Tag Archives: Halloween

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Cupcakes

In the UK, Halloween usually falls during half term, so it’s a great excuse to get the kids in the kitchen to whip up some terrifying treats. This year time was short and energy was low, so we made a quick batch of creepy chocolate cupcakes and decorated them in a suitably spooky style.

I usually have a decent selection of cake sprinkles in the cupboard, and I’d stocked up for the occasion with some edible eyes, food colouring and some Halloween sprinkles from Cake Angels. So we were well prepared to make some spooky bakes.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe makes approximately 24 cupcakes.

Creepy Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:
200 g caster sugar
200 g softened butter or margarine (I use Stork)
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp milk
25g cocoa powder
175 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder

To decorate
2 large bars of white chocolate
1 pack of edible eyes
Food colouring, we used green
Assorted Halloween sprinkles

Method:
Heat your fan oven to 190c. Get two bun trays and set out your cupcake liners in each tray. You will need about 24 of these.

In a large bowl, beat your butter and sugar together until fluffy (I used a hand mixer). Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and combine, then add the cocoa powder,  flour and baking powder and mix together until you have a smooth batter.

Using a dessert spoon, dollop an equal amount of the mixture in each cupcake liner and then bake in your pre-heated oven for 15-18 minutes. If you’re feeling like being precise, then you can weigh your cupcakes to make sure they are all the same size.

Once baked, take your cupcakes out of the oven and leave them to cool on a cooling rack. Once they are cool, you can set to work decorating them.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Cupcakes

Break up your two bars of white chocolate and put them in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave in short blasts until it is just about melting, stir with a small spoon until it is smooth and lump free. Beware! White chocolate melts much quicker than milk or dark chocolate, so this won’t take long.

Once melted, add a small splash of food colouring and mix it through, add more and stir until you get the shade of creepy you are looking for.

When you’re happy with your coloured chocolate, drop a small spoonful on the top of each bun. Swirl it around a bit with the back of the spoon to spread it around, the chocolate will naturally spread a bit. When you’re happy, it’s time to decorate with those edible eyes or the Halloween sprinkles.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Cupcakes

Once decorated, leave the creepy chocolate cupcakes somewhere cool and out of the way of hungry children (and adults) until the chocolate sets. Once it has set, they’re ready to eat.

We had a lovely time making these very simple little cakes. They were so easy to make, but light as a feather and they looked suitable spooky for Halloween.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try these recipes…

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Cupcakes

13 Pumpkin Patches in and around Manchester

Pumpkin picking is an autumn activity that has become really popular in recent years. We took the boy pumpkin picking last year, and although it was more pumpkin selecting from a row of them in a field, rather than actually picking them off the vine, we still had a lot of fun. A visit to one of the many local pumpkin patches is an autumnal treat indeed.

We are keen to pick our Halloween pumpkins again this year. So I’ve put together a list of pumpkin patches in and around Manchester to visit. Most of them ask you to book ahead. Some will be patches of ready picked pumpkins to choose from, some you’ll be able to actually pick your pumpkin and take it home. Either way, it’s a fun thing to do for a few hours and you can snap some adorable photos while you’re at it.

13 Pumpkin Patches in and around Manchester

Pumpkins can be picked early in the month. They can be safely stored in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to carve them for Halloween.

13 Pumpkin Patches in and around Manchester

Brookheys Farm, Dunham Massey – A working farm with a proper pumpkin patch.

Cockfields Farm Park, Ashton-Under-Lyne – Join them for the pumpkin festival this year.

Delamere Farm Shop – Open from 9th October, it’s time to pick your own pumpkins!

Dunham Massey Farm Ice Cream – Check out their Facebook page for info about their pumpkin patch, don’t forget to grab a yummy ice cream when you visit!

Dunham Pumpkin Patch – Pick your own pumpkins and enjoy some wood fired pizza on site. Book tickets in advance.

Farmer Berties Pumpkin Patch, Glazebury – Opposite Bents Garden Centre, this is known for being a great patch to visit. Open for just two weeks before Halloween, more info on their Facebook page.

Kenyon Hall Farm, Warrington – With indoor and outdoor picking throughout October, this is a well-established pumpkin patch with reasonably priced tickets.

