Kabak Tatlisi – Candied Pumpkin

Fall is over already and yet, I am not over with pumpkins and chestnuts. I even invested in a handful of pumpkin seeds which I’ll be planting this summer and hopefully enjoying my mini-pumpkins end of next year, here is a picture of what I am hoping to achieve:

For now, I’ll have to suffice with squares of candied winter squash, Turkish style of course. Some recipes from the southern part of Turkey also call for soaking the pumpkin slices into edible lime before cooking, so that the dessert turns translucent and attains a crunchy feel when cooked. This recipe here is the wider used version.Ingredients:

2 kgs of pumpkin, peeled and sliced

2-3 cups of sugar, depending on the natural sweetness of the pumpkin, you can replace sugar with grape molasses, honey or brown sugar

Crushed walnuts or hazelnuts

Place pumpkin slices into a deep wide cooking pot. Add sugar to pumpkin slices, cover and let sit for half an hour. Then add  1/2 cup of water, bring to boil and cook on low heat until al-dente. Be careful not to turn the pumpkins into mush. Depending on your liking, you can  further bake the dessert for another 10 minutes in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius, just to add a bit of flavor. Serve cold or at room temperature, either plain or with crushed walnuts. A sizzle of tahini is another option. Healthy and yummy!

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. how long does this last?

    • Well it depends on storage conditions, but would probably stay fine for around 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. There is another way for making this. In Southern parts of Turkey, they soak the pumpkin slices in edible lime+water mixture, then make candied pumpkins. That version will preserve the pumpkins for months.

      • Thank you! That is the exact info I wanted. I ate the candied pumpkin at Ciya in Istanbul and wondered how they made it. Ciya was the most exciting experience of my life in a restaurant.
        I hear he may be doing a cooking school. Do you know anything about it?
        I love your website by the way FABULOUS!!

        • You’re welcome. Yes, Ciya is the best place to taste Southern food, especially the real kebap dishes… Musa Dagdeviren is the owner of the place. He’s quite famous around restaurant biz circles. I haven’t heard of a cooking school related to him. I’ll let you know if I hear anything about such school.

          Thanks for your comment regarding the website.

      • Elif

        Is the pickling lime used on the other desserts Ciya does? The tomatoes, eggplant, olives? Do I do it the same way as the pumpkin?
        Thanks so much!!

        • Yes Pamela,
          Translucent, crunchy texture of such sweets is generally achieved through soaking the vegetables-fruits into edible lime before preserving. Ever tried water melon rind, unripened figs candied this way? Highly recommended.
          You’re welcome :).

  2. Generally I do not read post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice post.


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