Ingredient of the week: Pumpkin

by Those who throw their pumpkin's innards in the bin after giving it a dastardly face and scooping out space for a candle don't know what they're missing. There are hundreds of culinary uses for the bright orange flesh, and the seeds, too. Pumpkin pie, an American favourite, is an odd-sounding delight and a must-try if you haven't already experienced it. Puréed flesh is mixed with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cream, brown sugar and eggs and baked in a short-crust pastry case to make a surprisingly divine desert. Alternatively simply roast chunks of the flesh as a change to normal Sunday lunch side-dishes, or roast whole then mash and mix with butter and chilli flakes as a brilliant accompaniment to stew. The versatile orange globe makes for an incredible curry, too, and is the ultimate store-cupboard ingredient as it will last up to six months in a cool, dry place.

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