I have large pumpkins. Well, that is to say, the plants are enormous, rambling things, stretching out over my lawn for tens of feet. Unfortunately they don’t appear to be self fertile, and in the massive jumble of leaves it is no longer possible to tell if both plants are still going, or whether the smaller, weaker one has died. The result is, I have hundreds of flowers of both males and female persuasion, and so far, only 2 pumpkins.
Finally realising that my cross pollinating all these flowers wasn’t coming to anything, made me think about flower stuffing. I haven’t been all that keen on stuffed courgette flowers – too faffy, too much deep frying – but I was interested to read that the habit of stuffing courgette flowers may have arisen from stuffing pumpkin flowers. It pains me to see those lovely plump yellow baby globes rotting, unfertilised, on the vine, so I determined to give it a go.
Seeing as I’d made some ricotta and it was a rainy weekend, I figured my stars had aligned* and plucked a mass of pumpkins avec flower, as well as some thyme.
I mashed the picked thyme leaves into the ricotta, along with some light cream and olive oil, salt and pepper, and spooned this into each flower. I wasn’t sure whether to remove the stamens, so I opted to remove it in half the batch and leave half (it seemed to make no difference to the result).
Frying them in a wok allowed me to arrange them such that the thicker pumpkin end cooked for longer than the more delicate flower end. The result was surprisingly yummy – though the batter could have been slightly crispier, the filling suited the thyme and pepper perfectly.
*which is of course, ridiculous, astrological twaddle that I have no truck with