How to make the most of your pumpkins this autumn



As the seasons transition from summer to winter, we embrace great comfort food to keep us warm. What better way to welcome this time of year, than by eating the seasons? From butternut squash to beetroot, there’s a whole-host of produce to sink your teeth into. But, when it comes to seasonal squash, we’re not sure what more you can do with this other than pumpkin pie? There are a number of uses for your autumnal veg, in order to celebrate the season. If you’re looking to get creative in the kitchen, why not try one of these scrumptious pumpkin-based recipes.   

Pumpkin fondue

Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween! This recipe for pumpkin fondue makes a great centrepiece for any get-together. Serving fondue inside a pumpkin shell isn’t just a great use and conversation starter – the sweet, tender flesh is a great compliment to salty cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or marjoram, leaves picked
  • 50ml cider
  • 400g Cheddar cheese
  • 400g Gruyere cheese
  • 150g blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • 1 perfectly-chosen pumpkin, with the inside scraped out
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic clove

Method

First, slowly heat a glug of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Make a bain-marie by filling a large saucepan with an inch or two of hot water, and placing it over a low heat. Then, put a large heatproof bowl over the saucepan.

Add the chopped shallots to the frying pan and cook them gently for around 5 to 10 minutes, adding in a pinch of salt and pepper, and the herbs. Once they’ve softened but not coloured, add them to the bain-marie with the cider and all of the cheese.

Leave the cheese to slowly melt, only stirring now and then to help it along. Once it has mostly melted, stir in the crème fraîche, and then add a swig or two of hot water to loosen the mixture a little. 

Have a taste to check the seasoning, and get all of your dipping ingredients at the ready!

To make the Halloween-themed serving dish, begin by pre-heating the oven at 180°C (160°C fan). Carefully select the right size pumpkin – preferably one with a sturdy bottom. If it’s a bit too wobbly, level out a flat slice from underneath. Then, cut a circle around the pumpkin stem and remove the top. Scrape the pumpkin seeds and fibres from inside – rub with olive oil and garlic (optional). Place the pumpkin in the oven for 30mins to heat through.

Now all that’s left to do is serve up and get dipping! Be sure to scoop out some of the delicious pumpkin flesh too for added flavour!

Glorious roasted pumpkin soup

Nothing beats a bowl full of hearty soup in autumn. Pumpkin soup, with its creamy, velvety-smooth texture and added spice heat is a sure favourite to warm the cockles. Leftover pumpkin never tasted so good!

Ingredients

  • 5kg edible pumpkin
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 ltr hot vegetable stock

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F. 

Halve the pumpkin and remove the seeds (you can keep these for roasting), then chop into wedges. 

Place the pumpkin on two large baking trays and drizzle a little olive oil over. In a pestle and mortar, grind the chilli and coriander seeds with a pinch of salt until finely ground. Sprinkle the spices over the pumpkin with some black pepper. 

Roast the pumpkin for 1 hour, or until soft and slightly caramelised at the edges.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. In a large saucepan, heat a glug of olive oil over a medium heat then add the vegetables and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and sweet but not coloured.

When the squash is soft and golden, add to the pan with the hot vegetable stock. Blend with a stick blender or food processor until you are happy with the consistency. You can always add a little more water if the soup is too thick.

Pair your pumpkin with bread

No pumpkin fondue or delicious soup would be complete without home-made bread to dip in it. And, here at Currys we can’t get enough of bread-baking. That’s why on 23rd October, we hosted an Autumn Artisan Baking workshop for bloggers, where we showed them how to bake up a range of utterly scrumptious breads.

We teamed up with Hotpoint to host the foodie event at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School in Westfield, London. Bloggers learned how to make everything from a gorgeous focaccia to a classic Italian whole wheat bread. Once everyone’s bread was baked, we served up the yummy pumpkin fondue recipe, for bloggers to dip their bread in and enjoy!

Want to see pics from the event? Check out our video below and the #AutumnalBakes hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.

Artisan recipes you’ll love

Want to whip up some awesome artisan bread recipes at home? Check out these delicious recipes from the event.

And if you love baking cakes, rolls and bread, make sure you have an oven that’s up to the job. Hotpoint has a wide range of multi-functional ovens that are perfect for baking. Check out the fantastic selection of Hotpoint ovens available at Currys.