Libby’s Pumpkin and Sunflower Patch, MacclesfieldLibby’s patch is a family-friendly fun day out, with an on-site café and free parking.

Malpas Pick Your Own Pumpkins, Malpas, Cheshire – No booking required. Maize maze entry is £2.00 per person. The maze leads to the hidden pumpkin patch and photo prop village. There are 100 scarecrows to spot through the maze and a Harry Potter area.

13 Pumpkin Patches in and around Manchester

Reddish Vale Farm, Stockport – Visit Reddish Vale Farm for a spooktacular time this Halloween, visit all the animals and outdoor play areas and then join in some ‘fangtastic fun’!

Smithills Open Farm, Bolton – Open 16th and 17th October and then from the 23rd until the 31st October.

The Hayloft, Widness, Cheshire – Saturday 25th September to 31st October. There will also be a spooky maze, miniature railway, tractor rides and the coffee shop will be open serving breakfast, lunches, drinks, cakes & ice cream.

Village Pumpkins, Derbyshire – North Derbyshire’s original pumpkin patch based in Barlow a small village between Sheffield and Chesterfield

Other Halloween Attractions…

Spooky World at Applejacks Adventure Farm, Warrington, WA4 4NW

There are lots of pumpkin patches to pick from in and around Manchester this year. If I’ve missed any, please comment below and I will add them. Happy pumpkin picking!

13 Pumpkin Patches in and around Manchester

Book Review: The Tipple Twins and the Gift by Michelle Cordara

We were sent The Tipple Twins book for the purposes of this post. All images and opinions are our own.

With a rainy half term upon us, we’ve been busying ourselves with lots of indoor fun. The boy is a keen independent reader now, so he’s been enjoying some seasonal stories. Perfect for Halloween, he’s been reading The Tipple Twins and the Gift by Michelle Cordara.

Book Review: The Tipple Twins and the Gift by Michelle Cordara

Published on 8th October 2020, this is the first in a new series from Michelle Cordara. The book is a fun and slightly spooky adventure for young readers (8-12). The Tipple Twins and the Gift is about a pair of identical twins drawn into a secret world of mystery and magic.

Jenna and Jessica Tipple are identical twins. The Tipple family’s secret gift is magic – the good kind. Unfortunately, when they enrol at Chumsworth School, they discover that the head mistress, Miss Snippings, has an unnatural dislike of twins and an unhealthy interest in witchcraft.

When the school play just happens to be about the Salem Witch Trials, the twins realise they’re in a cauldron full of trouble…

The Tipple Twins and the Gift is the first in a series of adventures for the twins, and its publication is perfectly timed for Halloween. It’s an exciting adventure set in a spooky school and based on the Salem Witch Trials. This is the first book in a new series which follows the twins as they delve into their mysterious magical family background.

We have been reading this book at bedtime, tackling a chapter each night. The boy (aged 9) enjoyed the story and was engaged by this slightly spooky, magical book. He tells me he liked the magical family and what happening at the school, especially with the dodgy Headmistress. He liked the twins, Jenna and Jessica and would like to know more about them. For me there are hints of The Worst Witch and Harry Potter about this story; and if you’re a fan of those, then The Tipple Twins and the Gift would be just your kind of thing.

Author Michelle Cordara is an identical twin and the mother of twin boys. She wanted to write a story that featured twins and their special relationship; but which also highlighted the fact that children who are a twins can still be unique and can still be themselves.

The Tipple Twins and the Gift is available in paperback (£6.99) and on Kindle (£3.99) at all good bookshops and online retailers.

If you enjoyed this book review, you might also like to read about Midnight Monsters by Helen Friel.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

With half term in full swing and the weather being predictably dismal, we’ve got a packed week of baking and crafting planned to keep us busy. One of the easiest things we do is chocolate bark, I’ve no idea why is called chocolate bark, but it is. With Halloween just days away,  we thought I t would be rude not to make a batch of Halloween Chocolate Bark.

Chocolate bark is essentially melted chocolate with sweets, dried fruit or nuts sprinkled on top. Leave it to set and then chop it up into chucks to be gobbled down by the family. It’s easy and a fun thing for kids to get involved with.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

When we’ve had play dates (in pre-covid times) we’ve often done something like this as an activity. At the start of the play date, they decorate their own melted chocolate puddle with sweets, and by the time it’s time to go home, they can take home their own little bag of chocolate bark.

