Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Toss the pumpkin and olive oil together.  Spread out on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until soft. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and process into a smooth puree. Let cool.

Meanwhile, soak the raisins and currants in the rum for 30 minutes, then drain. 

In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the milk, the yeast, flour and egg. Use the paddle attachment and mix well, then add the melted butter and salt. Mix for another 5 minutes, then stir in the pumpkin and spices. Carefully fold in the raisins and currants. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil to 375°F (180°C). Give the dough a good stir. Dip the ice scoop in the hot oil, scoop out small balls and drop them carefully in the oil one by one, a few at the time. Fry for 5 minutes or until nicely browned, flipping them over halfway through.
Drain on paper towel and dust with icing sugar.

Best served warm.

Makes 24

2 cups (500g) fresh pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup (50g) raisins
2 tablespoons (25g) currants
3 tablespoons (45ml) dark rum
1 cup (250ml) milk (at room temperature)
1½ tablespoon instant yeast
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 small egg
2 tablespoons (25g) unsalted butter (melted)
1 teaspoon (5g) salt
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Equipment: 1 medium ice scoop

To serve

1 cup (120g) icing sugar

Island Vibes – Food & Lifestyle Magazine