Head Chef Kelvin talks us through the pumpkin..
The nights are drawing in, the mornings are getting colder and I am looking forward to the change of season! This time of year we start to see a whole new array of foods with many bright colours and earthy tastes. As it gets colder I am keeping my eye on my garden, watching my pumpkins mature and ripen ready for harvesting before the first frost. The kids are grown up now but they still love carving up our home grown fruits at Halloween.
The trick to carving your pumpkin is simple. Make sure you have a really good knife and use a template to create your design, or for little hands why not try painting the pumpkin rather than carving. It will look great during the day as well as when lit up at night.
All this of course gives me plenty of chance to make some of my favourite autumn dishes. Pumpkin is so versatile in the kitchen, you can use it in soups, curry’s, salads, as an accompaniment, even as a dessert and pumpkin pie is a real favourite at my house.
Purée the pumpkin flesh by steaming it and then passing the flesh through a course sieve. Simmer some cream and whisk together with brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and ground cloves before adding to whisked eggs. Combine the pumpkin purée and the mix together thoroughly before pouring into a sweet crust pastry base and bake for about 40 minutes. I like to serve this warm with some cinnamon ice cream and now that the kids are older we can all enjoy a hot cider with it too!
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