I love this time of year. The colour of the leaves, watching them fall from the trees, crisp Autumn mornings and of course the fact that one of my favourite celebrations is just around the corner – Halloween. I absolutely love seeing pumpkins hitting our shops and all the spooky Halloween displays on the shelves.
With the weather getting chillier now, I decided it was time to get the oven on and the house smelling like Autumn, and what better way to bring in the season than with the scent of a delicious Pumpkin loaf wafting from your kitchen?
I’ll be putting the kettle on this weekend and enjoying a slice with my warm blanket and a good book – the perfect cosy Autumn afternoon.
Pumpkin puree can be purchased in tins from speciality stores but it’s easy enough to make yourself which I did for this recipe. All you need to do is slice one pumpkin in half from top to bottom and remove the pulp and seeds from the middle. Put each half on a preheated oven and cover with tinfoil and leave in the oven for 1 hour until tender. Then scrape the pumpkin flesh from the skin and puree with a hand blender. You will have leftover puree as you only need 250g for this recipe so you can store the rest in the fridge of freezer for future use.
As the witching hour creeps closer, I have to admit that I swither between my wee Scottish lassie roots, pining for a neepie lantern and my foodie loving tastebuds looking for all the ways I can use the flesh of the wonderful, fat squash.
As much as I miss the much scarier purple and yellow faces of a neepie lantern, scooping a pumpkin is a far easier way to spend an afternoon! My brother decided to take over my Grandad's mantle last year and painstakingly carved out the inside of turnips for his girls and big sisters.... I predict we're going orange this year!
Not to worry though - with this gorgeous recipe from Gill (I am LOVING her pumpkin baking tin) and the new fruit and veg counter at Provender Brown now stocking pumpkins, I can always claim support of a #PerthLoveFest rather than admit the dread of hollowing out a Scottish Neep!
Please do send us your pumpkin loaf photographs and share your ideas with us. We'd love to see them. As always, tag them #PerthLoveFest and we'll scatter them around our own social media.
NickiBy Nicola Martin