Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Nigella Lawson’s light, crunchy nibble provides a sweet, easy finish to a traditionally heavy meal.

’s light, crunchy nibble provides a sweet, easy finish to a traditionally heavy meal.

Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups sugar 1/2 cup water 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 cup green pumpkin seeds

Directions: Cover a baking sheet with a piece of Silpat or other re-usable parchment, or tear off some aluminum foil and lightly oil it. Dissolve the sugar, water and cream of tartar in a saucepan over a low heat. Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a boil but do not stir.

“The pumpkin seeds, trapped in the heat of the caramel, are imbued with an autumnal, resiny resonance.”

Let the syrup bubble over a fairly high heat for about 10 minutes until it turns a deep golden amber color. Don’t be tempted to wander away, make a phone call or leave the pan unattended, as the syrup could caramelize sooner. There are various factors at play here, and I know nothing of the dimensions of your pans or what materials they’re made of—and that’s not the whole story either.

Quickly tip the pumpkin seeds into the amber-colored syrup, swirl the pan so that they become evenly coated and then take off the heat. Pour the syrup immediately on to the Bake-O-Glide or oiled-foil-lined tray, trying to spread the molten liquid in a thin layer. It is possible to spread the brittle with a palette knife if it has mounded too much, but move fast: you will have only a short time to do this before it begins to set.

Leave the brittle to cool and harden completely before breaking it into pieces. I rather like to leave it as it is, a wibbly-wobbly outlined disc of green-studded amber, and quite, quite beautiful, bashing it into sharp pieces at the table.

Note: This is just not the same made with supermarket, dried out, bleached-out husks. Use organic, still oily green pumpkin seeds only.