What to do with left over pumpkin? Especially if you’ve bought a whole pumpkin like what I did, there is always going to be something left. Besides soups and throwing it in the oven, there are numerous creative recipes that can be made with this gourd.
These spiced pumpkin parcels are the best example of this: once I baked them I threw a few of them straight into the freezer for those days when I really don’t feel like cooking anything. The pastry has a hint of turmeric powder in it just enough to compliment the flavour and colour of the spicy pumpkin filling. Another optional extra was that I placed two small spinach leaves at the base of the pie, for no other reason than I had some extra spinach lying around in the fridge! Once the parcels have been made they really take no time to bake in the oven and appear on your plate.
Spiced Pumpkin Parcels
500g strong bread flour
120g white shortening
25g cake margarine
pinch of Turmeric
2 tbsp mixed seeds (poppy, sunflower, sesame seeds)
5 g salt
175g cold water
1 small acorn squash
1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
3 clove garlic – crushed
2 big handfuls cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp fenugreek powder
1 tsp Asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 ground cumin powder
1 large egg, beaten in a small bowl for egg wash (optional)
Mix fat lightly into dry ingredients under: “pastry” until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add water and beat in a food mixer until pastry clears and becomes elastic. This will take longer than normal pastry but it gives the pastry the strength that is needed to hold the filling and retain a good shape. Leave to rest for 3 hours in a refrigerator, this is a very important stage as it is almost impossible to roll and shape the pastry when fresh.
Cut acorn squash in half and remove inside fibers and seeds. Slice the squash into 1/2-inch thick circles and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the squash has softened and browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Remove the skins from the squash and crush.
Crush the cloves of garlic and toss it into a pot. Clean mushrooms, slice into bite-size pieces and place in the pot as well. Add the onions and oil to the pot and fry gently. Then add the seasoning and stir thoroughly. Add the mashed squash and stir. Take off the fire, season to taste, allow to cool down.
To assemble the parcels, first line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Next, roll out the pastry. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece out into 8×8-inch squares.
Arrange your pastry squares on a clean work surface. Add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of filling into the center of each pastry. Lightly brush the edges of each pastry with egg wash.
Bring two opposite corners of the dough together into the center and pinch together. Lift the two remaining corners up to the center, matching the seams so they meet to form a raised ridge. Crimp to seal. You should have a square parcel forming an X on top. Carefully lift and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough squares. Brush the tops of each tart lightly with egg wash.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tarts are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving warm.