Halloween is trundling towards us at a fairly alarming speed. I for one can’t wait, it’s always been one of the highlights of my year. Ireland has plenty of Halloween traditions and even my own family has lots of it’s own. When we were growing up we had a French visitor who showed us the light and convinced us to save those yucky seeds from the centre of our pumpkin, which, when cleaned and toasted with a little butter and salt, make the perfect little autumn snack.
Barmbrack always appeared in our lunch boxes around this time of year and it would take most of the week to get through it until my brother or I found the ring baked inside one of the slices. Happily, one thing you’ll notice in supermarkets, grocers and farmers markets at this time of the year is the giant orange spheres which appear in many different shapes and forms; pumpkins are everywhere.
I hadn’t ever cooked with these monsters before, generally sticking to butternut squash, but this recipe is a fantastic warming one perfect for the colder weather. Make sure to adjust the spice to your own taste, and be careful when adding chilli flakes… a little goes a long way!