Spooky Sweets

By 2019-11-01 11:25:34

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Wait, I know what you’re thinking, but NO, Halloween is undoubtedly the best time of year. Who can resist trick or treating, helping your wee ones dress up as their favourite ghoul or goblin, and watching no end of halloween movies? Exactly... now you’re on my wave length, however, no Samhain would be complete without some scrumptious treats! So, before the kiddies are covered in green paint and fake blood make sure they’ve helped you prepare the following goodies!

In the voice of good ol’ Jack Skellington “HAPPY HALLOWEEN!”

 

Pumpkin Pie(Vegan friendly)

Ingredients:

•205g all-purpose plain flour

•4 tsp sugar

•1/4 tsp salt

•105g cold vegan margarine

•2-3 tbsp ice water

•2 pumpkins or squashes (about 2kg), peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks

•Dash of vegetable oil/ sunflower oil for roasting

•100ml maple syrup

•200g light brown soft sugar

•1 tsp salt

•4 tbsp cornflour

•600ml oat, almond or soya milk

•1 tsp fresh nutmeg

•3 tsp grated cinnamon

•1 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting

 

Methods

Step one - Preparing the pastry

1. Combine the dry ingredients together and mix with a spoon. Next add the margarine and blend the mixture between your fingertips until the mixture resembles large crumbs.

2. Add small amounts of the ice water in at a time and mix using a wooden spoon. Continue adding until the dough just comes together.

3. Wrap in cling film and leave it in the fridge for at least one hour.

Step two - Preparing the pumpkin

 

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Toss the pumpkin (or squash) in a little oil on a baking tray.

2. Roast until soft enough to squash with the back of a fork; can take up 40 mins to cook depending on the type of pumpkin or squash you use. Set aside to cool.

Step three-Cooking the pastry

1. Remove your chilled pastry from the fridge, lightly flour your work surface and roll your pastry out to the thickness of 1cm using your rolling pin.

2. Drape your flattened dough over your rolling pin and then lay it into your pie tin. Push the pastry into the corners of the tin using a scrap of excess pastry (this way you don’t pierce the pastry).

3. Trim excess pastry away leaving about 1cm hanging over the edge as the pastry will shrink as it cooks.

4. Increase oven temperature to 200°C.

5. Line your pie case with a sheet of baking parchment, then pour baking beans or dry rice on top (this prevents pastry from rising and keeps it flat).

6. Bake for 15 mins until sides look golden brown.Remove the parchment and filling. Bake for another 5-10 mins until the base looks biscuity and dry. Trim the edges with a small, serrated knife.

Step four- Making the filling

1. Tip the roasted pumpkin (or squash), maple syrup, sugar, salt, spices, cornflour and milk together and whisk/ blend until smooth. Pour through a sieve into a small pan and cook for 5 mins, stirring continuously, until it has thickened.

2. Fill your pie case with the pumpkin filling, then return it to the oven, lowering the heat to 180°C.

3. Bake for 30 mins until the filling sets. (Won’t move when you wobble the tin.)

4. Cool for 20-25 mins then dust with icing sugar.Best served warm

Toffee Apples

   

 

Ingredients:

•8 apples

•4 tbsp golden syrup/ honey

•400g caster sugar

•100ml water

•1 tsp lemon juice

•Red or black food colouring

•Required Tools:

•Large saucepan

•Baking paper

•8 lolly sticks

•Wooden spoon

 

Methods

Step one - First, remove the stalk from each apple and then push a lolly stick into the stalk end making sure it is firmly wedged in (this will be your ‘handle’). Leave to one side on a large sheet of baking paper.

Step two - Next, add the sugar, lemon juice and 100ml of water into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Swirl the pan gently rather than stirring to move the sugar around.

 

Step three-Add your golden syrup and continue to heat the mixture until it reaches a ‘hard crack’ stage; mixture will appear like water and be very thin. To test if the mixture is ready, drop a small amount of the toffee into cold water. If it hardens instantly and is brittle when removed it is ready. If it’s soft, continue to boil.

Step four- Once ready, add a few drops of food colouring and again swirl but don’t stir to combine then turn off the heat.

Step five- Quickly, dip each apple into the toffee covering the entire surface.

Step six- Lift out and allow excess toffee to drip off before leaving to cool on your baking paper. Repeat with the remaining apples. If toffee hardens gently heat the mixture again.

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