Page to Plate #5 Harry Potter Drinks and Pumpkin Pasties

It's about time I did a Harry Potter related 'Page to Plate' and with Halloween on the horizon and pumpkins back in the shops I was finally able to attempt the classic Pumpkin Pastie. While on the theme it seemed a missed opportunity not to try Butterbeer, then Pumpkin Juice and the next thing I knew I had a drinks menu. But finding the recipes has been fun and I'll definitely be cracking out the Firewhiskey at some point!

Pumpkin Pasties

So aside from the sweets of the wizarding world (not sure how I'd go about making my own Bertie Botts Beans...) J.K Rowling spends a lot of time describing the Hogwarts food, and it's enough to make your mouth water. Some things are familiar: Treacle Tart, Roast Beef, Yorkshire Puddings etc. but among the classic British deserts and components of a standard roast there is always a smattering of 'Wizards only' treats. Pumpkin Pasties get mentioned a lot - although there's never a description of the actual taste - and so here's a recipe, adapted slightly from this one on the Good  Food Channel website:

For the Pastry:
225g Plain Flour, Pinch of Salt, 100g Butter

For the Filling:
Small Pumpkin, 1 Onion, 1 clove Garlic, 50g Cheddar Cheese, 1 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds, 1 tbsp Sunflower seeds, 2 tsp chopped Sage, 1 tbsp Sour Cream, 1 Egg

1. The good food recipe said to buy ready-made short-crust pastry, but I don't see that you have to as it's dead simple. First place the flour and salt in a bowl and add the butter to the flour.

2. Using both hands, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (I think I need to employ a hand model...)

3. Add 3-4 tablespoons of water to the mixture, sprinkling it evenly over the surface.

4. Stir in with a round bladed knife so that the mixture sticks together in clumps (bigger than in the picture below, that's only the first stir). You'll probably want to add a touch more water as you go along, I leave it to your judgement.

5. With one hand, collect the dough mixture together to form a ball. Knead lightly for a few seconds before rolling out.

6. Sprinkle some flour on working surface and rolling pin, then roll the dough evenly in one direction, turning it now and again. For best results wrap the dough in cling film and leave in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before baking it. I don't know why, but apparently it's the thing to do.

7. Now you've made the pastry, peel and gut the pumpkin and cut into small cubes. I'd go much smaller than the cubes I chopped, it'll make for a better ratio of pumpkin-to-other filling. Also, the pumpkin I bought was un-necessarily huge, I actually used less than a quarter of it.

8. Place your pumpkin in a steamer basket/colander over a pan of boiling water until tender. Could take between five and ten minutes.

9. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

10. Mix together all other ingredients - onion, garlic, grated cheese, seeds, sage - stir in your sour cream (or creme fresh if you know what that is? I wasn't sure...) and season with salt and pepper.

11. Add your Pumpkin to the mixture.

12. Cut your rolled out pastry into 4 by 20cm circles and place on a lined baking tray. I used the rim of a cereal bowl to cut out. Place a dollop of filling in the centre of each circle.

13. Fold the pastry over to make a semi-circle and fold the edges - or pinch them together for a quick fix. Crimp the edges of your pastie, and brush over with a beaten egg. This'll give the outside a shine and colour.

14. Place in the oven for 35 minutes.

Verdict:  They were alright! Pumpkin, on its own, is a totally boring and flavourless thing, but the texture was nice and the crunchiness of the seeds and familiar flavours of the other components made for a not-unpleasant experience. The pastry was good too (if I do say so myself!) and of course once you can make pumpkin pasties you can make all kinds. Definitely worth a try.

Hot Butterbeer

Butterbeer is probably the most often attempted of all Harry Potter recipes, possibly because it sounds so delicious. The stuff on the Harry Potter tour is decent and at Bangor University's Harry Potter feast (yes, we had such a thing - so we didn't have a student union but there were some perks to being at Bangor) I had a 'Butterbeer shot' that was actually delicious. Nevertheless, the usual image of Butterbeer in the books is of a hot drink, and most of the recipes offer a cold alternative. It took me a while to find what I was looking for, but eventually I did, with this relatively simple recipe at The Disney Diner - she does a cold version too: 

For the froth:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp Butterscotch Angel Delight

For the rest:
6 cups whole milk, 6 tbsps Butterscotch Sundae syrup, 10-12 drops yellow food colouring, 1 packet Butterscotch Angel delight

1. For the froth, mix cream, sugar and a teaspoon of the angel delight mix, and whisk together until resembles whipped cream. Set to the side.

