Sticky Hasselback Pumpkin

1 (1.6kg) small butternut pumpkin

25g butter, melted

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs to serve

1/4 cup pecans, toasted, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Peel pumpkin. Cut in half lengthways. Scoop out seeds and discard.

Place one pumpkin half, cut-side down, on a chopping board. Place a chopstick along each long side of pumpkin. Slice pumpkin thinly, cutting through to chopsticks to prevent cutting all the way through. Transfer to 1 prepared tray. Repeat with remaining pumpkin half.

Combine butter, sugar, syrup, paprika and ½ the thyme in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Brush pumpkin with 1/2 the sugar mixture. Roast, brushing twice more with remaining sugar mixture, for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden and tender. Serve sprinkled with remaining thyme and extra sprigs, and pecans.

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