Making most of pumpkins

We grew 17 pumpkins this year! Maybe not a lot in comparison to other gardeners, but for our first year dabbling in homesteading, we were pretty proud. We displayed our beautiful pumpkins on the railing of the deck and what a beautiful autumn-scape it was ... until we went away for 3 days, which happened to be 3 days of hard frost, and came back to some very deflated, defrosting pumpkins. Country lessons learned. What we have left is super precious and we will be making the very most of them by enjoying these recipes.

Pumpkin pancakes

Serves 4

2 cups flour (for gluten free do 1cup gluten-free flour, 1cup rice flour)

4 Tbsp sugar

4 tsp baking powder

¾ tsp salt

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cardamom

2 cups milk of choice

½ cup pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

In a medium bowl, mix milk and apple cider vinegar and leave for 10 minutes (don’t worry if it looks curdled), then stir in the pumpkin and vanilla.

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently with a whisk.

Slowly fold wet ingredients into dry, being careful not to over mix.

Let batter sit 10 minutes while you clean up and heat a flat frying pan on medium heat.

Lightly oil pan and pour in small amounts of batter (about ¼ cup).

When bubbles appear on surface, flip the pancake and cook another minute or so until golden underneath.

Serve with maple syrup, whipped cream and toasted walnuts.

Pumpkin, avocado, mint & tempeh salad with pomegranate

Serves 4 as a main

Ingredients

1kg pumpkin, sliced into thin wedges then roasted til tender

1 large avocado cut into thin slices

1 large bunch mint

1 block of tempeh, sliced

1 head cos lettuce

1 Tbsp oil

1 Tbsp soy sauce

Dressing

2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp grainy mustard

¼ cup fresh lime juice.

Method

Add all the dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake to combine. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready.

Heat the oil in a fry pan over medium heat and fry the tempeh til golden on both sides. Once cooked add the soy sauce and cook a further 2 minutes, turning the tempeh til the soy sauce has evaporated.

On a large platter arrange the cos leaves, then the pumpkin, avocado and tempeh. Dress, then tear up the mint and scatter over the top. Serve as a side or as a main with cooked quinoa and some sourdough.

Pumpkin olive oil cake

Makes 1 × 20cm cake

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

1½ cups brown sugar

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 Tbsp water (set aside to thicken 5 min)

1 cup pumpkin puree

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl.

Method

In a separate bowl mix the flaxseed mix, pumpkin, olive oil, vanilla and vinegar.

Gently fold wet and dry mixtures together and place into an oiled and lined 20cm spring form cake tin. Bake at 170degC for 30-40 minutes til a skewer comes out clean. Ice with vanilla buttercream and decorate with candied pecans.

Pumpkin spice latte

Serves 1

To make the pumpkin puree, cut a whole pumpkin in half and roast, covered with baking paper for about an hour, or until completely tender. Allow to cool, then scoop out the flesh from the skins and puree in a blender til smooth. This will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 4 days. You can make soup with any leftovers by thinning with stock or broth and seasoning.

Ingredients

2 tsp pumpkin puree

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg

Pinch ground ginger

Pinch ground cardamom

30ml vanilla syrup

Shot of espresso (optional)

1 cup steamed milk of choice

Whipped cream (optional)

Method

In the bottom of your large mug, mix the pumpkin, spices, vanilla and coffee til smooth then pour over hot milk, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Coconut, kaffir lime & pumpkin soup

Serves 4

1kg pumpkin, cut into wedges, roasted then cooled

1 can coconut cream

1 Tbsp red curry paste

3 kaffir lime leaves

Large handful coriander

1 litre well-flavoured broth (homemade, store-bought or reconstituted)

Salt and pepper to taste

Lime wedges

Method

In a large blender, place the roasted pumpkin (peel it first), coconut cream, curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, coriander and broth and blend until smooth.

Heat gently in a saucepan on the stove and season to taste.

Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over.