My lovely neighbour Carmel came up with this pumpkin idea for Halloween. It's a fluffy pumpkin fritter that her grandmother used to make for her back in her homeland, South Africa. There they are known as Pampoen koekies and are made larger than these ones and served for breakfast or tea.
This canapé version can either be served sweet ,sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, or with a spoonful of bacon jam on top. They might not look that pretty, but they taste good and they are for Halloween after all.
Ingredients - makes approximately 30 small fritters
250gm cooked pumpkin (a tin of pumpkin purée is the easiest option, but I had a fresh pumpkin)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (plus extra to sprinkle)
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbs caster sugar
60gm plain flour
2 large eggs, beaten
Demerara sugar to sprinkle
Vegetable oil fry frying
Optional: bacon jam available from supermarkets or make your own (see below).
To make the pumpkin purée: cut a pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and cut off the skin. Cut the flesh into small chunks and cook with a splash of water until soft - this takes about 30 minutes.
The purée needs to be as dry as you can get it, so carefully drain off as much water as possible and mash the pumpkin to make it fairly smooth. Any extra purée can be frozen.
Mix the purée with the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and sugar and then stir in the beaten eggs. You should end up with a thickish batter. If it is too runny, add a little more flour.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and drop heaped teaspoonfuls of batter into the pan. Press down each spoonful to try to form a vaguely circular shape. Keep the fritters well apart so they don't stick together. After a couple of minutes, carefully turn over and cook on the other side. They should be golden brown on both sides and shouldn't ooze if they are pressed. Add more oil as you continue cooking.
Drain the fritters on kitchen towel, sprinkle with Demerara sugar and ground cinnamon to taste and serve.
Store in the fridge, without the extra sugar and cinnamon, if they are to be eaten at a later date.
To eat later, heat the oven to 190°, place the fritters on a hot baking sheet for 5 or 6 minutes and then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon or drop a blob of bacon jam on top.
Bacon Jam ( makes a small ramekin sized amount)
30gm onion, chopped small
60gm bacon, chopped small
Splash of olive oil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs brown sugar
Pinch dried chillies
Soften the chopped onion in the oil.
Add the chopped bacon and cook until the fat runs.
Mix in the remaining ingredients and cook for approximately 25 minutes, until the mixture is a jam- like consistency. Add a little water if it becomes dry too quickly. Store in the fridge until required.