Struggling to bring out your inner Michaelangelo of Pumpkin carving? We’ve got you covered.
Here are our top tips and tricks for creating a wicked Jack ‘O’ Lantern this Halloween.
Don’t brush off a weirdly shaped pumpkin
Halloween is a weird and wonderful time of year, so don’t think you need to carve from a perfectly orange pumpkin. Why not carve from a weird and wonderful looking squash? Ghost pumpkins, bumpy pumpkins and unusually coloured pumpkins make for unique Jack ‘O’ Lantern designs.
Make a plan
Once you start that first cut it’s too late to change your mind. We recommend that you make a plan and draw out your design on paper before tracing onto your pumpkin before you start carving. But remember, the trick to creating a wicked Jack ‘O’ Lantern isn’t all in the carving, for something a little different, you can always paint or decoupage a frightful design on your gourd instead!
Don’t cut from the top
Cutting the lid off your pumpkin can often cause the sides to cave in during the carving process. Instead, turn your squash upside down and cut your “lid” from the bottom or make a hole in the back and scoop from there. If your design depends on the top being cut off, cut this at an angle.
Scoop out all the pulp
Make sure to scrape out every last bit little stringy bit of pulp before you carve. Leaving bits of flesh inside will cause the walls of the pumpkin to break down quicker and make it harder to pierce the outer shell while carving.
Don’t throw away the scraps
Before you discard of your unwanted pieces of pumpkin shell, see if you can make a tongue, pipe or hair accessory to complement your design.
Create a sinister glow
Use an LED tealight to light up your design. If you want a more sustainable, use a rechargeable one!
Leave in the fridge
Once you have finished your masterpiece, pop it in the fridge before you’re ready to put it on display. This will help keep it fresher for longer.
Don’t waste your gourds!
Pumpkins don’t just make for fangtastic fun, they also make a wickedly delicious soup to help thaw that autumn chill in the air. Check out this warming soup recipe which can be made with our favourite Purple Pod oils that we stock in our beachside shop.
Roasted Pumpkin soup
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 medium pumpkin, cut into cubes
- 2 red onions, cut into wedges
- 1 carrot, cut into cubes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp paprika, or smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of Purple Pod Chilli, Garlic or Seaweed oil (optional)
- 400ml of vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp of double cream
- Your favourite crusty bread to serve
Preheat your oven to 220˚C/200˚C fan/gas mark 6.
Pour your pumpkin, carrot, onions, garlic, chilli powder and paprika into a roasting tray and toss in olive oil. Drizzle with your Purple Pod oil before placing in the oven for 20-35 minutes, until soft and caramelised.
Blend the soup with your vegetable stock in a food processor or using a hand blender, season to taste before drizzling with double cream on top for a spider’s web effect. For an extra tasty tip, top with some more Purple Pod oil.
Photo Credit: Jack ‘O’ Lanterns by the Bartram Family from Hertfordshire