One of the vegetables I missed while living up in West Africa, was pumpkin. For someone like me (who only eats vegetables), I consider myself quite an authority on the merits and demerits of the humble pumpkin. (Ha!) I enjoy a pumpkin which has a dry flesh once it is cooked – if that statement makes any sense! This type of texture is normally sweeter and tastier.
Pumpkins are also known as cucurbits which are any plant of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) e.g., squash, melon, pumpkin, etc. In South Africa we have quite a few varieties of pumpkins and squashes. We have Table Queens, Hubbard squash, flat white boerpampoen (White pumpkin), gem squash, marrows (as well as baby marrows) patty pans, zucchini and my personal favourite, butternut squash.
Butternuts can be peeled, pips removed, chopped into bite size pieces and boiled and drained. Then adding sugar and butter you braise it as a sweet vegetable. Alternatively cut a butternut in half lengthwise; parboil and de-pip it, after which you place it on a baking sheet. Brush the insides with olive oil, add creamed sweet corn, and/or creamed mushrooms and place under the grill until golden brown.
Young pumpkin leaves, known locally as marog, are picked and cooked up as a green vegetable.
One of the delightful sweet treats made with pumpkin, is fritters. Here where I live, this is a very special indulgence and we have one particular farmer’s wife who makes the best pumpkin fritters ever! Visiting one of my favourite blogs a while ago, I found this delightful recipe for pumpkin fritters (you can read this post here). Before I had a chance to make them, I heard a wonderful tip on how to enjoy pumpkin fritters without the guilt and without the weight gain! You use the same recipe but bake them in patty pans!
And this is what I did.
So, thank you Lynda. I know you were more than happy for me to use your recipe, albeit with a slight twist!
2 cups Pumpkin, cooked & mashed (drain as much water off as you can before mashing)
5 heaped tbsp Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Cinnamon, ground
pinch of Salt
1 Egg, beaten
Oil for brushing in patty pans
Mix all the ingredients together well. (The mixture will be a bit sloppy, but don’t worry). Drop tablespoons of the batter into the patty pans. Bake at 180°C for about fifteen minutes. Allow to cool slightly in the pans and lift out gently with a plastic spatula.