Tuesday, 22 October 2013


First things first (and you’ll probably know if you’re reading this because of my badge to the left) I WON BEST YOUNG BLOGGER AT BLOG NORTH AWARDS. I was mega shocked, and had to say a few words which consisted of shaking and looking glacially over a crowd full of people, then grinning like an idiot. Cheers to everyone who voted and the judges who described this blog as “Quirky, creative and beautifully presented, with clear and characterful writing.” I Still can’t believe it.

Moving on the recipe, my mates have been asking me to make this for a while even though they hadn’t tried it, and nor had I. They just like this season. So I went into this blind, but ever wanting to make them unique (running before I walk) decided a heavily spiced pumpkin (technically butternut squash because I had one already) would work well with chocolate pastry. Much to my surprise, as with loads of my recipes, it did. The recipe has become one of my favourites, and I'm well proud of the picture of these moody looking pies (technically tarts) too!

About 400g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
75g unrefined sugar
A good grating of nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 eggs, beaten
A splash of milk
½  tbsp golden syrup

For the pastry
250g flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp icing sugar
125g cold butter, cut into cubes
About 75ml water

Put the pumpkin/squash in a pan with some boiling water and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the cooked through and tender. Drain and allow to cool.

Make the pastry by mixing together the flour, cocoa and icing sugar then either rub in the butter or blitz, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Slowly pour in the water until the pastry just about forms then shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to fan180/200c/6. Grease any tins you desire for whatever size you want the tarts to be. I made 8 medium ones and 12 small.
Once rested, take the pastry out of the fridge to warm up a little while you prepare the filling.

Force the pumpkin/squash through a sieve so it is like a smooth purée. Add the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon then the eggs. Mix and then loosen with the milk and golden syrup. Set to one side.  

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut to the size of the holes in the tins, rerolling and repeating until all fill, then press down to create a shell and prick the bases with a fork. Spoon in the filling to the very top of each shell and bake for about 20 minutes until the filling is cooked, but still soft to touch, and the pastry is firm. Leave to cool on a wire rack then enjoy!

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