Nture determines that vegetables rot, dairy spoils mold and meat, but food waste by households is actually decreasing: in 2018 the UK produced around 9.5 million tonnes, a 15% reduction since 2007. The same positive trend can be seen at Halloween when, according to the charity hubbub, more and more people see their carved pumpkins as food and decoration – in 2015 only 31% were eaten, compared to 59% last year. That said, we’ll still be wasting a terrifying 15 million pumpkins this Halloween, or enough to make soup for the entire population. So save the seeds for roasting or caramelizing and make soup from the pulp. Or turn your lantern into this rich cake.
Pumpkin pie with cardamom and maple syrup
This is a gluten-free version of a classic Halloween recipe. The silky texture and warming aroma are to die for, and I can’t get enough of the nut base. (If you have some left over, roll it into energy balls to eat later — they’ll stay good for weeks.)
Save your pumpkin seeds to make caramelized pumpkin seeds: wash them in a colander under cold running water, dry them with a tea towel, spread them out on a sheet of baking paper and bake them (next to the pumpkin) at 200C (180C hot air)/390F / gas 6 for 15-20 minutes, until completely dried. Drizzle with maple syrup, return to the oven and bake again until they begin to caramelize. When the syrup is thick and bubbling, remove it from the oven and let it cool before breaking it into pieces. Serve sprinkled on the pumpkin pie.
600 g pumpkin or pumpkin
50 ml maple syrup
50 g unrefined sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp ground cardamom
200 g walnuts or pecans
100 g oats
300 g dates
3 large eggs
200 ml whipped cream
Whipped cream or vanilla soft ice cream, to serve
Cut the squash or squash into small wedges, place on a baking tray and drizzle with the maple syrup. Sprinkle with the sugar and a quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground cardamom, cover with foil and bake at 200C (180C Fan)/390F/Gas 6 for 45 minutes, until very soft. Remove and let cool.
Meanwhile, make the base by pulsing the walnuts or pecans with the oats, dates and two tablespoons of water until they form a dough. Turn over on a counter and knead into a ball. Line a 23 cm cake tin with baking paper and press the dough firmly into the bottom with your fingers.
Pour the roasted pumpkin with the zest and juice into a blender, pulse until smooth, then add the eggs and cream and blend again until well blended. Pour pumpkin mixture into pie tin and bake at 180C (160C Fan)/350F/Gas 4 for 35 minutes until cooked through. Remove and let cool, then serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
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