Pumpkin in Syrup

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A nourishing winter dessert which turns a warm shade of golden orange when cooked. From November to the end of March the markets are full of large pumpkins, expertly cut into cubes and rectangles ready to be made into this popular dessert. Invariably, chopped walnuts are the preferred topping in Istanbul, while the contrasting green pistachios are favoured in parts of Anatolia.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb/900 g pumpkin flesh
  • 8 oz/225 g sugar
  • ¼ pint/150 ml water
  • juice of ½ lemon

For the top

  • 2 tablespoons walnuts or pistachios, finely chopped or ground

Method

  • Cut the pumpkin into rectangular or square blocks. Place the pieces in a wide, thick-based pan, sprinkle with the sugar and pour over the water and lemon juice. Cover the pan and poach gently for at least one hour, basting from time to time until the pumpkin is tender. Leave it to cool in the pan, then place the pumpkin pieces on a dish and spoon the syrup over them. Sprinkle with the nuts and serve plain or with kaymak.
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