Pumpkin with cream

October 25, 2009  •  Category:


I found out about this event a few days ago. Sounded very interesting especially since Turkey was the first country mentioned and I am going to visit Istanbul for the first time in December!

Prior to this dish, you would have mentioned pumpkin dessert to me, and frankly you would not have gotten a very enthusiastic response. NOT ANYMORE.  I guarantee that you will swoon (like I did) when you taste this! I am now going to have to serve it at Thanksgiving dinner, and that’s all there is to it! This dessert encapsulates all that one is looking for in a pumpkin pie, sweetness,richness, smoothness, the wonderful taste of a mellow fruit, with none of the unnecessary additions, such as a crust or eggs or extra spices. Pure flavor. Deep pleasure.

This is the name of the dish in Turkey, Kabak tatlisi

All that is required is roasting a few slices of pumpkin, caramelizing them with some sugar and placing a dollop of thick cream or kaimak on top!

Recipe is from Seductive Flavours of the Levant by Nada Saleh. She brought this recipe back with her from Turkey. I have always been awed by the legacies of the Ottomans who ruled our region for 400 years and had heard stories from my grandmother about al-atraak, as she called them. Not very happy stories I am afraid, but at least in the culinary realm, there is so much that we can be thankful for as  we learned a lot from their extraordinary culture.

I have adapted this recipe  by roasting the pumpkin slices instead of cooking them on the stove and using brown sugar.

INGREDIENTS: This quantity will serve 4

4 (or more) pieces of pumpkin, peeled and placed side by side in a pan

brown sugar (or white sugar) as needed (depends on how many slices of pumpkin you use), about 1 1/2 cup

cream: can be kaimak, or mascarpone, or homemade ashta or heavy whipping cream, whipped

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  1. Cut the pumpkin, starting at the top, and cut in smallish slices (about 5X7 inches)
  2. Peel the pumpkin slices (I was feeling lazy and I left them un-peeled, OK, you just peel them later!
  3. Place the pumpkin slices  in a pan large enough so that they can all fit in one layer
  4. Cover the pumpkin slices very generously with sugar, cover the pan and let it sit overnight.
  5. Heat the oven to 350F and roast the pumpkin slices, basting them with the sugar syrup every so often.
  6. Bake until the pumpkin slices are thoroughly cooked and soft, about 45 minutes for 4 large pieces.
  7. Turn the broiler on and let the pumpkin slices broil and caramelize for a couple of minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven. Serve warm with a dollop of kaimak, or whipped cream or mascarpone cheese.



Kaimak is a thick cream that can be found in ethnic or middle-eastern stores. A good substitute can be mascarpone cheese.




11 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. kouky says:

    merci pour ton passage et pour ton gentil commentaire qui m’on permis de découvrir ton superbe blog!!je suis trés fan de la cuisine libanaise, d’ailleurs je suis l’emission de LBC “soufra daima “avec plaisir! il va falloir juste que je revois mon anglais pour pouvoir te lire à l’aise! la graine de couscous de blé fermentée est difficile à trouver car c’est un plat qui tend à disparaitre, d’où ma volonté de faire découvrir de nouveaux couscous à travers le jeu “à vos couscoussiers!” j’espere que tu trouveras des recettes interessantes! merci pour toutes ces délicieuses recettes! bonnes journée et bises!

  2. tobias cooks! says:

    Hello Joumana,

    what a perfectly simple recipe. looks delicious. thanks for participating!

    Happy cooking!

  3. Rosa says:

    A delicious dessert! Very unusual…



  4. MaryAthenes says:

    Tres belle participation !
    Je suis ravie d’avoir decouvert ton blog ! Superbe !

  5. bedava blog says:

    Je suis ravie d’avoir decouvert ton blog ! Superbe

  6. Ale says:

    Dear Joumana,
    I am from Turkey and pumpkin dessert is one of my favourites. One thing I wanted to add is that the ratio of sugar to pumpkin is 1/2. So for 2 kg of pumpkin add 1 kg of sugar. You can also add cinnamon and crushed wallnuts as a topping which makes it delicious. great in hallowween 🙂 all the best.

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