnecessary kitchen carnage, but if you’re feeling fancy you can make your own using shortcrust pastry)
Then what you need to do is:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 220C. Then, in a small bowl, combine your sugar, salt, cinnamon and ginger and mix ‘em up.
2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then add the pumpkin purée. Chuck in your sugary/salty/cinnamon mixture, and stir. Slowly add the evaporated milk, stirring all the while, and once you’re done with that pour into the pastry case.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 180C. Bake for another 45mins, cool and then tuck in. Works best with ice cream, or accompanied by a delicious pint of Bailey’s...
(Image via spacekadet's Flickr photostream)