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Pumpkin carving is a Halloween staple, with lavishly decorated pumpkins adorning windows, doorways and homes for the season. Carving pumpkins are sold at supermarkets and grocers worldwide in preparation for the season – but can you eat the innards of a carving pumpkin?
To properly prepare your pumpkin for carving, the first step is to create a lid in the top, around the stem.
This lid is then removed (and saved to top the finished pumpkin later) before spoons, specialist carving tools or even hands are used to remove the insides of the pumpkin.
This can be a messy business, so anyone attempting this is advised to do so in an area covered by plastic bags, a tray or which is easily cleaned.
With a wealth of innards removed, some may be wondering if they can be saved for other purposes rather than just thrown away.
Read More: Pumpkin casserole recipe: How to make pumpkin casserole
Can you eat a carving pumpkin?
Each year across the UK millions of pumpkins are grown specifically for Halloween, with pumpkin patches available to visit across the country.
Pumpkins which are sold around Halloween are edible but aren’t as tasty as the ones grown specifically for eating.
Carving pumpkins tend to be watery and fibrous, you will be able to see the strands as you carve your pumpkin.
However, you can buy edible pumpkins – which have a better flavour – as well as ones for carving from your local shop or supermarket.
If you don’t want it to go to wast, you can eat leftover Halloween pumpkins, and there are a range of ways to boost the flavour.
From pumpkin soup to pumpkin pie, pumpkin mash or even using the pumpkin seeds there are dozens of uses for leftover pumpkin.
One recipe which may interest the kids this Halloween is Pumpkin cupcakes.
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Loose Women panellist Stacey Solomon made her own pumpkin cupcakes today with the leftover innards after carving it with her son.
Stacey post the recipe to her 3.8 million followers, and the result is rather spectacular.
First, she removed the seeds from the flesh of the pumpkin.
This can be a rather time consuming and messy task, as the pumpkin flesh is quite wet.
Next, Stacey pureed her pumpkin with a hand blender, before adding it to regular vanilla cake mix.
Below is a recipe which calls for fresh pumpkin you can use for that leftover pumpkin flesh.
- 175ml sunflower oil
- 175g light muscovado sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g coarsely grated pumpkin or butternut squash flesh
- 100g sultanas
- grated zest 1 orange
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the icing
- 200g tub full-fat cream cheese
- 85g icing sugar
- toasted chopped pecans to decorate (optional)
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases. Pour the oil into a large bowl and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Beat together, then add the grated pumpkin, sultanas and orange zest.
Stir in the cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will be quite wet.
Spoon into the cases. Bake for 25 minutes until firm and springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
At this stage, you can freeze the cakes for four months.
To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth then spread on top of the cupcakes.
Leave plain or decorate with toasted pecans.
Store in the fridge, but return to room temperature to serve for the best flavour and texture.
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