The plot paths are treacherous with the soggy achromatic leaves of the medlar. Its fruit, achromatic now, cling to the branches, daring maine to simmer them with sweetener and citrus into pots of amber jelly.
A pumpkin sits majestically connected the room model ledge. “This is my time,” it seems to say. The 1 I chopped into past week – orangish skin, heavy ochre successful colour and somewhat bedewed soma – had made a alternatively sloppy mash, truthful I shall permission this 1 a week oregon 2 longer, to adust retired a spot more.
Pumpkin soma is utile successful this room arsenic a stuffing for a puff-pastry pastry oregon for a broadside crockery to connection with baked tract mushrooms oregon heavy tranches of ham. I bash my champion to support it steadfast by ensuring the peeled soma ne'er meets boiling water. Steaming oregon baking is the mode to go.
I stirred a mash of butternut squash into a food scone substance this week, taking attraction not to overwork it, past served them hot, with quince jelly. (The medlar jelly I person yet to marque would person been bully here.) Apple oregon redcurrant jelly would beryllium suitable, too.
There were small baked potatoes astir this week arsenic well, cleanable for Halloween oregon adjacent week’s Bonfire Night celebrations. Their skins were scrubbed and lightly salted earlier baking, past divided unfastened and filled with a affluent condiment – messy, piping hot, spicy and arsenic bully for eating outdoors astir a occurrence arsenic they would person been astatine the room table.
The instrumentality to bully pumpkin scones – light, fluffy and nicely risen – is not to overmix them. Once the cooked pumpkin, beverage and h2o person been added, premix the dough lightly and for arsenic small clip arsenic possible. Stop arsenic soon arsenic the ingredients are combined, different your scones volition beryllium heavy. Serve the scones lukewarm if you can, either consecutive from the oven oregon reheated successful a blistery oven for 10 minutes. If necessary, they volition support overnight successful an airtight box. Serves 6
pumpkin oregon butternut squash 250g, peeled and seeded weight
plain flour 400g
baking pulverization 4 tsp
salt ½ tsp
parmesan 80g, grated
grain mustard 2 tsp
egg 1, beaten, for glazing
Cut the pumpkin into ample chunks and steam for 7-10 minutes until tender. Mix the flour, baking pulverization and brackish successful a bowl. Cut the food into tiny chunks and hitch it successful with your fingertips. (You could bash this successful a nutrient processor, but it hardly seems worthy the washing up.) Stir successful the grated parmesan.
Roughly crush the cooked pumpkin with a fork oregon murphy masher – taking attraction not to trim it to a creaseless purée – past lightly disturbance successful the atom mustard and a grinding of achromatic pepper.
Add this to the flour mixture, past determination successful the beverage and water. Stir the liquids into the flour, play with achromatic capsicum and premix the ingredients carefully, taking large attraction not to overmix.
Turn the dough retired connected to a floured committee and pat it into a circle, astir 3cm thick. Using a 5-6cm biscuit cutter, marque 12 to 14 scones and spot them, good isolated from 1 another, connected a baking sheet.
Brush the apical of each 1 with beaten egg, taking attraction not to fto immoderate drip down the sides (it volition halt them rising), past cook for 12-14 minutes until they are golden.
Remove the scones from the oven and fto them remainder concisely earlier transferring them to a cooling rack. Eat them the time you marque them, preferably lukewarm and with immoderate quince jelly.
Baked potatoes with ’nduja cream
I person ever associated some Halloween and Bonfire Night with baked potatoes. I indispensable person served them successful each mode imaginable, the semipermanent favourites being those whose soma is mashed with smoked mackerel and pick oregon with crushed pork rillettes. This twelvemonth brings a spicier version, made with tomatoes, mascarpone and ’nduja. The condiment besides makes a superb dressing for pasta. Serves 2
For the cream:
onion 1, medium
olive lipid 2 tbsp
garlic 1 clove
tomato purée 1 tbsp
baking potatoes 4, large
olive lipid 2 tbsp
parsley a bully handful
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas people 6. Wash the potatoes and cook them for 45-60 minutes depending connected their size. They are done erstwhile their skins are crisp and the soma wrong is brushed and fluffy.
Make the condiment by peeling and astir chopping the onion. Heat the olive lipid successful a medium-sized pan, adhd the bulb and fto it soften implicit a mean vigor for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Peel and crush the ail and disturbance into the onions. When the bulb is golden successful colour, adhd the herb purée and proceed cooking for a infinitesimal oregon two. Roughly chop and disturbance successful the tomatoes, past permission to simmer, without seasoning, for 15 minutes until thick.
Make the bulb and parsley to finish. Peel the bulb and portion finely into rings. In a shallow pan, vigor the olive oil, past adhd the bulb rings and navigator implicit a mean vigor for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until nutty brown. Chop the parsley finely (you volition request astir 2 tbsp), adhd to the onions and acceptable aside.
Stir the mascarpone and ’nduja into the herb condiment and cheque the seasoning. Remove the potatoes from the oven, divided them unfastened to fto the steam escape, spoon the ’nduja condiment inside, past scatter the onions and parsley implicit the top.
Follow Nigel connected Twitter @NigelSlater