Friday, 25 October 2013

Pumpkin Pizza

Halloween is lurking, spookily, around the corner. Not long now until you’ll be cutting holes in sheets for ghostly costumes (does anyone else still do that?), digging out the face paints, stocking up on trick or treat sweets and probably making paper bats. And you’ll have to ‘do’ a pumpkin. Halloween and pumpkins are the best of friends these days. In my day we made a turnip lantern. Honestly, we really did. I have no idea why – perhaps it was thrift or perhaps our parents were trying to strengthen up our wrist muscles by making us attempt to carve out a TURNIP. Cannot believe I wasn’t on the end of some serious peer mocking looking back on it… Although I did one win a prize for a particularly Freddy Krueger number.

Anyway, Halloween in now the festival of the pumpkin. Yes, you might argue that we’re just adopting pumpkin mania from our friends across the Atlantic, but why not? Americans seem to do Halloween really well, so why not steal a few ideas? And anyway, pumpkins are awesome and delicious.  You might choose one of those highly-carveable huge ones, but the neater, sweeter ones are a better option. It doesn’t have to be a pumpkin of course, we grow a huge range of gorgeous squash in this country and one of these would make a wonderfully spooky lantern.

So, that’s agreed. A pumpkin (or squash) has to be done for Halloween. Not least because where I live, a pumpkin out means I’m up for trick or treaters. Bring the pumpkin in and it means I’ve run out of goodies or I’m about to watch Strictly. So, the eternal question – what shall I do with the pumpkin flesh? I’ll tell you. You shall make PUMPKIN PIZZA.

We made a very beautiful and delicious Pumpkin Pizza – the base is a simple scone dough made using Flora Buttery. This works really well because it’s so easy for the kids to work with – it makes the rubbing in step a doddle. Chunks of pumpkin were roasted (in Flora Buttery again – because it’s easy to smush and smear) and scattered on top and finally, the tomato sauce was enriched to delicious sweetness with mashed pumpkin.

We made two pizzas we made, one a classy affair with sage leaves dipped in olive oil added and the other made to look like a pumpkin, from the kids’ perspective there was a clear winner.
The first thing you’ll need to do it to get the flesh - *insert evil Halloween laugh here* - out of the pumpkin. Do this in stages:

1 – Get the kids to remove the seeds with fingers and spoons.

2 - Use a sharp knife to cut out some decent sized chunks for roasting – you’ll only be able to do this so far into the pumpkin

3 – Get the kids to scrape out more flesh for the sauce – this flesh will be smaller, more mushable bits

Pumpkin Pizza

For the pizza:
  • The flesh of some small or medium pumpkin or squash:
    • Couple of handfuls of 2/3cm chunks for roasting
    • About the same volume of scraped out bits - this will go in the sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2tbsp Flora Buttery or Cuisine
  • Salt – celery or garlic salt are good here - & pepper
  • One tin of tomatoes
  • A couple of handfuls of grated cheese – Red Leicester is good for an orange pumpkin look
  • Optional: One courgette, a few sage leaves

For the base:
  • 12oz self-raising flour
  • 3oz Flora Buttery
  • Milk to bind

  1. Preheat oven to 180
  2. Put the chunks of pumpkin in a roasting tin and get the kids to smush 1tbsp of the Flora all over it. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 mins whilst you carry on with the recipe. Check it a couple of times and give it a toss
  3. Add the rest of the Flora to a large pan or wok and then add the scraped pumpkin flesh. You need to cook this until it is browned, mashable and is no longer ‘watery’ – you are aiming for a thick, well reduced pulp. Just keep frying and stirring periodically over a medium heat. 

4.  Add the tomatoes to the pumpkin and mash them up if they are whole tomatoes. Add the chopped garlic clove. Bring to a simmer and let it bubble until it is reduced and thick. Season with salt and pepper. Then take it off the heat. If you have loads of sauce, just use some as a delicious pasta sauce and serve with plenty of cheese.

5. While the pumpkin is cooking in the pan and oven, make the base. Rub the Flora into the flour – this is another nice easy job for the kids. Then add splashes of milk until you can bring it together to make a nice soft dough. It’s easiest to either press or roll it out straight onto a cold, oiled or lined baking tray.

6. To create the pizza, spread on a bit of the tomato sauce, add the grated cheese and chunks of roasted pumpkin. Then either use a courgette to create the pumpkin face or add a few sage leaves that have been dipped in olive oil.  Or you could get the kids to create their own mini pizzas and make spooky faces on them

7. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes at 180

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own and we are dedicated Flora users in our household. There’s also a very nice simple idea here on Flora’s website for making spooky Halloween ‘Finger’ Sandwiches and a slightly alarming video here about using Flora Buttery to make a pumpkinrisotto. Warning: this video contains terrifying pumpkins. Maybe it’s just me, but these FREAK ME OUT. 

For further inspiration, there's a very handy online recipe book here. It's full of simple and achievable meals, including a Prawn Biriani which we made for Fathers' Day this year.


  1. I'm really hungry for pizza now - and its only breakfast

    1. Can't be the first time you've had pizza for breakfast :)