Thursday, October 27, 2011

Feasts and Festivals: Punkie Night

Pumpkin Alfredo

4 (3/4 lb) pumpkins
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 ounce parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 300˚ Fahrenheit. Cut the tops off of each pumpkin and scrape out the seeds and strings. Reserve the tops.

Wrap each pumpkin in tin foil (in case one bursts) and place in a baking pan. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the cream, milk, garlic and thyme over medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Remove from the heat, take out the garlic and stir in the parmesan. Divide between the pumpkins.

Replace the lid on each of the pumpkins, place them in the middle of the oven and bake for between one and one-and-a-half hours, or until softened.

Serves 2

Adapted from "Roast Pumpkin with Cream, Thyme and Parmesan" in BBC Good Food.

I made Pumpkin Alfredo for Punkie Night, which is a holiday from the area around Hinton St. George in Somerset. According to legend, a group of local men got plastered at a fair and couldn't find their way back home. Their wives had to go out in search of them, carrying punkie lanterns (which are actually mangolds, but the festivities have evolved to use jack o'lanterns made from pumpkins). Rather than candy, children go around asking for candles for their lanterns.*

Church of St. George in Hinton St. George

*"Punkie Night" in Julia Jones and Barbara Deer, Cattern Cakes and Lace: A Calendar of Feasts (London: Dorling Kindersley, 1987), 109.
Vintage pumpkin illustration from The Graphics Fairy


  1. Punkie Night. I like it. :) This year I found a recipe for pumpkin stuffed shells. I think I'm going to make that soon. I love pumpkin in anything.

    I love your recipe too. I've never cooked a whole pumpkin. Even little ones.

  2. Oh, I love pumpkins! This looks beautiful...

  3. This is my favorite way to cook pumpkin, especially the little guys. Yum.

  4. The Cats and the BerriesOctober 28, 2011 at 6:08 AM

    Yummm - I love foods that incorporate pumpkin, especially at this time of year! Something about knowing it's seasonal makes it that much better and more festive..! It also looks really cute to have the little pumpkin "lids".
    - Emily

  5. Ahh, see, I wanted a baby pumpkin just like these for my FFwD this week -in Oz, mosdtly all you can get is Kent pupmkin, Queensland blue or butternut squash - and all of them enormous! Very cute idea.

  6. Great recipe for Punkie Night!

  7. We're lucky to have a Methodist church down the block from us that always has a great selection of pumpkins. Well, not an amazing selection of varieties, but an excellent selection of sizes. I think it's due to the fact that most people decorate with them rather than eat them! The lady who took our money asked what we were going to do with them and was rather surprised when we said "eat them."

  8. Love the story of Punkie night and this recipe!

  9. This looks so delicious! I wonder if you could make it with larger squash, cut up in a gratin pan . . .

  10. I'm pretty sure you could do that, too. You could also use the cavity of an acorn squash--that would be delicious!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.