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Autumn Comforts: 3 Pumpkin Recipes To Try This Season

The final days of October mark the arrival of Halloween, and not only are we embracing the spooky season, but also the season of the humble pumpkin. From a rich curry to a homely pie, we’re seeking comfort in our favourite winter squash not only over Halloween, but throughout the rest of autumn-winter. Our favourite chefs and restaurants have revealed the recipes behind their most popular pumpkin dishes, providing us with all the culinary inspiration we need this season.

Bettina Campolucci Bordi’s Spiced Pumpkin Pie

SERVES 6-8

For the pastry:

250g plain flour
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
115g of vegan butter
60ml plant milk

For the filling:

480g pumpkin puree
120g ground almonds
100g brown sugar
100ml plant milk
60g vegan butter
60g plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon baking powder

To serve:
280ml whippable plant cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 vanilla pod

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 4). Grease a cake or pie pan (with a removable base so the pie will come out easily) with some butter.

2. Make the pastry by adding all the dry ingredients to a bowl. Use your hands to rub the chopped butter into the flour mix. Then add the milk little by little and mix well to form a dough. You can either use the pastry straightaway or, if you have time, rest it somewhere warm for 15–20 minutes. Alternatively, keep in the fridge overnight.

3. Roll the pastry dough into a disc that’s larger than the base of the cake/pie pan, with enough to go up the sides. Put the pastry in the pan and use your index fingers and thumbs to press into the base and sides so it lines the whole pan. Trim off any excess dough that comes over the edges with a knife. You can use the excess dough to create a criss cross pattern on top of the pie if you like.

4. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and pre-cook in the oven for 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, add all the ingredients for the filling to a food processor or blender and blitz until well combined.

6. When the pie case is ready, remove from the oven and add the pumpkin filling. Smooth the filling flat with a palette knife, then bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

7. While the pie is baking, whip the cream with the maple syrup and vanilla. Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

8. Once the pie is ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving with the whipped cream.

Kricket’s Delica Pumpkin With Makhani Sauce And Hazelnut Crumble

SERVES 4

1 delica pumpkin, about 18 cm in diameter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
a generous pinch of sea salt
100g wild rice
200g Paneer, crumbled
a bunch of fresh micro coriander, to garnish

For the Makhani sauce:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
4 cloves
2 fresh Indian bay leaves
4 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
2 tablespoons red Kashmiri red chilli powder
2 green chillies, split down the middle
1kg plum tomatoes – puréed
200 ml double cream – plus extra to serve
250g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon garam masala
a handful of dried fenugreek leaves
caster sugar – to taste
sea salt – to taste

For the hazelnut crumble:

200g hazelnuts
5 g sesame seeds
2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chilli powder
1 teaspoon chaat masala

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF/Gas 3).

2. Halve the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, slice the flesh into 8 wedges and trim the ends. Put the pumpkin slices in a roasting pan and coat with the oil, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes. You want the pumpkin to be only just cooked, as it gets a further grilling (broiling) before being served.

3. While it is roasting, make the puffed rice. Heat a little oil, to about 2 cm in depth, in a heavy-based saucepan until very hot. Add the wild rice and stir for a few minutes until it puffs up, then drain on kitchen paper.

4. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the whole spices and allow them to infuse the oil for 30 seconds or so before adding the ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder and green chillies. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat down to medium-low, add the tomatoes, then cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by one-third and the oil has separated from the tomatoes. Remove the whole spices, then add the cream, butter, garam masala and fenugreek leaves. Season to taste with sugar and salt and leave to one side.

5. To make the hazelnut crumble, toast the nuts and sesame seeds with the chilli powder for a few minutes until golden in a dry frying pan. Cool, then roughly pulse to a fine powder, in a food processor, with the chaat masala.

6. Heat up the makhani sauce and spoon into 4 plates or bowls. Grill the pumpkin for a few minutes on each side, until the slices get a little colour – this will add a smoky element to the dish.
To serve, arrange 2 wedges of pumpkin on top of the sauce, and top with the crumbled paneer, hazelnut crumble, puffed wild rice and garnish with coriander.

Wild by Tart’s Pumpkin Wonton Tortellini and Porcini Soup

For the tortellini:

1 small pumpkin or squash
olive oil
small bunch of thyme, woody stems removed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
zest of one lemon
100g smoked ricotta crumbled – optional
wonton wrappers
semolina for dusting

For the broth:

couple of spring onions, chopped
handful of dried porcini mushrooms
1 glass of sherry
500ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
squeeze of honey
salt and pepper
sage leaves

1. Heat the oven to 200c. Roughly slice up the squash removing the seeds, but you can keep the skin on. Place on an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme and season. Place in the oven and roast for about 30-40 mins till soft and starting to caramelise.

2. Take out the oven and scrape the soft insides into a bowl, discard the skins. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, season and mash together, taste. Arrange the wonton wrappers in front of you and spoon a teaspoon amount onto the wrapper (then place a cube of the smoked ricotta on top if using). Fold into tortellini (this may take a couple of goes!). Dust a tray with semolina and leave the tortellini on top whilst you make the broth. (They will keep in the fridge covered for a good day or so).

3. To make the broth heat a little oil in a pan and add the spring onions, add the stock, sherry and porcini mushrooms and simmer for about 15 mins, season and add a squeeze of honey.
To make the sage leaves simply heat a little oil in a pan and add the sage leaves for about 20 seconds, remove and drain on kitchen paper.

4. When ready to serve, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and drop in your wontons, simmer for about 3-4 minutes and remove and distribute between bowls. Spoon the broth over the top and finish with the crispy sage leaves.

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