pumpkin

Pumpkin Blachinda

Serves: 24 | Preparation Time: 65 min

Ingredients 

Pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 large egg

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar, or to taste

Finishing and Serving:

  • 1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon cool water (egg wash)
  • 2 Tablespoons mild honey, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste

Instructions 

Make the pastry: Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, and process just to mix. Add the butter and process, using short pulses, until the mixture ranges in size from peas to coarse cornmeal. 
 
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, the water and the egg. Whisk thoroughly, and add to the flour mixture, using short pulses to incorporate it. Process just unti lthe mixture begins to hold together but is still in pieces. The dough should hold together when you press it between your fingers, but it should not feel damp. Press the dough lightly to form a flattened disc, wrap it in waxed paper, and chill it for at least 1 hour. 
 
Make the pumpkin filling: Mix pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season to taste with the sugar. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
 
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface so it is very thin, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out twenty-four 3-inch rounds. Work with six at a time, and place the others in the refrigerator so they don't soften. 
 
Brush the edge of one pastry round with some egg wash, and then place 1 teaspoon of the filling on the bottom third of the round. Fold the top half over the filling and gently press the edges together. Using the tines of a fork, press the edges together again, more firmly, to seal them thoroughly and to make a design on the edge. Brush the pastry lightly with egg wash, and poke several holes in it to allow steam to escape. Refrigerate it while you repeat with the remaining round of dough. (You can prepare the blatschindas to this point and then freeze them, well wrapped, for up to 2 months. Let them thaw slightly, then proceed with the recipe.) 
 
Arrange the blachindas about 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet, and bake until they are golden and the pastry is baked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes, then arrange them on a warmed serving platter. Drizzle them with the honey, sprinkle with the nutmeg, and serve immediately. 

Duck, Pumpkin & Orange Casserole

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 60 min

Ingredients 

  • 2 skinless, boneless duck breasts, about 175g each 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced 
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 500g pumpkin, cubed into 3 cm pieces 
  • 75ml chicken or vegetable stock 
  • 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced (optional) 
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • 3 oranges

Instructions 

Finely grate the zest from 1 of the oranges. Arrange the duck breasts in a single layer in a dish and sprinkle over the zest. Squeeze the juice from the orange over the breasts, then turn them over several times. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight. 

When you are ready to cook, remove the duck from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Peel the remaining 2 oranges and cut each into 8 segments.  

Heat the oil in a shallow flameproof casserole dish over a moderate heat. Add the onions and celery and stir for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue frying for about 1 minute until the onions are softened but not brown. Using a draining spoon, remove the onions and celery from the pan and set aside. 
 
Lift the duck breasts out of the marinade and place in the casserole. Spoon the onions and celery over them, then pour over the marinade.
 
Add the pumpkin and half the orange segments, scattering them around the duck breasts. Pour over the stock, add the thyme and chilli, if using, and bring to the boil.
 
Cover the casserole and put it in the oven. Cook for 35–40 minutes until the duck and pumpkin are tender. Season to taste. 

Remove the duck breasts from the casserole and slice them. Spoon the onions and celery into soup plates and scatter the pumpkin around the side. Top each portion with sliced duck, then spoon the juices over. Garnish with reserved orange segments. 

Pumpkin wedges

Serves: 2 | Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients 

  • 800 Gram pumpkin, unpeeled, seeded and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 0.5 Teaspoon (Metric) ground cardamom
  • 0.5 Teaspoon (Metric) ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 Cup creme fraiche
  • 3 Tablespoon (Metric) toasted pine nuts
  • 1 Unit red chili, very finely chopped
  • 0.5 Unit onion, sliced

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 200C. Combine pumpkin, onion, olive oil and spices in a bowl with salt and pepper and toss gently to coat.
Place pumpkin on an oven tray and roast for 35-40 mins or until cooked.
Transfer to a serving platter and spoon dollops of creme fraiche over pumpkin.
Scatter with pine nuts, and chili, and you can add chives chopped chives to finish.

Spiced Pumpkin and Cauliflower Soup

Serves: 6-8 | Preparation Time: 40 min

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 450g of pumpkin, peeled and chopped, approximately
  • 450g of cauliflower florets, trimmed, approximately
  • 800 mls of chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • ¼ cup of tomato purée
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a little cream to finish, optional
  • 4-6 slices of cauliflower, extra
  • olive oil
  • Murray river pink salt

Instructions 

In a large saucepan sweat the onion in a little olive oil until translucent and soft.

Add the cumin, cinnamon, bay leaf and a whole peeled garlic clove, continue to sauté for a minute or so until lovely and fragrant.

Add the pumpkin and cauliflower and sweat for another minute or two.

Add enough stock to cover the vegetables, topping up with water if necessary, add the tomato purée and a little salt.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin and cauliflower are tender.

Meanwhile in a medium hot pan, fry the extra slices of cauliflower in a little olive oil until golden and cooked through, drain on adsorbent paper towels and keep aside in a warm place.

Remove the bay leaf and blend the soup mixture until very smooth. Pass the soup through a chinose if you desire, this helps to remove any stray coarse vegetable fibres.

Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust accordingly, finishing with a little cream if desired.

Serve the soup whilst still very warm, gently reheating if necessary and topping with a warm pan-fried slice of cauliflower and sprinkle of murray river pink salt.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Leek & Sage Butter

Serves: 4 | Preparation Time: 40 min

Ingredients 

Gnocchi

  • 500g (washed) potatoes
  • 250g butternut pumpkin, deseeded, quartered
  • 115g (3/4 cup) plain flour
     

Leek & sage butter

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 leek, pale section only, cut into thin matchsticks
  • Handfull of small fresh sage leaves
  • 1 long fresh red chilli, halved, deseeded, thinly sliced
  • 40g butter, chopped

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place potatoes and pumpkin on the tray and bake in oven for 1 hour or until tender. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool.

Peel the potatoes and pumpkin and place in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Use a potato masher or fork to mash until smooth.

Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

Divide dough into 4 portions.

Roll 1 portion into a 2cm-diameter log.

Use a lightly floured knife to cut into 2cm pieces. Place on the lined tray.
Repeat with remaining dough portions.

Roll each piece of dough into a ball. Roll each ball over the back of a lightly floured fork. Place on the tray.

To make the leek & sage butter, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until golden.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Add the sage and chilli to the pan and cook for 1 minute or until crisp.

Transfer to the plate. Add butter to the pan and stir for 1-2 minutes or until melted and golden. Pour into a small jug and cover to keep warm.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add one-quarter of the gnocchi and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the gnocchi rises to surface. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to serving plates. Repeat with remaining gnocchi. Drizzle over butter and top with leek, sage and chili to serve.