You can theme these up depending on the time of the year. I’ve done Easter and Christmas bark, all with seasonal treats. This week, with it being Halloween at the weekend, we made Halloween chocolate bark. Lots of supermarkets and sweet shops have spooky themed sweets. I spotted some perfectly grim things in Co-op to make our Halloween chocolate bark extra gruesome. Go wild, go grim, let your imaginations run wild.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

Halloween chocolate bark

Ingredients:
300g milk chocolate
A variety of sweets, I used brains, eyeballs and strawberry laces

How to make your Halloween chocolate bark:
Get a small baking tray and cover with baking paper, make some room in your fridge for the tray later.

Break the chocolate up into chunks and either carefully melt it in the microwave or over a Bain Marie (a bowl over a pan of hot water). I usually do this in the microwave in 30 second blasts, stirring in between. It took about 3 minutes to melt the chocolate for this. Do not do this all in one go as you risk your chocolate going grainy if you don’t keep an eye on it.

Once your chocolate is melted, carefully pour it out onto your baking paper and with a spoon smooth it out a little. You don’t want it spread too thinly, it needs to be at least the thickness of a pound coin.

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

Decorate the still warm chocolate with your spooky sweets. Once you’re happy, pop the tray in the fridge for an hour or so until it’s set. Once the chocolate has hardened, using a sharp knife, chop it up into chunky bite size pieces and gobble down greedily.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try these recipes…

Halloween Recipe: Creepy Chocolate Bark

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

I love gingerbread, it’s one of my guilty pleasures. Often when I pass the bakery on the way to picking my boy up from school, I’ll slip in and buy a couple of gingerbread men, women or penguins for us both as a little treat. I like my gingerbread spicy, so I’m always a little generous when I make my own, like with these spicy gingerbread mummies for Halloween.

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

This week we got a new set of kids baking equipment, so we were keen to test it out and I was keen to bake a batch of gingerbread people for Halloween. The recipe is a tired and tested one; I’m not sure where it came from, but it’s been used many times over the years and my butter and flour splattered recipe book can attest. Like I said, I like it extra spicy, so if you want a milder gingerbread, then maybe halve the quantity of the spices.

As Halloween is round the corner, we wanted to make Gingerbread Mummies. These are especially easy for kids and for not very confident decorators to do. You just drizzle the icing over to look like bandages. If I’d been more on it, I’d have bought a pack of sugar eyes which you can stick on to add to the spookiness.

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

This recipe makes a surprising number of gingerbread men. Admittedly I use a pretty small cutter, but I managed to make 40 of them. They didn’t last the weekend though, not with my greedy family. They keep well in a sealed tin or container, so don’t feel like you too have to eat them all within 48 hours.

Spicy Gingerbread Mummies

Ingredients
350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 fairly heaped teaspoons of ground ginger
2 fairly heaped teaspoons of allspice
125g baking margarine
175g caster sugar or soft brown sugar
1 large egg
4 tbsp golden syrup
To decorate
100g icing sugar
Warm water, a few drops at a time
Sugar eye decorations (optional)

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

Method
Using a large bowl, sift the plain flour, bicarb of soda, ginger and all spice and the pan mix together, I use a food processor as it saves getting overly sticky fingers and it’s quicker.

Tip in the margarine and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and then add a large egg and the golden syrup. This is where things get really sticky, mix thoroughly in the food mixer until it all comes together.

Wrap the dough in cling film, or pop in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate for half an hour or so. Once the dough is rested, it’s ready to roll!

At this point, I set up a bit of a gingerbread production line. I line two of my biggest baking trays with baking paper and pre-heat my oven to 180 degrees.
I divine the dough into four and on a floured surface, I roll out one of the pieces of dough. It needs to be about half a centimetre thick.

Carefully using your gingerbread cutter, cut out as many shapes as you can manage, roll out and cut again until you have filled your two trays. You need a bit of space around them, and I did trays of 8 figures, baking two trays at a time. In all I baked 5 trays, which is enough gingerbread mummies for a party!

