If you're more into eating pumpkin than carving a face out of it then definitely give this one a try.
You probably couldn't buy into a more seasonal vegetable this time of the year and this close to halloween. The sweetness of the pumpkin, nutmeg and leeks combined with bundles of spinach (we all need as many greens as possible this time of the year) and cheese make for a propper comfort dish, that before you've even got to the crunchy pastry lid. If you're opting for cooking up a feast for halloween instead of trick or treating then make sure this is at the centre of your table.
Whole Pumpkin Pie
Feeds - 6-8
Cooking Time / Preparation- 30mins
1 x Pumpkin (mine was about 10inches wide & 8 inches high -medium sized) - Cut the top off and scrape out all the seeds
1/2 x Fresh nutmeg - finely grated
Olive oil- Big glug
500g x Fresh spinach - throughly washed and cooked on the hob, all water drained
3 x Leeks - Sliced into 1cm thick loops
2 x Large handfuls of mature cheddar (vegetarian) -Grated
1.5 Pints of semi skinned milk
1 x Tsp of dijon mustard
30g of Butter
4 x Tbsp of plain flour
Short crust pastry - Pre rolled if you want to save time
1 x Egg yolk - To brush over the pastry lid.
Start by washing the pumpkin, then with a sharp knife carefully slice off the top, remove all the seeds inside with a spoon (your hand works just as well). Season with salt pepper and a quarter of grated fresh nutmeg, add a glug of oil and add to the oven on 190 degrees Celsius. Roast for 20 minutes.
While the pumpkin is cooking add your butter to a pan and melt over a medium to low heat, once melted add in the flour and whisk until into a thick paste, add in the dijon, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper, cook the paste for a minute or so and then start gradually adding in the milk until it turns into a thick sauce, this should take around 4/5 minutes, there's shouldn't be any lumps left once cooked. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly then add in the sliced leeks and let the cook for 5 minutes in the sauce, you can also add in the grated cheese at this point, make sure you stir it in thoroughly.
Wash the spinach and cook in a separate pan for 2 minutes until wilted. Drain the water that comes off it and add to the cheese and leek sauce.
Once the pumpkin has been cooking for 20 mins add the cooked filling and cover the top of the pumpkin with your shortcrust pastry, cutting it to fit the top of the pumpkin. Press the sides with the back of a fork and with a pastry brush cover with egg yolk to get the gold finish. Cook on 190 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes. Serve once the pastry is golden.
Serve up the pie so everyone gets a good slice of the pumpkin.