Pumpkins can be a bit intimidating. You don’t really see them for most of the year and then suddenly Halloween comes around and they pop up here there and everywhere. They’re cheap as chips and abundant at the mo. Sadly very few people know how to treat a pumpkin right. They end up pulling out the guts, slicing up their flesh and leaving them out on the porch to rot. It’s a sad tale. This year I’m going to show you how to get more out of your pumpkin. This recipe will give you a beautiful jack-o-lantern, Salted Caramel Dragon Scales, and enough pumpkin soup to feed an army of brain hungry zombies.
For the Salted Caramel Dragon Scales you’ll need:
The seeds from one pumpkin
3tbsp light brown sugar
Sprinkle of sea salt
Scoop out the seeds from your pumpkin
Now you’ll need to separate the gunk from the seeds. Fill a large bowl with water and pop it all in. The goop should sink to the bottom and leave the seeds on top.
Use your fingers to separate them and place the seeds to one side.
Get a pan really nice and hot before adding your seeds. Toast them, stirring now and then until they start to turn a golden brown. Take one out and try it, if it’s crunchy instead of soft, they’re done.
Add your butter.
Add your sugar and keep stirring until it turns to a carmel. Sprinkle your rock salt on, and you’re done!
Serve warm if possible. Try not to eat them all yourself.
For the caldron of soup you’ll need:
1 large pumpkin (8lb / 13oz) or 2 medium ones,
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1.7 litres/3 pints chicken stock (veg stock for vegetarians)
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp cayenne pepper
2tsp smoked paprika freshly grated nutmeg salt & pepper
Slosh of sherry
First you’re going to want to get as much flesh as possible from your pumpkin. Use a knife and a big spoon. Try not to puncture the sides. Put it all into a big bowl.
Heat a really large saucepan and add a good splosh of olive oil. Once the oil’s hot, add your onions and garlic. Fry until soft and starting to gold up. Add your pumpkin, spices & salt & pepper. Cover and fry for about 30mins, stirring now and then to keep the bottom from burning. No-one likes a burnt bottom. When it’s all softened and smelling delicious you can add your stock. Bring to the boil and take it off the heat. Pour into a blender (you might have to do this in batches) and smooth. Pop it all back into the pan, add your sherry and cook on a medium heat for another half hour, without the lid on. Carve your terrifying jack-o-lanterns while you wait.
Serve from a cauldron at the table, with a swirl (or spiderweb) of cold cream.