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One of the traditional easy Brazilian pumpkin recipes with just a few Ingredients is Pumpkin Compote that we call “Doce de Abóbora,”; which, if translated literally, would be Pumpkin Sweet. However, I have decided that Compote is more appropriate. Compote is a French dessert made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. And that’s exactly what Doce de Abóbora is!
I grew up eating the best Doce de Abóbora in the whole world, made – of course! – by my mom. Since I was a child, I have been watching my mother making this recipe countless times. She is now 85, and she still makes it every week.
This is one of my daughter’s favourites desserts.
Some people add shredded coconut to the mix. I love it with coconut, but my husband and my father, they prefer without it.
In Brazil, they actually use a different kind of pumpkin instead of the pie pumpkin I used, making the final result more reddish!
As I live in Canada, I can only make it in October because it is when I can find a pie (or sugar) pumpkin, which is the best one for this compote. We all know that October is Pumpkin month! You walk around the city, and you see pumpkins everywhere.
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- 1 kg Pumpkin - “sugar pumpkin” or “pie pumpkin”
- 500 g Sugar
- 4 Cloves - whole
- 5 pieces Cinnamon - Sticks
- ¾ cup Coconut - optional – shredded - fresh or dried moistened with hot water
- If the pumpkin is too hard to cut into, bake it in the microwave for about 3 minutes (or in the oven at 350F for 20 minutes or so). Otherwise, if you can manage to cut and peel the pumpkin without baking it first, go that route.
- Then cut the pumpkin in half. Remove seeds and cut into several smaller pieces. Cut the skin off.
- Weight the pumpkin. The best ratio is 1 kg (2 lb) pumpkin to 0.5 kg (1 lb) sugar. For example, if your pumpkin pieces weigh 800g (28 oz), you should add 400g (14 oz) of sugar.
- In a large saucepan, mix sugar with pumpkin cubes with cinnamon sticks (not the whole one, just a few pieces) and 4 whole cloves. Simmer on low heat with the lid on until it falls apart, and the mixture has thickened and has a deep orange-brown colour. When the pumpkin is cooked and falling apart, mash it until roughly puréed. It a jam-like consistency.
- Total cooking time is about 15 to 30 minutes, but check every 5 minutes or so to avoid burning the bottom of the pot.
- The candied pumpkin is ready when you can scrape a spatula across the bottom of the pot, and it takes one or two seconds for the mixture to close back over the track of the spatula along the bottom of the pot.
- If desired, mix in coconut and remove from heat. The coconut is optional but very tasty.
- Let it cool. Transfer to a container with a lid and refrigerate.
- The compote can be served cool or at room temperature.
- If you don't eat everything, tis will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
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