Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Pumpkins and Pumpkin Bread

This is a wonderful cake recipe which I got from a friend when I was living in Khartoum in the late 1970's. Dairy products where hard to come by so we didn't want to waste them on baking and eggs were also in short supply. This recipe uses pumpkins which we had in tins - and oil which we had a plentiful supply of.

At this time of year there are plenty of pumpkins around either buy one or more especially for baking or use the scrapings from your Halloween pumpkin. If using a whole one, cut into wedges remove the seeds and put in a roasting tin and cook at 200C for about 30 minutes, until tender do not allow to burn, the thickness of the wedges with affect the cooking time.
If using left overs from you Halloween pumpkin, put in a dish with a small amount of water and microwave for about 5 mins.

Either way when cool puree the pumpkin and store in plastic containers or food bags and freeze until required.
3 1/2 cups sifted plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
3 cups sugar
1 cup oil (sunflower / vegetable)
4 eggs
2 cups pureed pumpkin
2/3 cup orange juice, milk or water
1 1/2 cups raisins (optional)

Combine the dry ingredients, mix well and set to one side.
Beat together the oil and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Stir in the pumpkin and juice.
Mix in the dry ingredients until smooth.
Stir in the raisins.
Pour into either 2 well greased loaf tins or 1 large rectangular tin 18 x 27 cm
Allow to stand for at least 20 mins before baking.
Bake in oven for 1 hour at 180C
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out.

This recipe freezes very well.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Parmesan and Tomato Tart

Parmesan and Tomato Tart

150g Plain Flour
150g grated Parmesan Cheese
150g Butter
1/4 tsp Cayanne Pepper
1 jar Sundried Tomato Paste
100g Fresh Bread Crumbs

Combine the flour, cheese and butter in the food processor until the resemble fine crumbs.
Add the cayenne pepper and pulse for a few seconds to mix.

Reserving 8 tablespoons for later, press the crumbs on to a flat ovenproof dish (pyrex dish 20X30 cm is ideal). Chill for 30 mins.
Bake the crumb base in oven 180C for 10 mins.
Spread sundried tomato paste thinly over the crumb base.
Sprinkle with a few bread crumbs reserving the remainder for later.
Slice the tomatoes into about 4 or 5 slices depending on the size and arrange to cover the crumb base.
Mix the remaining bread crumbs and cheese crumbs together and sprinkle over the top of the tomatoes.
Bake at 180C for 30 mins until golden brown.
Serve with a salad for a very tasty lunch or as a starter.