Halloween Food

by / Thursday, 11 October 2018 / Published in News

Halloween at THOMPSON St Albans

Our menus are based on seasonal produce, so the team here at THOMPSON St Albans took this as an opportunity to embrace the Pumpkin for Halloween! The British season runs from October to December where fields come alive with this iconic squash.


In the spirit of Halloween, THOMPSON St Albans has created a beautiful ‘Spellbound’ cocktail and a twist on an American classic with a Sweet Pumpkin & Vanilla Pie available on our Midweek Set Menu at just £18.50 / £23 for 2 / 3 courses at lunchtime and £21 / £25 in the evening.  Each 3-course order will receive a complimentary Spellbound cocktail and canapés on arrival.



  • Enter in to our Pumpkin Pie competition!


  • Read on for our wonderful Spellbound, Halloween cocktail and Sweet Pumpkin & Vanilla Pie recipes.


Pie Competition

Please submit your photographs to me phil@thomsponstalbans.co.uk by Sunday 4th of November.  The winner will be announced by Friday 9th of November who will be awarded best pumpkin pie in St Albans status and a complimentary desert on Phil Thompson.


Sweet Pumpkin & Vanilla Pie

For those of your brave enough this Halloween, try recreating Phil’s very own recipe.

Ingredients (1 large tart or 8 individual)

1 small pumpkin (or 350g purée)

1 egg

70ml double cream

½ of vanilla essence or ½ a vanilla pod

25g maple syrup

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground allspice


You can buy ready-rolled sweet pastry or pre-formed pastry cases



  1. Line your flan dish with sweet pastry
  2. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the pastry case
  3. Leave to rest in the fridge for 1hr
  4. Cook at 180deg C for 12-15 mins until golden brown
  5. As soon as the pastry case comes out of the oven, coat with an egg yolk to seal any cracks
  6. Peel & deseed the pumpkin
  7. Cut into a small, roughly diced pieces
  8. Place on tin foil and make a parcel
  9. Bake at 160deg C for approximately 1hr or until nice & soft
  10. Place into a food processor and blend until smooth
  11. Leave to cool
  12. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the pumpkin purée & egg together
  13. Add in the spices, maple, vanilla & cream
  14. Mix altogether and fill your tart case/s
  15. Place in a pre-heated oven at 160deg C
  16. Bake small tarts 12-15 mins / large tart approx. 30-45 mins
  17. To check to see if the tart is cooked, place a small knife in the centre of the tart, if it comes out clean it’s cooked


Leave to cool, then serve with crème Chantilly or ice cream

Spellbound – Halloween Cocktail


35ml Scotch whisky

25ml orange juice

12.5ml sweet vermouth

12.5ml cherry brandy

Orange peel to decorate

Cocktail sherry



  1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice
  2. Shake vigorously & double strain into a martini glass
  3. Sugar-coat the rim of the glass dipped in cherry liquor
  4. Decorate with orange peel & cocktail sherry


More Pumpkin Recipes

Having battled your way into the mighty pumpkin without losing a finger then be sure to put the rest of your pumpkin to good use. From sweet classics to savoury mains this versatile squash lends itself extremely well to soups, pies, risottos and curries.   Its sweet flavour can be offset by fragrant herbs such as sage or thyme, or warming spices such as ginger.

Some Pumpkin based recipes are worth trying at home or come in and try my pumpkin soup also featuring on my Midweek Set Menu this Halloween.

Pumpkin risotto – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s pumpkin risotto with crispy sage takes no time to cook. Click here to see Hugh’s recipe.

 Pumpkin Pasta with rosemary – James Martin. Click here to see the recipe.

 Baked Pumpkin Seeds

  • Extract and clean the seeds
  • Boil for 10 minutes then drain and dry them on a paper towel.
  • Bake them in a little oil (you can add flavour by sprinkling some salt, pepper or paprika over them)
  • Cook for around 45 minutes (on 120°C) until they are crisp and golden brown.

The Origin of the Pumpkin / Jack O’Lantern

The symbolic Halloween pumpkin / Jack O’Lantern derived from the Celts who wanted to light the way to their homes for the good spirits as part of their Autumn celebrations.  Vegetables were hollowed out, a light placed within and faces carved onto the front.

Named Jack O’Lanterns by the Irish who told a legend about a farmer named Jack who made a bargain with the devil that left him wandering the earth for all time.

Where to get your pumpkin from

Picking your own fruit and vegetables is very satisfying, Phil is often at his father-in-law’s allotment foraging for his dishes.  Whilst all the supermarkets will have containers of pumpkins for you to buy, we wanted to let you know about other local businesses in St Albans where you can purchase your pumpkin and join in with pumpkin carving and Halloween fun.


Willows Activity Farm Pumpkin Festival

Willows Activity Farm, Coursers Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL4 0PF

From Thursday 25th October to Sunday 4th November 2018, Willows Activity Farm will be holding their annual Pumpkin Festival. Every child can receive a free pumpkin straight from the Willows Pumpkin Patch. There’s also pumpkin carving and loads of activities and shows to keep children entertained all day long.

Pumpkin Patch at Burston

Burston Garden Centre, North Orbital Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL2 2DS

From Wednesday 24th to Wednesday 31st October 2018, 9am to 6pm (Sundays 10.30am-4.30pm), drop-in to Burston Garden Centre and choose your pumpkin from their first ever Pumpkin patch.  The kids will be entertained by the Witches resident there over the Halloween period and the opportunity to take part in a Monster Hunt.

If you’re looking for somewhere you can enjoy the best, locally produced, freshest seasonal flavours and of course Phil’s own take on a Pumpkin pie then book your table at THOMPSON St Albans to guarantee trying something out of the ordinary.

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