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Great news for Halloween fans – pumpkins will be larger this year


Pumpkins will be larger this year and it’s a result of Britain’s unpredictable weather this summer.

While many Brits may have been cursing the rainier than usual mid-summer months of July and August, the inclement weather actually was good news for the UK’s pumpkin growers.  

And now Tesco is bracing itself for strong demand when this season’s crop of pumpkins go on sale at stores across the UK on Monday October 2.

Tesco pumpkin buyer Lucy Moss said: “The good news for Halloween fans coming from our main pumpkin growers is that the fruit will be larger than normal in all size variations this year as a result of very good growing conditions across the summer months.

“This year we have six different sizes and based on last year’s demand, carving variety is still the most popular although. Each of the six different size categories will be larger than usual this year so fans will get value for money.

“The good news, from a food waste point of view, is that there has been an increase in customers searching for recipes for their delicious versatile pumpkin flesh on our Tesco Real Food website.” 

Oakley Farms, based near Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, are one of Europe’s biggest suppliers of pumpkins, growing around five million each year. 

The farm works hand in hand with Tesco to ensure that there is as little pumpkin waste as possible. 

Steve Whitworth, Commercial Manager at Oakley Farms said: “We had a pretty good growing season for pumpkins this summer with a really hot June which really helped the plants along.

“The rainy July and August may not have been great for sun lovers or BBQ fans but from a growing point of view for pumpkins it was perfect. 

“The weather gave us the right amount of rain with sunny intervals especially compared with the challenging conditions we encountered during last year’s heatwave which was officially the hottest UK year on record.” 

Tesco’s pumpkins range this year is as follows:

  • Carving – standard size – 95p
  • Culinary - £1
  • Munchkin - £1.10
  • Novelty including devil (red) and ghost (white) types - £1.90
  • Large - £1.90
  • Giant - £3.15 


Pumpkin recipes

Sweet pumpkin pancakes with blackberries
These seasonal pancakes use pumpkin to give them a warm glow and sweet, squashy flavour. Stack ’em high with syrup and blackberries!

View the Real Food recipe here

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Toss the pumpkin with the oil and spread out in a single layer in a roasting tin. Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins, then remove the foil and continue to cook for 10 mins until the pumpkin is tender, with no liquid remaining in the tin. Leave to cool for 10 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the flour and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Crush the pumpkin in the tin with a potato masher or fork. Put in a jug with the milk and eggs, and whisk to combine evenly.
  3. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the centre of the flour bowl and whisk to make a smooth batter.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and use a piece of kitchen paper to wipe ¼ of the butter over the surface of the pan. Spoon 4-5 heaped tbsp of batter, well-spaced out in the pan, to make 4-5 pancakes. Cook for about 90 secs until golden underneath with bubbles forming on the surface; flip and cook for another 1 min. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
  5. Stack the pancakes and serve with the blackberries, a little yogurt and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
    Tip: Make your pancakes into pumpkin shapes. Spoon an extra 1 tsp batter into the pan while cooking to create stalks. Once cooked, spread half the batch with hazelnut chocolate spread, and cut faces out of the other half. Sandwich the halves together, and colour the stalks with green writing icing.
    Pumpkin latte
    If you’re in need of a warm me up then get cosy with this wonderfully spiced pumpkin latte. This spicy and frothy hot drink is so simple to make at home, it’s the perfect drink to snuggle up to and works wonderfully with both espresso coffee and instant coffee.

View the Real Food recipe here

  1. Put the pumpkin purée, sugar, spices and milk in a microwave-proof jug. Mix the contents to combine. Cover with clingfilm, then carefully pierce the surface two or three times, to allow steam to escape. Microwave on full power for 1½-2 mins, until the milk is hot.
  2. Using an electric milk frother or whisk, whisk for 30-45 secs or until milk is really frothy. Pour the hot coffee into a latte glass or mug, then add the spiced pumpkin milk. Top with cream, if using, then dust with a little more mixed spice and some cocoa.
    Tip: If you have a coffee machine, use two shots of espresso to make the latte. If not, use an instant espresso coffee or your usual cafetière. You will need 50ml strong coffee made from about 1 tbsp ground coffee.

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