Bake each tray for 12 minutes, maybe a minute it two more. They need to be lightly brown. Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for 10 minutes or so. If you try to take them off the tray sooner, they will likely break. After 10 minutes, remove them from the baking paper and leave to cool fully on a wire rack.

Once they are cool, then you can decorate them. I sifted 100g of icing sugar into a bowl and gradually added drips and drops of water, mixing all the time. You need it to be thick but runny enough for it to drizzle off the spoon.

To decorate, I put my gingerbread mummies back on the baking paper I’d used (it saves you getting sticky icing everywhere) and using a teaspoon, I drizzled the icing across the mummies so it looks like bandages.

If I’d managed to get some sugar eyes, I would have stuck those on using some of my drizzly icing too. They looked pretty cool and my boy thought they were the perfect Halloween sweet treat.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try these recipes…

Halloween Recipe: Gingerbread Mummies

 

Children’s Book Review: The Ultimate Spell-Caster

The Ultimate Spell-Caster by Mike Barfield is a fun and funny flip-book full of over 60 million spell-casting combinations. It’s just the kind of book which would inspire young wizards and witches!

Children's Book Review: The Ultimate Spell-Caster

Magic spells aren’t just for Halloween! As the daughter of a wizard (ok, a magician) I feel I’m well qualified to review this book AND test out some of the spells in it.

The instructions on the back of the book read “all you have to do is wave your wand and flip the pages”. Once you flip the pages you can create an almost limitless combination of spells. There is no magic wand supplied with the book, so you will need to use your own wand. I use a wand I found in a magic forest, which I then wrapped in wool, because no one wants to use a cold wand.

The book itself is great fun and even had me snorting with laughter as we flipped the pages to create new spells. Has somebody wronged you? Flip the pages and find a spell that’ll teach them a lesson. It might not work, but picturing your nemesis as a self-exploding wasp polisher will make you feel a bit better.

Children's Book Review: The Ultimate Spell-Caster

If you’re looking for a spell book which actually works, this is probably not the right book for you. If you’re looking for a spell book which will make you laugh, then this IS the right book for you. It’s just the thing for an aspiring witch or wizard and would be a nice little stocking filler for a Harry Potter fan with a sense of humour. This mudblood gives The Ultimate Spell-Caster the thumbs up, or wands up, whichever.

The Ultimate Spell-Caster by Mike Barfield costs £10.99. It’s published by Laurence King and it is available from a wide range of bookshops including Amazon.

For details of more children’s books published by Laurence King, visit their website.

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of The Ultimate Spell-Caster for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

Treacle toffee has long been a favourite of fine. Sticky and sweet, it’s something of a love/hate treat. I’ve always enjoyed it, but not really enjoyed eating the sharp shards of broken toffee. It can be sticky to eat, if only there was some way of eating it without getting sticky fingers. To solve the sticky finger problem, I’ve come up with these Treacle Toffee Pan Pops – all the loveliness of treacle toffee, but neatly presented on a lolly stick. I can confirm they are absolutely delicious too!

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

To me, Bonfire Night has always been a celebration of cosy autumnal food and flavours. We always have jacket potatoes heaped with hot toppings like chilli. There’s always hot dogs with onions, toffee apples, parkin with custard and treacle toffee. From now on I’m adding my Treacle Toffee Pan Pops to the list!

These treacle treats are set in shallow tin foil cases, the kind you might buy jam tarts in. After a bit of searching I found exactly what I wanted here on Amazon (this is an affiliate link. I might get a couple of pence if you buy them). You will also need some lolly sticks (or popsicle sticks if you’re in America), again you can find them here on Amazon (affiliate link).

I made 10 Treacle Toffee Pan Pops and poured the rest of my treacle toffee into a lined swiss roll tin so I could compare and contrast the two with my family, we all preferred eating the pan pops, they were just easier to manage. This recipe would make around 30 pan pops, give or take. It’s also helpful if you have a cooking thermometer, sugar can be a tricky beast and this will help you know when it’s cooked properly. Here’s one of those Amazon affiliate links to one.

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of water
125g of unsalted butter
450g of soft brown sugar
225g of treacle

Method:

Put your vinegar, water and butter in a large saucepan and melt together, make sure you stir with a wooden spoon. When your butter has melted add your sugar and treacle.

