Pumpkin is used in savory and sweet dishes in the Sephardic kitchen. In Sicily and Spain, the pumpkin for this confection was cooked first in water until tender, drained, and then simmered in sugar syrup until it became a jam, at which point it was used as a cake filling. In Sicily, it might be scented with jasmine flowers, a little cinnamon, orange-flower water, or rose water. The tradition of pumpkin sweets made its way to Turkey, where chopped walnuts or pine nuts were added to the already-rich conserve.
Layer the pumpkin pieces in a shallow saucepan, sprinkling the sugar between the layers. Add the
Spoon the cooled pumpkin into a bowl and sprinkle with the walnuts or pine nuts, if using. Serve as is or with clotted cream at a dairy meal.
© 2000 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.