We’ve been growing our pumpkins since early Spring in the hopes that we will get a big pumpkin to carve this year. Not everybody will grow their own pumpkins though so it’s good to know that you can pick up all shapes and sizes in Lidl this week from just 99c.
Carving a pumpkin is a family endeavour here. We don’t fuss around too much with the face as the kids were particularly taken with a ‘vomiting’ pumpkin the last few years.
To Make a Vomiting Pumpkin
- Slice off the top of the pumpkin, making sure to set it to one side.
- Using a sharp knife, cut a thin section from the bottom of the pumpkin to make sure it’s level if need be.
- Scoop out all the seeds and fibrous bits using your hands. Put gloves on if you can’t stand the texture. Put all the seeds and innards of the pumpkin in a large bag or bowl. Don’t throw them out!
- Using the Lidl pumpkin carving tools, scoop out as much of the flesh on the inside of the pumpkin as you can (you’ll find delicious recipes to use up this pumpkin flesh down below).
- Print out our stencil on A4 sheet – cut along the dotted lines so that you can shape the stencil to the pumpkin.
- Stick to pumpkin.
- Using a sharp knife cut around the stencil. Don’t worry if you don’t cut through the pumpkin at this stage, it’s more about etching an outline.
- Remove the stencil, use a permanent marker to highlight the etches you’ve made and finish cutting with the knife.
- Take half the seeds and innards of the pumpkin and put them back inside the head, using your hands to push them out of the mouth. Place the dish holding the rest of the seeds in front of the head to catch the ‘vomit’.
I know it sounds disgusting but it’s a huge hit with the kids every year!
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
It's so simple to slice up a pumpkin, drizzle the slice with olive oil and rub over with a few spices like paprika and cumin, then slow roast the pumpkin slice (skin still on) in a fan oven at 170 degrees for an hour. The result is a soft, yielding treat that I eat with a spoon. I can't really call it a recipe; more half a recipe. If you pick up a pumpkin try roasting the slices.
Or if you have scooped the flesh out of the pumpkin for carving do exactly the same but cook for about 30 minutes instead. Spread the scoops of pumpkin on a baking tray instead of slices.
Roast the lot then scoop away the cooked flesh and leave it to cool before freezing it as a savoury puree. It's a great treat!
If you would rather a sweet pumpkin puree replace the paprika and cumin with ginger and cinnamon, followed by a little drizzle of honey insetad.
Savoury Pumpkin Pie
- 1 roll ready-made puff pastry
- 250g of pumpkin puree
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried garlic / 1 whole clove of roasted garlic
Preheat a fan oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and dust a pie tin/dish before lining it with the pastry. Here I used individual tart cases and they are fine to use too. Blind bake the pastry in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You do this by covering the raw pastry with baking parchment, then filling this with baking beans or dried rice.
Once the pastry has been blind baked, remove the pastry from the oven and lift the baking beans out by picking up the baking parchment by the edges and popping it somewhere so they can cool safely.
In a large jug, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, yoghurt and garlic with a fork until you get a smooth mixture. If you want to add seasoning, add a small amount of salt and pepper.
Carefully pour the liquid into the pastry case, making sure to leave 2cm clear from the edge of the pastry. Bake in the oven until the filling has set - it depends on the size of pie you make but a large pie (rather than 4 individual ones) takes about 45 minutes - but do keep an eye on your pie!
Serve your savoury pumpkin pie with the bacon on top and a big dish of seasonal greens on the side.