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.

Preparation

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.

Pumpkin pizza 2

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.

Pumpkin pizza 3

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.

Pumpkin pizza 4

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.

Pumpkin pizza 5

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.

Pumpkin pizza 6

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.

Pumpkin pizza 7

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.

Pumpkin pizza 8

Ingredients

  • 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

Shop ingredients

Ingredients

  • 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

Shop ingredients Shop ingredients

Preparation

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.

Pumpkin pizza 2

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.

Pumpkin pizza 3

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.

Pumpkin pizza 4

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.

Pumpkin pizza 5

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.

Pumpkin pizza 6

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.

Pumpkin pizza 7

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.

Pumpkin pizza 8