Saturday, December 27, 2014

Turkish Spice-Candied Pumpkin

Continuing with the theme of healthy, warming, good-for-you flavours, I cracked into one of my jars of candied pumpkin yesterday for an exotic hint of something sweet with a bowl of rice pudding. The cubes of local Winter squash that I peeled, cut up and cooked in a dark, richly flavoured syrup were perfectly tender and not overly sweet, while the syrup is far and away the best sauce for ice cream or yoghurt as well as stirring into coffee.

Now that I've opened one of my jars, I can't wait to get cooking with it too - what about a Winter crumble with this as a base and Pumpkin Flax Granola in the topping, or baking into cakes and tarts? Looking at the recipe's spice profile, I doubt the candy would be out of place in a fruitcake or mincemeat - which just means I'll be busting out this recipe next year for the holidays!

Turkish Spiced Pumpkin in Syrup

Like all good things, the recipe does take time and patience - 3 days of macerating and another hour or two to cook - but I promise you the first taste is worth it! I know the title indicates pumpkin - and if you go that botanical route I strongly suggest a Kuri or pie pumpkin. That said, if it's just not around, kabocha or even butternut squash will do just fine, though for the "drier" varieties you may need to add a little water to cover the pieces before simmering.

Turkish Spice-Candied Pumpkin
Makes about 4 cups, 32 (2 tbsp) servings including syrup
1 kg (2.2 lbs) fresh pumpkin (I recommend Kuri) or Kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 2” chunks
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
  1. Place the pumpkin cubes into a large, shallow container and evenly sprinkle the sugars, salt and spices evenly over the top. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 3 days, stirring each day.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large, heavy pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 ½ - 2 hours, until the pumpkin is tender and the syrup is thick.
  4. Let the mixture cool in the pan 30 minutes, then spoon into clean jars and store in the refrigerator up to 3 months.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 56.7
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 19.2 mg
Total Carbs: 16.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 0.3 g