Halloween has just come and gone here and although not all children living in Germany take part, it has become more popular over the years. The arrival of the costumes and the carving pumpkins is also accompanied by wonderful pumpkins for soups, breads, pies, and for more exotic things like Bobotie baked in a pumpkin.
I first enjoyed this when a South African friend of mind made it over 20 years ago but I had never made it myself until recently. Mrs. van Eeden’s recipe which I have adapted below was a great inspiration. Make sure you choose the right pumpkin so that it isn’t watery. The recipe will feed a Halloween crowd of 6-8 depending on their hunger. A friend halved this recipe and used a large Hokkaido pumpkin for a dinner for 2 with leftovers.
Serve it straight out of the pumpkin, scooping the pretty orange flesh with the meat filling onto saffron, plain or whole rice. This dish is yummy, warming and it looks so pretty on your Halloween table.
BOO! ….I mean yuuummmmm….
Bobotie baked in a Pumpkin
Inspired by Marlene van Eeden
- 1 Fairy Tale Pumpkin also called “Musquee de Provence” alternatively Gold Nugget or Hubbard Squash
- 1-2 slices of leftover baguette, ciabatta or similar thick white bread
- ½ cup / 120ml (lactose-free) milk
- 1 cup / 240ml of warm broth (chicken or beef)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP butter
- 2 onions chopped medium-fine
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 kilo / 2 pounds of ground beef or ½ and ½ ground pork and beef
- 3 TBSP of your favourite curry mix
- 2 TBSP chutney – can be replaced by more apricot jam and 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBSP apricot jam
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
- 2 TBSP balsamic or other dark vinegar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup of chopped dried apricots
- 1/3 cup of roughly chopped peeled almonds
- 1-2 pinches of chilli flakes
- Salt & fresh ground pepper
- 3-4 bay leaves
Putting it all together:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash and dry the pumpkin to remove any dirt. Cut off the top so that it can be used
as a lid later – you can cut straight or make a zigzag pattern. Remove the seeds and
fibers – leaving a thick layer of pumpkin inside and taking care not to make any holes
in the sides. Lay the pumpkin and lid aside until needed.
- Tear or cut the bread into chunks and soak it in a bowl with the warm broth and
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium-high heat and fry the
onion and garlic until fragrant but not brown. Add the curry mixture, chutney, jam,
Worcestershire sauce, the vinegar, the chili flakes, and a generous amount of salt and
fresh ground pepper. Stir fry to mix well, about 3 minutes.
- Drain and squeeze the bread reserving the liquid and add it to the pan along with the
meat and the apricots. Cook the meat until it is no longer pink, stirring frequently.
Add the almonds, stir and remove from the heat.
- Let cool 3 minutes and add 1 beaten egg, mixing well.
- Spoon the mixture into the hollowed pumpkin.
- Beat the remaining 2 eggs with the reserved bread-soaking liquid and more salt and
ground pepper and pour it over the meat mixture in the pumpkin.
- Place the bay leaves on top of the meat mixture.
- Stand the pumpkin in a pan or casserole; add a little water approx. 1.5 cm or ¾ of
- Bake in the oven without the lid for approximately 2 hours depending on the size.
Take care that the pumpkin doesn’t burn – tent foil over the pumpkin if necessary or
add more water if evaporated.
- Place the lid in the oven on a piece of foil for the last 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, carefully transfer it to a serving plate and bring it to the table
with its lid on top. Serve with rice and/or crusty bread.