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The Ancient Roots of Halloween – Pumpkin Recipes Part I

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Hello, and welcome to October! This month we at Oven Clean Team decided to dedicate on Halloween but, the one Halloween which origins lie in the ancient history of our British Isles. During the next weeks we will publish a short info on the ancient Celtic celebration, together with mouthwatering pumpkin recipes. Today, we will talk about the very beginning of the festivity and we will finish it off with delicious pumpkin deserts.

How It Started

Halloween is a celebration we mainly connect with the American pop-culture. However, it has its ancient Celtic routes and is connected with the celebration of Samhain or the Celtic new year. What are the celebration’s traditions, what are the interesting stories and beliefs, connected with it, and, then main thing – what kinds of delicious recipes we can cook for Halloween – you can read all about it here. This year we will bet on the traditional pumpkin desserts and we are sure that you will instantly like many of our recipes.

The Celts who lived around 2000 years ago in the lands of today’s Ireland, England and Northern France, celebrated their New Year on 1st of November. This day marked the end of the summer, the time to harvest and the beginning of the dark and cold winter. A time of the year, often associated with death. The Celts believed that namely during the night between the old and the new year, the boundary between the world of living and dead “washes away”. In the night of 31st of October, they celebrated Samhain. It was believed that at this time, the souls and the ghosts of the dead came back to earth. Apart from causing disasters, it was believed that the souls from the netherworld will help the Druids (or the Celts clergymen), to make their prophecies on the future. For the people that lived and depended on the nature’s will, those prophecies were an important source of calmness and guidance throughout the long and cold winter.

Now let’s move to the more delicious part of the post!

Pumpkin Pie

 

What you need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp butter
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp clove
  • 425 gr pumpkin purée
  • 340 gr condensed milk

Let’s Make It:

Mix the flour and the salt in a bowl. Add the softened butter and, by using a knife, stir until you receive a crumbly texture. Sprinkle with water, and by using a fork, keep on kneading the dough until it begins to unstuck from the walls of the bowl.

Form a bowl. Knead it in circle on a floured surface. The circle should be around 5 cm wider than the bottom of the pie baking tray. Move it carefully on top, by gently pressing the bottom and the walls. You have to receive a nice edge.

Heat the oven at 220 degrees

Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients. Pour the ready filling on the dough and bake for further 15 minutes. Then, decrease the temperature at 180 degrees and bake for 45 more minutes or until you stick a toothpick in the centre of the pie and it comes out clean. Leave to cool. Put in a fridge for around 4 hours. Cut a piece, sprinkle with ground sugar and serve. After you cut the pie, put the rest back in the fridge.

Stuffed pumpkin

 

What you need:

  • 1 pumpkin (around 4 kg)
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 apples, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups canned pineapple, diced
  • 1 tsp ground clove
  • 2 cups hazelnuts or walnuts, diced

Let’s Make It:

Wash the pumpkin well. Remove its lid and clean the seeds. Place the pumpkin with the opening facing down in a proper baking tray and bake at 180 degrees for around 40 minutes or until soft.

By using a spoon, carve the baked pumpkin and leave a wall around 1 cm thick.

Dice finely the apples, as well as the pineapple. Add the spices and the nuts and mix well. If you want, you can purée the mix. Fill the pumpkin. Close the lid and bake on 200 degrees for 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Pancakes

 

What You Need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp oil

Let’s Make It

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir the eggs, the milk, the pumpkin and the oil in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix but not too much. If you happen to find it too thick, you can add a spoonful or two of milk.

Pour 1/3 cup of the batter in an oiled frying pan and fry from both sides. Be careful – the pumpkin pancakes are easy to tear.

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