Gently heat the mixture, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon so nothing sticks to the sides or the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to splash anything out of the pan, it will burn. You need to boil the mixture to 138°C. It will take about 20 minutes to get to this point, don’t rush it.

When it’s boiled, remove it from the heat and let it sit until it stops bubbling.

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

I set my foil tins in a cupcake tray because I felt they’d be steadier there. If you have enough trays, do that. Carefully (please do this very carefully) pour about 2 tablespoons of the treacle toffee mixture into each pan, it should be so that it’s near the top, but not pouring over. The liquid toffee is very hot at this point.

Once you’ve filled all of your tin foil pans, take your wooden lolly sticks and place them in each one. Leave them for about ten minutes and then go and turn the sticks over in the toffee, this will help the stick to sink into it better. Leave the pops to cool for as long as you can, at least two hours.

When they’re fully cool, wrap each one in cellophane, I used cellophane bags I’d bought to put treats in. Keep them in an airtight tin until Bonfire Night.

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

If you want to make a tray of treacle toffee, use the same method but pour the mixture into a greased Swiss roll tin. When the mixture is cooling, mark out squares with a sharp knife and go over those marks every half an hour or so until it’s fully cool. With luck your toffee will snap into neat little squares. Bag those up in cellophane and suck them around the bonfire!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try this honey spiced pumpkin pie.

Bonfire Night Recipe: Treacle Toffee Pan Pops

How to paint a Halloween t-shirt with Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

This week is half term and we are filling the week with trips to the park and some crafts and activities at home. One thing we’ve been doing is decorating some t-shirts for a party we are going to next week. We got our hands on a packet of Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks and we’ve been letting our creativity run wild ever since.

On Halloween this year we are going to a not Halloween party. There will be party games and some spooky stuff, but it’s NOT a Halloween party. Dressing up is encouraged, but the usual zombie/witch/Dracula type costumes are quietly discouraged. It’ll be more fun than it sounds, with apple bobbing, party games and treasure hunts. We will be wearing our decorated t-shirts, and we think they’re pretty cool.

Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

Painting Your Own T-shirts

You will need:

A plain white t-shirt
Large chopping board
Plastic bag
A stencil (an image printed on card and cut out with a craft knife)
Masking tape
Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

How to paint your own t-shirts:

First make your stencil. I looked on Google for a simple spooky image and chose a cartoon of a ghost against a black background. I found this one on Free Stencil Gallery. Print it out on a piece of card and using a craft knife, cut out all the black bits around the ghost.

Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

I then took my large chopping board and covered it in a plastic bag (so any paint wouldn’t go through). Then I pulled the t-shirt over the chopping board and tucked the excess fabric around the back and laid it on the table. Make sure the fabric is flat and not rippled or baggy.

Using a few pieces of masking tape, tape the stencil onto the front of the t-shirt. This is to keep it in place while you paint.

Take the Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks and read the instructions. The Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks are a bit like crayons, so there’s no dripping, spilling or mess. Take each paint stick and colour in the area you want to paint. We decided to have a rainbow background for our ghost, so we coloured in little patches in the stencil.

Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

Once you’re happy with how it looks, iron or blow-dry the paint on, following the instructions in the packet, it will withstand washing up to 40’C. Your t-shirt is now ready to wear and be admired.

The Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks are really easy to use, there’s no mess and they are great for kids to use too. Each Fabric Stick has vibrant, colourful paint that you literally twist up and down, exactly like a glue stick to paint with!

Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks

Little Brian Paint Sticks are available from Hobbycraft, Tesco and directly from their website

Disclaimer: We were sent a pack of Little Brian Fabric Paint Sticks for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Children’s Books: Midnight Monsters by Helen Friel

Everyone loves a spooky story don’t they? This week we’ve been taking a look at Midnight Monsters by Helen Friel and getting really spooked out. Midnight Monsters is an amazing book. It’s a pop-up shadow search book and it’s perfect for reading after dark.

To enjoy this book, turn the lights off, get your torch out and shine it through the pop-up scenes in the book to learn more about the monsters who lurk in the shadows.

