How to Make Kabak Tatlısı – Turkish Pumpkin Dessert Recipe

I have to say that I have never tried making kabak tatlısı or pumpkin/butternut squash dessert before on my own.  Though as much as I’ve tried eating it several times before (my family and friends always make it), I can easily tell anyone who wonders how it tastes like that kabak tatlısı or Turkish pumpkin dessert is so delicous!

And besides the fact that its not only delicious but also a healthy treat, it is also very easy to make. So since I started blogging about Turkish food, I don’t think I would ever skip making this quick and easy kabak tatlısı pumpkin dessert in my own kitchen.  And I thought that now's the right time to make it at home because I have a kilogram of fresh pumpkins sitting on the fridge.  I got it from Carrefour's grocery section yesterday and I actually was going to use it for another favorite dish of mine  but after I got home I changed my mind. Oh well, I’ll just make another post of that particular dish next time when I’ll buy some more pumpkins.

And so, that certain 'change of mind' has lead me to make this pumpkin or butternut squash dessert today. And what made me to use them for making kabak tatlısı dessert today?  The answer is simple - I just happen to feel like I’m in the mood to eat something sweet after dinner this evening.

Well honestly, I don't really have that much of a sweet tooth. In fact, I usually skip desserts after my meals especially during the winter season because I know that I can’t burn as much calories as I can than during the hot summer days when I'm always on the move.  But anyway, I just wanted to make kabak tatlısı this time and I’m even more happier that at least I got them already peeled and seeded.  They were tightly sealed in packs and are ready to cook.  So finally, I had the chance to make a delicious kabak tatlısı on my own.

I’ve provided a simple recipe below of the pumpkin dessert I made earlier today.  Indeed its very simple and easy to make that anyone who has not yet tried making any kind of dessert before can easily make this healthy sweet treat by just following the recipe I provided below. Try it, and I’m sure you’ll be making more of it again and again. J

  • 1 kilogram pumpkin or butternut squash (peeled and seeded)
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated white sugar (you may add more if you desire to make the pumpkins sweeter)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4-5 cloves
  • roughly crushed hazelnuts (walnuts may also do just as good)
  • cinnamon to garnish
  1. Cut the pumpkins or butternut squash into big chunks (you’ll have to peel and seed them if you’ve got a whole pumpkin or butternut squash).
  2. Once the pumpkins are ready, place them in a big or wide saucepan and add the sugar. Stir to combine sugar with the pumpkin.
  3. Let steep for about 3-4 hours or until all the white sugar has been completely dissolved. By this time, the pumpkin would have already turned a little soft and watery.
  4. Add the cloves and a half cup of boiling water.
  5. Move the saucepan onto the stove and simmer for just about 2-3 minutes over medium low heat.
  6. Open the lid and add the lemon juice.  Simmer again for about 15-20 minutes, stirring just occasionally to allow the pumpkin to cook evenly.
  7. When the pumpkin becomes a little soft and has started to change its light orange color, turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the top of the stove.  Your pumpkin is already cooked.
  8. Allow to cool if you want to serve it cold.  If you want to serve it hot, immediately transfer the cooked pumpkin to small dessert plates or individual serving bowls.
  9. Drizzle the top with its sweet lemony syrup.  You can also add kaymak or cream on top of the pumpkin (optional) and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  10. Garnish with crushed hazelnuts or walnuts. 
Serve either warm or cold.  Afiyet olsun!

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