There’s a chill in the air, the leaves have lost their green identity and have transformed into beautiful red and orange hues. I love mother nature’s colours at this time of year. Our seasonal fruit and vegetables look a little different too, thanks to the latest harvest. And with Halloween just around the corner, you would be hard pressed to miss all the gorgeous pumpkins out there. These are amazing colourful things, the composition of which is a rather versatile ingredient. The most famous pumpkin dish might be America’s Pumpkin Pie, made famous by their Thanksgiving celebrations… except this takes place at the end of November, and pumpkins are already in abundance! So what do we do with all our pumpkins until Thanksgiving?
Firstly, there’s a Halloween. A time of year that calls for carved pumpkins, trick or treating and lots of sugary goods. Halloween was just an excuse for me! I bought my pumpkins, happily carved them and happily kept the scooped out flesh in a bowl until I was ready to make…. kolokotes. This is the Greek word for pumpkin pies, which are akin to a pumpkin empanada, but vegan. We Cypriots like our pies. Every time I go to Cyprus, I make sure to stock up on mini- tyropites (cheese pies), eliotes (olive pies), spanakopites (spinach pies) and kolokotes (pumpkin pies). I love kolokotes, and found Halloween to be a perfect excuse to try making them for the first time. This is a lovely recipe, which I enjoyed a great deal. I am also very happy to report, that these were very popular! They vanished so quickly, that I barely had a chance to enjoy them myself!! 😦
I guess I’ll just have to make them again 🙂
Makes around 30 mini-pies
350g wholemeal & 150g plain flour
4 tbsp olive oil
250-300 ml warm water
a pinch of salt
500g red pumpkin flesh (scooped or shredded)
100g coarse cracked wheat (bulgar wheat)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
25g dried cranberries
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp nutmeg
0.5g tsp chili flakes
salt & pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 180C
1. Sift the flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt.
2. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and add the olive oil.
3. Add 100ml of the warm water. Then knead the dough. Add more water as and when necessary.
4. Place the dough on a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic.
5. Once the dough is ready, place it in a bowl, covered with cling film, towel or sheet of kitchen roll whilst you prepare the filling. You can also leave the dough in the fridge overnight, but be sure to keep it wrapped tightly.
6. Place all the “filling” ingredients in a bowl and mix. This can also be kept refrigerated for a maximum of 24 hours.
Putting the pies together:
7. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface. A thickness of approx. 0.5cm is ideal.
8. Use a circular mould to cut the dough into circles. I used a mug with a 10cm diameter.
9. Spoon a small amount of filling into the centre of each pastry disc. Dip your finger into a pre-prepared bowl of cold water and rub gently along the edge of each disc. Once dampened, gently fold the pastry disc in half to form a semi-circle. Pinch the edges to seal the pies and lay on a baking tray. I also used a fork to decorate the pie edges before baking.
10. Bake until golden (approx. 20 mins). NB. I find that wholemeal wheat can become quite tough, so be sure to keep an eye on the pastry and don’t overcook the pies.
Serve fresh out of the oven.
As we say in Greek, “Kali Orexi”, which means bon appetit!
Until next time! xo