Children's Books: Midnight Monsters by Helen Friel

In Midnight Monsters, you travel through a series of pop-up scenes; the wild woods; creepy caves; mysterious mountains; a misty lagoon and a haunted castle. Each page has five creepy creatures to spot. This is best done in a dark room; put the book on a table or flat surface and shine a torch or the light from a mobile phone through. This will cast a shadow on the wall behind, revealing the spooky scene.

Each of the five creatures has a description to help you understand more about them. All of the creatures are rooted in folklore. We spotted a Yeti, a Griffin, a Cyclops and a vampire, in among all the other characters. I can’t help but feel that Midnight Monsters would be the best thing to bring out at a children’s Halloween party. Shine a light through and tell creepy stories about the characters in this book, it’s got such great bedtime ghost story potential.

Children's Books: Midnight Monsters by Helen Friel

It’s written and designed by Helen Friel, a freelance paper engineer and illustrator who has also written Midnight Creatures: A Pop-Up Shadow Search, Midnight Monsters is the follow-up to that book.

Midnight Monsters is not actually scary enough to lose sleep over. It’s a great novelty of a book, beautifully designed and almost too good to share with the kids. It takes shadow art up to the next level. It’s superb.

Children's Books: Midnight Monsters by Helen Friel

If you’re looking for something a bit different to read, explore and enjoy with the kids this autumn, Midnight Monsters by Helen Friel is almost certainly that book.

Midnight Monsters by Helen Friel costs £16.99. It’s published by Laurence King and it is available from a wide range of bookshops including Amazon.

For details of more children’s books published by Laurence King, visit their website.

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of Midnight Monsters for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Recipe: Honey Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie is one of those things most English people have heard of, but for the most part have never tried. Every year we seem to embrace Halloween traditions a little bit more, and each year more and more pumpkin-spiced things creep onto our menus. I keep trying pumpkin and wondering what all the fuss is about. I’m not a huge fan, but would a slice of homemade pumpkin pie change my mind?

Recipe: Honey Spiced Pumpkin Pie

This recipe is really simple. You can make your own pastry or you can buy a ready-made sweet pastry case, or so what I did and buy some ready rolled shortcrust pastry. Sometimes, just sometimes it’s absolutely fine to be lazy!

Honey Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients (serves 8)
3 eggs, beaten
1 425g tin of pumpkin puree (or make your own)
125g runny honey
80g soft brown sugar
200mls milk (I used semi skimmed)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Pinch of  salt
1 shortcrust pastry case (9 inch)

Method
1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°. Prepare your pastry case. if you’re using a ready-made case go to step 2. If you’re making your own or ruing ready rolled pastry then follow these instructions –

Grease your 9 inch pie tin and place on a baking sheet. Roll out your pastry and press into the pie tin evenly. I like to leave my pastry untrimmed around the edges of the pie, then tidy them up once the pie is cooked.

Prick the bottom of your pie, top with a piece of baking paper and over in baking beans. Put in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the baking beans and paper and bake for another 5 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, beat your eggs, then add your pumpkin puree, milk, sugar, honey, spices and salt. Mix very thoroughly.  Carefully pour the filling into pastry case. I liked to do this about half way, then put it in the oven and continue filling the pie, this stops it sloshing about when you’re putting your pie in the oven.

3. Bake at 200 C for 45 minutes until it’s cooked though. If you’re not sure, it shouldn’t wobble too much and you can always poke it with a knife to see if it comes out clean.

Recipe: Honey Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Do not make the same mistake as me. In my excitement I pulled the pie straight out of the oven to admire its beauty once it was cooked. BIG MISTAKE. What I should have done is turned the oven off and opened the door a tiny bit, then after a bit longer, opened the door some more and let the pie cool in the oven. Pulling it out too quickly shocked it and made it crack. This made me very sad.

Recipe: Honey Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Do not make the same mistake as me. Leave your pie to cool in the oven!

If you’ve made the fatal error of taking your pie out of the oven and it cracks like this, do not despair! All you need it a lot of cream. Whip it up and top your pie before serving. No one will ever know the unsightly horrors which lurk beneath!

Has my recipe for Honey Spiced Pumpkin Pie made me fall in love with pumpkin? Not really. It was very nice and the boys absolutely devoured the lot. I just think me and pumpkins just aren’t meant to be.

Recipe: Honey Spiced Pumpkin Pie