Monday, 30 October 2017

These pumpkins are grown for eating and that's just what I'm going to do...

part of this year pumpkin and squash harvest
The pumpkin harvest is in-and I know some of them are squashes. At this time of year shops are full of the tasteless monsters that are sold for carving. It is about time the UK caught up with the culinary potential of the squash. After years of experiment I have decided that these are the best ones for eating

  • Crown Prince, an Australian grey with dense orange flesh.  It is my favourite, the draw back is that even the small ones weigh in at 3lbs-3lbs.8oz
  • Uchi Kuri, a Japanese onion squash so called because of its shape.
  • Squashkin, this is new and is a cross before the supermarket favourite-the butternut squash, and Crown Prince. I grew it last year and again this year because I think it is a sensible size and has good flavour
  • Honey Bear, an acorn mini squash with orange flesh,  certainly the best tasting squash for one
The question is: how do you prepare them? I have some tried and tested recipes. First up one Sophie Grigson collected from a West Indian Church where it was served as part of the Harvest supper

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Once the basic technique has been mastered of decapitating the pumpkin and scooping out the flesh, rubbing spices into the wall and baking it so it can be used as a container to serve you pumpkin dish in, the method can be adapted. I have found it works well with lamb and pumpkin red Thai curry. I keep my biggest Crown Princes for this purpose. I have also found the Crown Price excellent for Elizabeth David's Christmas Pumpkin Chutney although it is necessary to cut the chunks smaller than she suggests.

As to the small ones. I use the Uchi Kuri for roast pumpkin soup. I am experimenting with the squashkins, I think they can be stuffed like the Acorn Honey Bear. My vegetarian daughter likes mushroom and rice filling and they can be used as a side dish as here. Honey Bear is an ideal squash for one.