The Pumpkin Showstopper

Like a modern day romance, I found cashew cream on the internet, but it was a slow start. We had our first date at the only place opened in town, The Food Processor. It didn’t turn out well. I was expecting Cashew Cream to be smooth and beautiful like his pictures. Turns out Cash was all talk, he ended up being gritty and had a bland personality. I vowed to never trust the internet again.

Cashew Cream had his chance and blew it, I didn’t want a bar of him after that. Every time I came across a vegan raving about him, I would chuckle and think to myself ‘gotta be desperate to go there’.

A new place opened in town about a month ago called, The High Powered Blender. This place had rave reviews and I did hear it could create love between any couple. I began thinking if I should call old Cash and give him another chance. Maybe I was too quick to judge. Maybe we would hit it off this time. My curiosity got the better of me and I set up another date. After all, it could have just been the venue ruining our chemistry.

My knickers were drenched after the first date at the Blender. From that day on I vowed Cashew Cream would be my one and only and that I would always love him.

So yeah, you need a high powered blender to make cashew cream and yes, the internet was right. If Cashew cream was a person, it would be Ryan Gosling dipped in DiCaprio with a sprinkling of Channing Tatum.

Basic cashew cream is roughly 1 cup of raw unsalted cashews to about ½ cup of water. From there you can manipulate the flavour into anything you want. For savoury cream, things like mustard, garlic, vinegar, salt, nutritional yeast, all herbs and spices, hemp seeds and lemon work really well. For sweet cream things like sugar, agave nectar, lemon, vanilla, spearmint and maple syrup work amazingly.

I have never been one for measuring recipes. Even when I’m following a recipe it’s never to the letter. I have great difficulty in putting my measurements on paper, as it’s almost always just done by ‘feel’. 

Nevertheless, I seem to have done alright in providing approximate measurements for you here!

Pumpkin is often served in small roast pieces, mashed or pureed into a soup, but very rarely is it served whole. The Pumpkin Showstopper has that real wow factor about it. Chuck in some warm garlic bread to serve as a dip or cut slices off to dish up.


The Pumpkin Showstopper

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 3hrs plus 1/2 hour resting time

Ingredients

1 Whole Kent pumpkin (also known as Jap Pumpkin)

1 tbsp. Olive oil

Pinch of salt

For the Thyme Cashew Cream Sauce

pumpkin1_10-30400g Raw Unsalted Cashews

2 Garlic cloves uncooked

1 tsp Onion powder

1 tbsp. Fresh Thyme

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

2 Cups water

½ tsp Salt

2 tbsps. Nutritional yeast flakes

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice


Method

Preheat oven to 170 Degrees

Cut the top off the pumpkin so that it just exposes the innards. Scoop out innards to reveal a big old hole.

Drizzle olive oil over pumpkin and sprinkle with a little bit of salt.

With the lid put back on the hollowed out pumpkin, place on a shallow tray lined with a large sheet of baking paper.

Chuck that bad boy in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove from oven, take the pumpkin lid off, place it on the side of the tray and then chuck back in the oven for another hour.

Check to see pumpkin is nice and soft. There should be juices pooling in the middle. Allow to rest for half an hour with the lid off and the juices should dissipate back into the pumpkin.

For the thyme filling

Make cashew cream just before serving so it’s hot when pouring into the pumpkin.  

Place all ingredients into high powered blender and blend the bejesus out of it; about 3-5 minutes. Consistency should be smooth and thick. Adjust seasoning to personal taste if you wish.

Pour in the cashew cream and serve straight away or put back in the oven until ready to serve.

Garnish with Thyme and cracked pepper, chuck some bread with it for dipping or just cut and serve as is.

Another option is to simply dunk your face in it like you’re bobbing for apples and guzzle down the contents like a mad man on death row having his last meal. Totally up to you.

 

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