I know, I know, my last post was a pumpkin recipe. But remember how much I love Autumn, well I figured I would shower you with some more pumpkin love. Things have turned even chillier here in the UK, and the last few days have just been gorgeous. Nothing says Autumn like pumpkin, so when Sara from Cake Over Steak asked me if I’d like to participate in this years #virtualpumpkinparty – she had barely finished her sentence and I had agreed. Along with Sara and myself, a whole army of bloggers are joining in, with so many awesome creations. There are over 100 (!!!) talented lovelies taking party. See the full list below. Seriously, with all these gorgeous recipes, we can eat pumpkin forever! Hey, we might even turn into pumpkins, would that be such a bad thing?
Every year, when the seasons shift, I get all excited. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer, I love the heat, I love long, light evenings in the garden. But dang, I do love autumn. The temperature fell a few degrees this last week. Sunny, chilly mornings greeted me. Crisp, fresh air, chilling my hands. Time to pull out my winter coat and big snuggly scarf. The days are shorter, which I do find a struggle, and it’s harder to get up in the mornings with this new darkness, but these orange-y hues and red leaves paint the landscapes so well, it makes it worth it. Nature giving it one last hurrah before they shed their years bounty. Autumn, it’s good to see you.
I have been laying low for a couple of weeks, glued to my laptop and job-searching sites, keeping a low profile and hiding from Mother Nature. We have been experiencing a rather wet patch this November. Miserable days of lashing rain, and howling winds. Getting cosy under a blanket, in the safety of our little steel shell. Our boat does a good job of keeping out the elements, staying solid and warm against the nasty weather. Soon, these blustery days will turn chillier, the fire will roar 24/7, and we will be counting the days until warmer times. For now, cosy afternoons with tea and swirls.
I’ve teamed up with Harriet from Harriet Emily to bring you some warming, comforting treats for these gloomy days. As we are both from the UK, we know all too well that sometimes, wet autumn days can take their toll. These recipes are designed to keep you going through these days, a little pick me up, from us to you. Harriet’s blog is filled with delicious, nutritious treats that make my mouth water every day. Head over to her site to see her gorgeous Spiced Butternut Squash Wedges.
I feel like I’m a little late to the pumpkin party. This post should have probably gone out around Halloween. I’m not a big fan of Halloween, so it’s here now. Pumpkin spiced everything hits our shelves for a couple of months of the year. It signals autumn. It also signifies the start of the festive season. The count down to mince pies and mulled wine. One of my favourite seasons. I cook with pumpkin (and squash) all year round. Autumn brings an abundance of varieties; kabocha, spaghetti, butternut, I could go on. Gimme pumpkin every day and that’ll be swell. I brought some pumpkin butter back from New York. Oh my gee it’s delicious. It’s been a breakfast staple since we got back. It’s lightly spiced and works so well in these little swirls. These are slightly dense, they remind me of eating fig rolls on the kitchen worktop after school, watching my mum make our dinner. Slightly dense, packing flavour. Perfect afternoon snack addition.
Pumpkin Swirls with Maple Tahini Drizzle (v)
125g wholemeal spelt flour
400g wholemeal bread flour
25g coconut sugar
1 pack fast action yeast
225ml nut milk (I used homemade almond)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 flax egg (3 tablespoons of water + 1 tablespoon ground flax – mix and leave to thicken for 5 mins)
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
3 tablespoons pumpkin butter
Maple Tahini Drizzle
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190 C
In a bowl, combine the flours, sugar and salt.
In a saucepan, gently heat the milk and coconut oil. Once warm, and when the coconut oil has melted, stir in the yeast. Leave to sit for 5-10 mins until the mixture starts to become frothy.
Pour the yeast mix into the bowl, and mix to form a dough. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 mins. You want the dough to be elasticated and smooth / shiny.
Leave the dough to rise, in the bowl covered with a clean, damp tea towel, for 30 mins in a warm spot.
Once the dough has risen slightly, roll it out onto a floured surface. You want to make a loose rectangle, about ½cm thick. Keep lifting the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to your worktop.
Spread the pumpkin butter evenly all over the dough.
Roll the dough lengthways into a tight long sausage shape.
Cut the dough in half, then in half again, repeating until you have 8-12 swirl sections. Tip; I used dental floss to cut the dough, as it avoids squashing the roll. A cheese wire would also work!
Arrange buns, with the swirls facing up, on a greased baking tray. Leave them to rise for 20 mins (or longer if you require a fluffier bun, I like mine slightly dense)
Bake for 20 mins, until lightly golden.
While they are baking, make your maple tahini drizzle. Combine both ingredients in a jar, and mix well. Drizzle over hot buns.
OK, So I know halloween has been and gone, but Autumn is still alive and kickin’, and that means pumpkin in all it’s glorious forms!
So technically this ‘Pumpkin Pie’ is actually a butternut squash pie, but that just doesn’t sound quite as good. But the squash gives a slightly better flavour and texture than the pumpkins that are around at the moment.
This pie was inspired by a good friend of mine over at Happy Hearted Kitchen and also from one of Tom Hunt’s recipes. It’s not too sweet, so if you’re not a huge sweet fan, fear not, for I think this suits most peoples taste.
Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardamom (GF)
For the crust:
200g pitted dates (I used Medjool)
150g Oats (use certified gluten free if possible)
Handful crushed walnut pieces (or other crushed nuts)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 tablespoon Maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the filling:
1 large Organic butternut squash
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
50g unrefined light brown sugar
6 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
100ml Almond milk
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C
Peel and cut the squash into small chunks. Place on a baking tray, and sprinkle with the cinnamon, ginger, sugar and cardamon pods. Drizzle with maple syrup. Cover with foil and roast for 30-45 minutes (or until soft) Be careful not to colour the squash.
In a food processor, mix the oats, walnuts and dates until starting to combine and stick to the sides. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and melted coconut oil, blend until fully mixed into a sticky consistency.
Grease and line a pie tin with baking paper. Take your dough mixture from the processor and push it around the tin with your hands, filling all the gaps, spreading it around evenly.
*Now, if you prefer your crust a little crunchy, you can pop your crust in the oven for 10 mins before adding the mixture. I prefer mine softer, so missed this step out*
Remove the squash from the oven and place in a food processor. Blend until smooth and allow to cool. You can mash the squash if you prefer.
In a bowl, mix the blended squash, egg and milk until fully combined. Add mixture to the pie tin on top of the crust.
Cook for 25-30 mins. If you have pre-cooked your crust, the cooking time may be less. Check back after 15 mins, to avoid burning the crust.
Serve with a dollop of ice-cream and drizzle with maple syrup.