- Preheat oven to 1800C and line base of a greased 18cm x 30.5cm (7" x 12") tin
- Remove top from pumpkin and scrape out seeds. Scoop flesh from pumpkin shell and put approximately 200g into a saucepan with a little water and boil rapidly, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes until soft. Puree with a blender or food processor
- Put butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, stir occasionally until melted, remove from saucepan
- Crack eggs into a large bowl, add sugar, whisk until thick and fluffy so mixture coats the back of a spoon
- Stir melted chocolate into egg mixture, sieve flour and cocoa into mixture, gently fold everything together then fold in pumpkin puree
- Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 20 minutes until a crust has formed over the top (the mixture should be soft but not wobbly in the middle)
- Meanwhile, cut apples and pears into quarters, remove cores, scatter in an ovenproof dish then dot with butter, sprinkle over sugar and bake alongside brownies for 10-15 minutes until sticky and light golden
- Once brownies are cool, cut into bars and serve alongside the caramelised apple and pears with a dollop of crème fraiche
Pumpkins are a good source of the B vitamins - niacin (B3), thiamine (B1), vitamin B6 and vitamin A. Thiamin and niacin are needed to help the body release or utilise energy. Vitamin B6 is involved in the metabolism of amino acids in the body and helps form haemoglobin. The B vitamins maintain healthy skin and muscle tone, and enhance immune and nervous system functions. Some research has linked B vitamins with a reduced risk of stress and depression. As B vitamins are water soluble and cannot be stored by the body, we need a daily supply from our diets.
Vitamin A is important for growth and development. Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is found in the eye and helps support vision. This is where the old wives’ tale about carrots helping you see in the dark comes from as carrots, along with pumpkins and other orange/yellow vegetables are a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is also needed for the normal functioning of the immune system and helps red blood cells develop properly.
Our thanks to 'I'm in season' for permission to use this recipe