Happy Halloween! Check out our pumpkin recipes to make the most of this deliciously spooky vegetable.

Pumpkin Humous

Throw a Halloween party and use a carved out pumpkin to make this creamy hummus. At other times of the year use butternut squash or a blue-skinned pumpkin

 

Ingredients 

1 small pumpkin

50ml olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled

½ lemon, juiced

2 tbsp tahini paste

400g can chickpeas, drained

1 red pepper, deseeded, and sliced

1 yellow pepper, deseeded, and sliced

mini breadsticks and pitta chips, to serve

 

Method

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.

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.

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.

 

 

Frozen pumpkin cheesecake

Swap your usual pumpkin pie for our no-bake, make-ahead cheesecake. It’s perfect for Halloween or Bonfire Night, or as an autumn dessert for the dinner table

 

Ingredients 

300g gingernut biscuits

350ml maple syrup, plus extra to serve

350g full-fat cream cheese

300g pumpkin purée

300ml double cream

 

 Method

Blitz 250g of the biscuits in a food processor with 125ml of the syrup until it resembles fine crumbs. Line a 20cm springform tin with baking parchment, then firmly push the crumbs into the base, transfer to the fridge and chill for 30 mins.

Beat 100ml of the syrup with the cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Whip 200ml of the cream with 100ml of the syrup to soft peaks. Fold into the cream cheese mixture, then spoon over the base and level the top. Cover and freeze overnight.

Lightly whip the remaining cream with the remaining syrup and dollop over the cheesecake. Crumble over the remaining biscuits and drizzle over some extra syrup. Leave to rest for 5 mins before serving.

 

Pumpkin & bacon soup

 

The soft, sweet flesh of the Crown Prince pumpkin is perfect for this silky soup, butternut or onion squash are good alternatives

 Ingredients 

1 tbsp vegetable oil

50g butter

1 onion, finely chopped

150g maple-cured bacon, cut into small pieces

½ Crown Prince pumpkin or onion squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into medium chunks (you need about 500g pumpkin flesh)

1l chicken stock

100ml double cream

3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted

maple syrup, for drizzling

 

Method

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil with 25g butter. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook on a low heat for 10 mins or until soft. Add 60g bacon and cook for a further 5 mins until the bacon releases its fat. Then increase the heat to medium, add the pumpkin and stock and season. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 40 mins until the pumpkin is soft. Pour in the cream, bring to the boil again and remove from the heat. Set aside some of the liquid, then blend the remaining pumpkin until smooth and velvety, adding liquid back into the pan bit by bit as you go (add more liquid if you like it thinner). Strain through a fine sieve, check the seasoning and set aside.

Melt the remaining butter in a pan over a high heat and fry the rest of the bacon with black pepper for 5 mins. Divide the bacon between four bowls, reheat the soup and pour over. To serve, sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds and drizzle with maple syrup.