Note: I decided to cook up my Butterbeer while our kitchen was getting done up, if you're wondering about the camping stove and general chaos of the back room...

2. Pour milk into medium sized saucepan and heat to medium high. Add food colouring and syrup and stir in.

3.  Add the Butterscotch Angel delight, only a small amount at a time and stir well until all lumps are gone. This may take a while, so you can gradually bring the heat up if you're getting impatient.

4. Ladle into tankard (or glass) and add froth to top. It's surprisingly tasty and 'a little bit like less sickly butterscotch' as the author herself suggests Butterbeer should taste. Okay, so it is quite sickly. But what can you expect, really?


Gilderoy Lockhart is partial to a drop, Ron always wanted to try it, but we never actually get first hand experience of the Wizarding World's strongest spirit. This recipe is all my own folks, although there's not much to it - but I would genuinely drink this stuff out of choice. Nice and warming, with a kick.

Ingredients:  - Whiskey, Ginger Beer, Tabasco Sauce, Chilli flakes, Ice

1. First, add Ice to glass if you wish. Fill half the glass with Whiskey.  
2. Top up with fiery Ginger Beer.
3. Shake in a good few drops of Tabasco sauce.
4. Add a sprinkle of Chilli flakes.


Professor McGonagall's tipple of choice -  and occasionally available at common room parties - Gillywater seems to be an alcoholic  beverage most probably including Gillyweed and more popular with the witches. I'd imagine it to be something a bit classier than your Firewhiskeys and Mulled Meades.  The version made here is nice and refreshing, but the vodka gives it the kick it needs to stop it tasting bland. I've changed things up a tiny bit, but the original recipe was discovered at In the Kitchen with Harry Potter:

Ingredients:  Vodka, Grape Juice, Cucumber

1. First, add ice to glass. Fill half the glass with vodka.
2. Using a potato peeler or similar, grate a section of your cucumber into strips. Place in glass.
3. Top up with grape juice or other mild fruit juice.


Pumpkin Juice

I know that pumpkin juice is clearly a soft drink, as the Hogwarts students drink it constantly, but I went with an alcoholic variation. Pumpkin is a largely tasteless vegetable, but by blending together a few different ingredients I came up with a smoothie-like concoction that you can imagine being drunk at breakfast (maybe minus the cider) or dinner.  


For ten cups:  Small pumpkin, 2 cups apple cider, 1 cup pear cider, 1 tin pears, cinnamonnutmeg, pure orange juice. 

1. Carve your pumpkin, and remove seeds and pulp. Then using a knife, scrape as much flesh as you can from the inside of the pumpkin.

2. Put into a pan with a small amount of water, a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Simmer lightly until soft.

3. When soft, mash with a fork and tip into separate mixing bowl/jug. Add two cups of apple cider, and one of pear cider (Cider can be substituted for juice for a non-alcoholic variation.)

4. Open your tin of pears and pour the syrup into a glass. Add to the mixture. Blend together.


5. Add a further sprinkle of nutmeg and of cinnamon. Stir in two spoonfuls of sugar and blend again.

And so that's it - recipes for pumpkin pasties, pumpkin juice, Butterbeer, Gillywater and Firewhiskey. Any would be great for Halloween but I'd particularly recommend the Firewhiskey! The print-outs for the bottles (see top picture) are available from the lovely people here at Over the Big Moon


  1. Thanks for this post! :) It reminded that I should try these Harry Potter drinks someday and Halloween will be perfect for this. :D at least I can make a little bit more Halloweenish atmosphere here because in my country we don't celebrate it... :(

  2. Thanks! Celebrating Halloween in a big way is quite new over here too (my parents' generation didn't really do it) but I love it!! :)


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