Posted by: Stephlechef | November 1, 2011

Spoooooky treats!

I took ages this year to get inspired for halloween, but eventually I came up with some stuff, and here are the fruits of my labours (a lot of labours in fact – all day in the kitchen!)

First, I made pumpkin tarts from a Morrison’s recipe:

These were pretty simple to make, and apart from a couple of disasters (not having enough pumpkin for starters, and then dropping a freshly-baked pastry case on the floor because I went on a hunt for a baking tray while holding a hot oven shelf with 4 pastry cases on it… derrrr, AND my icing creations on the top bleeding colour into the top of the tart so they looked like oil-slick tarts [though still pretty scary]) they tasted pretty good. Kind of like an egg custard tart, because of the nutmeggy-ness. Get a reduced pumpkin from the supermarket and make them 🙂 (recipes are at the bottom of the post)

Then, because I had an egg white leftover from having made pastry, and I don’t like to waste, I made some ghostly meringues.

Spooooky. As I’ve probably mentioned before, me and meringue don’t really get on. We are starting to understand one another, but true to form these ghosties didn’t dry out enough and therefore have slightly soggy heads. But they taste goooooood (do that in a ghostly voice)

Then for main course-type food, I made:

Maggot and fly stew

This was mainly to make sure there was enough actual food, as well as silly food, as this was for dinner. This also involved a disaster, with a bag of pasta. French pasta comes in a bag with a handy sticky thing you can use to seal up the bag once it’s been opened. Unfortunately, in this case they have engineered the sticky thing to help you open the bag, too. Which is great. Unless you’ve already opened the other end and are therefore holding the bag up the wrong way……… turns out it really does look quite maggoty when it’s all over the floor.

Then some eggy eyeballs:

And perhaps my proudest creation – sausagemeat mummies!!!

And that’s that! A spooky halloween-y feast. Here are the recipes, although a little late for this year’s halloween….

Pumpkin tarts (adapted from a Morrison’s recipe card)

Serves 4- cost per tart is very hard to calculate because of the need to buy a whole lotta pumpkin, sorry!

Approx 200g/1 batch shortcrust pastry (you can find my recipe for pastry here: https://stephlechef.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/very-hot-jam/)

225g cooked pumpkin

85ml evaporated milk (and if you are at a loss about how to use up the rest of the can of evaporated milk, make some fudge! https://stephlechef.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/fudging-up-the-fudge-v2-0/)

50ml golden syrup (it is supposed to be maple syrup, but that stuff costs a BOMB)

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch nutmeg (this stuff is potent, a pinch is ENOUGH)

1 large egg, whisked

Roll out the pastry and use to line 4 tartlet tins, or one bigger tart tin. Prick the base with a fork (I always, without fail, forget this part) Blind bake at 200c with paper and baking beans in for 5 minutes, then without the paper and beans for another 5.

While that’s cooking, blitz the pumpkin in a blender, then add all the other ingredients and give it a good mix, making sure the spices have gone in evenly (they tend to stick together, those pesky spices)

If you are not accident-prone (unlike me), the easiest way to get the filling into the tarts is to do it on the oven shelf, to avoid the hassle of lifting very full tarts. Put the mix into a jug and pour in until tarts are nearly full (the filling does puff up a bit but shrinks back).

Cook at 170c for 25 minutes until just set but still slightly wobbly. Sprinkle with icing sugar and more cinnamon, or make a mess with icing shapes, like me 🙂

Ghostly meringues

(makes about 8, total cost if we’re only counting half an egg is about 16p, so 2p per ghost!)

One egg white

1/4 cup icing sugar

Please bear in mind that I am terrible with meringue, but here is what I did:

Whisk the egg white in a VERY clean bowl until thick and foamy, then slowly add the sugar. Put the mixer up to a higher speed and whisk until the egg white is stiff as anything. Then pipe mounds onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, and cook for about an hour at 100c, until it has totally dried out, and leave to cool in the oven.

Maggot and fly stew

Cook up some mini macaroni-style pasta, or something that looks like bugs, orzo would work too, or failing that vermicelli is wormy 🙂

Lightly fry an onion and some garlic, then blitz with a tin of tomatoes and some seasoning and chilli powder.

Throw the sauce and the pasta and some black beans into a pan and heat until simmering. Decorate with some more bugs. Done!

Eggy eyeballs

Hard-boil an egg, leave to cool then cut in half. Lay on the flat edge, and cut a thin slice off the top to leave a flat platform for the eye bit. Cut the top off a pimento-stuffed olive and use this as the eye. For the veiny bloodshot bits, I used a mixture of tabasco, red food colouring and tomato puree. I scored wiggly lines down the side of the egg, pushed the dye in with a paintbrush, then squeezed and wiped off the excess, to leave thin red lines 🙂

Sausagemeat mummies

Shape sausagemeat into the shape of a person (or cat, whatever), and cook in the oven as per instructions. Meanwhile, cook tagliatelle. I was torn about how to do the next bit- basically you need to make sure the tagliatelle doesn’t stick to itself as it cools, so I used olive oil on it once I had drained it, but that left it looking very greasy. The other way I suppose you could do it is to lift the strands out of the water in batches, then place them apart from each other while they cool. When the meaty men (ooh-err) are cooked, use the tagliatelle as bandage and wrap ’em up in it! Stop it all from unravelling by tucking the ends of the pasta into already-wrapped bits. Then eat the sucker 🙂

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Responses

  1. looks great, love the meaty men!


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