Autumn Spiced Pumpkin Friands

These seasonal little tea cakes are made with pumpkin, spice and topped with a crunchy oatmeal streusel and a little maple glaze. They are full of autumn spices and the perfect addition to an autumn picnic, afternoon tea, or an after school snack. I also like to pop them into lunchboxes.

Pumpkin friands

Friands are so easy to make and there are so many variations to try and I think I will add a few raisins to these next time.

Ingredients:
6 large egg whites
250g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
100g plain flour
Zest of half an orange
1tbs pumpkin pie spice
160g melted butter, plus a little extra for brushing the friand tin
½ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree

Streusel:
1tbsp butter
2tbsp plain flour
tbsp rolled oats
1tbsp soft brown sugar
½tsp cinnamon

Maple Glaze:
½ cup sieved icing sugar
2-3tbs maple syrup – enough to thin

Pumpkin Friand1

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/approx 350°F and brush the friand tin with a little melted butter.

I make my friands in a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, but they can be made just as easily by hand or using a hand mixer.

Briefly whisk the egg whites, breaking them up until they are frothy.

Add the ground almonds, pumpkin puree, zest, butter, icing sugar and then fold in the flour until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, leaving a little room for the streusel.

Pumpkin Friand

Scatter a little of the streusel over each one and bake for 25-30 minutes, until they have risen, turned golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Pumpkin Friand slice

Leave to rest for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool completely before adding a little glaze.

Veggie Burgers (and veggie nuggets)

These are great made with fresh vegetables and even better if you grow your own.  However, you can also make with frozen veg for a cheap and easy meal that’s full of flavour.

burger

Ingredients:
1 cup sweetcorn
1 cup broad beans
1 cup of peas
1 medium sized carrot – grated
½ sweet potato – grated
1 onion – grated
½ cup of tinned or pre-soaked, cooked and cooled red kidney beans
¼ cup plain/all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
½ cup oats
1 small bunch of coriander/cilantro or basil
1 tsp Cajun spice
1tsp salt
1tsp freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying

For Serving:
Toasted burger buns or flatbreads
Salad leaves
Swiss cheese slices
Relishes and sauces
Sweet potato fries

Method:
Put everything in the food processor and roughly pulse together.  Don’t over-blend as the mixture will be too wet and sticky.

Scrape the ingredients into a bowl and put in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF

When the mixture is firm, form your burgers or nuggets and lightly coat with flour, tapping off any excess.

Gently sauté your burgers or nuggets until lightly browned on either side.  This should take 2-3 minutes each side.

Place the burgers on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes until cooked through.  While they are cooking, toast the burger buns in the pan, or place the flatbreads in the oven for a couple of minutes.

Build the burgers with whatever sauces are your favourite.  My burger has classic ketchup, swiss cheese and lettuce.  The nuggets are in a flatbread with plenty of hot sauce!

nuggets2

These burgers and nuggets are a delicious on their own, but even better served with sweet potato fries.

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes – allow 1 per person for a large potion
1 tsp seasoned salt
½ tsp salt
A few grinds of black pepper
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp Cajun seasoning
½ tsp cayenne (optional to make them extra spicy)
1-2 tbs olive oil

Method:
Mix the salt and spices together – adjust quantities to taste

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into long thin fries – around 1cm x 1cm and place in a large bowl.

Prepare a baking sheet with a non-stick liner, or use a non-stick pan and pre-heat the oven to as high as it will go – 250ºC/500ºF

Toss the sweet potato fries in the oil, using your hands to fully coat them all over, sprinkle over the spices and salt and toss again to make sure all the fries have a good coating of oil and seasonings.

Spread out on the baking sheet, making sure not to overcrowd and place in the hot oven.  Reduce the temperature to 220ºC/425ºF and turn several times for even cooking.  They will take around 25 to 30 minutes to cook and become crisp and just catching on the ends, be careful not to let them burn.