Happy Halloween 2017
It’s Halloween next week and some of the team here at Ecodek towers will be planning their own or attending Halloween parties.
It’s unbelievable that Halloween is now Britain’s third biggest commercial holiday, after Christmas and Easter and that two in five British households carve pumpkins for Halloween.
After carving, it’s hard to believe that more than half in the UK admitted that they don’t think of Halloween pumpkin as food and throw it away as they don’t know how to cook it. 73% of those who have tried pumpkin said they liked it, with pumpkin soup coming out as Britain’s favourite dish.
Last year Unilever were tackling ‘frightful’ pumpkin waste – excuse the pun there! So, remember that pumpkins are a great source of food and are just not for decoration.
I’ve been growing pumpkins down at my allotment and have ended up with 30 of them. They are so easy to cultivate, but need a sunny position, plenty of water and shelter from cold winds. One of the finest sights of autumn is colourful pumpkins ripening in the sun – they are an essential part of Halloween and also look attractive in the garden.
If you want to start growing your own pumpkins check out this article from Thompson & Morgan
Last year Mattias Willemyens, Belgium gardener broke a new Guinness World record by growing a 1,190.49 kg pumpkin. That’s a lot of pumpkin pie!
We share with you a great Pumpkin vegetarian dish, Feta and Pine Nut filo layer pie recipe from the Delicious magazine website, which serves 6 people.
I tried this recipe earlier this week, it comes fully recommended and is tasty;
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Put 750g of pumpkin peeled and cut into chunks, 2 garlic cloves with skins on and 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped into a roasting tray, season well and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins, then whizz to a smooth paste in a food processor with the roasted pumpkin. Cool slightly, add 4 tablespoons of whole milk and 1 large free -range egg, and then whizz again briefly to combine.
- Crumble 300g of feta cheese into a bowl, then mix in a chilli – deseeded and chopped, zest of 1 small lemon and 35g toasted pine nuts. Season well.
- Use 10-12 filo pastry sheets. Brush the base of a large, deep 1.5 litre ovenproof frying pan with olive oil. Brush 2 filo sheets with oil (see tip), then overlap side by side in the base of the pan so they drape over the sides. Spoon in half the pumpkin mixture and smooth over the base. Oil another 2 filo sheets, layering them as before, and then scatter half the feta mixture evenly on top. Repeat the layers with more oiled filo and the remaining pumpkin and feta. Fold the overhanging pastry over to completely cover the filling.
- Crumple the remaining filo sheets over the pie and brush with oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and crisp. Carefully slide the pie onto a board, slice and serve.
If you have recently had ecodek® installed, why not show it off to your family and friends and organise a Halloween Party? Why not try out these homemade caramel apples?
- Whisk 1 cup of heavy organic cream, ¾ cup of light corn syrup, ½ cup organic butter or vegan butter substitute, 1 cup of organic brown sugar together in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil slowly over a medium heat. Continued stirring the whole time and after about 8 minutes, you will notice that the caramel should start to look “ball-ish” (called the soft-ball stage).
- Drop one tablespoon of the mixture into a cup of icy cold water. If the caramel forms a solid but flexible ball, it’s done. At this point stir in your organic vanilla extract.
- Take the pan off the heat and let it cool a little before dipping your apples. The caramel should be quite thick and viscous so it’ll adhere to the apples properly.
- To tip the apples remove the stems and use a narrow paring knife to make a shallow slice each top where the stems were. Gently but firmly, push the popsicle sticks into these slices, the stick should wedge nicely into the apple’s core, which will hold it in place.
- Pour the caramel sauce into a soup bowl, and dip the apples in it by holding onto the sticks and rolling the apples around in the sauce. You can use a spoon to help slather the caramel over them, if needed, scrape excess caramel off the bottoms of the apples and place them on waxed paper or a cutting board to firm up.
- You can have different types of toppings to add to your caramel apples. Whether it’s chopped organic fair trade nuts, toasted organic shredded coconut or mini organic chocolate chips.
- Chilling your apples does help the caramel to set, but you can also keep finished caramel apples at room temperature.
Happy party planning!
Don’t forget that on Sunday 29th October the clocks go back, which reminds me to tell you that your ecodek® is due for its autumnal bi-annual clean! Catch up with our blog post next week when we’ll be looking at how to maintain your ecodek.
We’d love to hear from you if you are throwing a Halloween party this year – leave us a comment in the comments field below.