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How to make mini 'pumpkin' pizzas

Give Italian calzone a Halloween makeover with these adorably spooky 'pumpkin' pizzas, bursting with mozzarella and pepperoni. They're mini, so make a great bite-sized treat for your Halloween party buffet. All you need is some string and a handful of classic ingredients and you can create these tasty pizzas in just 50 minutes. There’s a helpful ingredients list at the bottom of the page with everything you need – don't forget to screenshot it before you head in store.

  1. Making the filling

    Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C and put a large baking tray inside. Mix 60g quartered pizza pepperoni slices, 80g grated mozzarella, 100g tomato and herb pizza sauce and 15g chopped basil leaves in a bowl (make sure you have some small leaves leftover to decorate). Unroll 2 x 280g packs ready-rolled pizza dough and cut each into quarters.

  2. Sealing the parcels

    Put one-eighth of the tomato mixture into the centre of each triangle. Bring the dough up and over the filling and pinch to seal very well.

    Sealing the parcels
  3. Cutting off excess dough

    Each pumpkin should have a tail of extra dough: use kitchen scissors to cut off as much as possible without breaking the parcel. This will help them cook evenly.

    Cutting off excess dough
  4. Preparing the string

    Cut 8 x 1-metre pieces of kitchen string. Create a pumpkin effect by tying string around each ball like you would a parcel, twisting where it meets at the top and bottom. The string ensures the dough holds its shape as it cooks. Loop around 4 times to make 8 segments. As you go, pull just tight enough so the dough bulges out a little between the string, like the segments of a pumpkin, but not too tightly – it should only just leave an indent.

    Preparing the string
  5. Finishing the string

    Take the ends and loop them over the parcel to form a cross on top; twist again when they meet underneath. Continue to make 8 segments. Tie securely; trim.

    Finishing the string
  6. Tying tips

    Don't tie the parcel too tightly or it will encourage the filling to burst out when baking as the dough expands. Don't add extra filling either, as the pumpkins may burst.

    Tying tips
  7. Brushing

    Mix 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp paprika in a bowl, then brush all over the pumpkins to give a glazed finish and orange colour. You could use ½ tsp ground turmeric for a yellow colour or ¼ tsp chilli powder for more heat.

  8. Baking the pizzas

    Put on the hot tray, seal-side down, then bake for 20 mins. Flip and bake for 10 mins. Don't worry if some of the filling breaks through. Run a knife under the ‘pumpkins’ to free them from the tray. Allow to cool for 5 mins before snipping the string off. Place small basil leaves in the centres to make stalks, or use halved pecan nuts.

    Baking the pizzas
  9. Ingredients

    We've made a handy shopping list so you can get everything you need to make these Halloween treats. Don't forget to screenshot before you go shopping!

    60g pizza pepperoni slices, quartered
    80g grated mozzarella
    100g tomato and herb pizza sauce
    15g fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, plus small leaves to serve
    2 x 280g packs ready-rolled pizza dough
    1 egg yolk
    1 tsp paprika

    Makes 8

    Each serving contains

    • Energy

    • Fat

      11g 16%
    • Saturates

      4g 22%
    • Sugars

      4g 4%
    • Salt

      2g 34%

    of the reference intake
    Carbohydrate 43g Protein 10.3g Fibre 1.7g