Pumpkin Dessert Candy Version

Pumpkin Dessert Candy | giverecipe.com

I was tidying the files on my computer this morning and found the photos of this pumpkin candies. I remember taking its pictures a few years ago when we bought it from a new dessert restaurant we discovered in Eskisehir. It is a special restaurant serving desserts of Antakya, Hatay (a city located on the South of Turkey). Antakya, which was first called Antiocheia in 300 BC , has a very large cuisine with several unique and scrumptious dishes. This pumpkin dessert is one of these unique dishes. It is the only pumpkin dessert served in Antakya, so when you order pumpkin dessert in a restaurant there, they bring this one. The pumpkin dessert I wrote about before here is the common one around the country, but it is not made in Antakya. They have this special candy like pumpkin dessert instead. Also, there are street vendors selling this pumpkin dessert in Antakya, and people can buy just one slice and eat it walking.

This pumpkin dessert is originally made from white pumpkin which is grown in Antakya. However, it can also be made with regular pumpkin if you can not find white pımpkin. It is not soft and it has rather a crispy texture unlike the common pumpkin dessert. What makes it crispy is slaked lime in its recipe. Lime is something that is commonly used in making jams of certain fruit or vegetables like eggplant or watermelon. You will read how it is used below.

Pumpkin Dessert Candy | giverecipe.com

Here is the recipe for Antakya Kabak Tatlisi:

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Pumpkin Dessert Candy Version
A crsipy dessert from pumpkin.
  • 1 kilo pumpkin, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 kilo sugar
  • 200 ml water
  • ½ lemon
  • To prepare pumpkin:
  • 500g slaked lime
  • 10 liter water
  1. Mix water and lime. Wait it 7 or 8 hours. Lime will sink and you will use the water on its surface. Pour this water on pumpkin slices and wait it about 7 hours.
  2. Then wash them well. Wait them in clean water about 1 hour.
  3. Put them in a large pot, pout sugar and 200ml water on them.
  4. Cook about 1 hour until it has right consistency and pumpkin slices get golden.
  5. Add a few lemon drops and cook a few minutes more.
  6. Let it cold. Don’t put it in refrigerator.
  7. Serve it as it is, it doesn’t need any topping, you just grab one slice and eat it.


  1. says

    Such a gorgeous photo! Love anything pumpkin and I’ve been thinking of making something pumpkin too!

    • says

      Slaked lime is a white chalky substance that builders use when building houses. We don’t add it into the dessert, we just use water&lime mixture to give the pumpkin slices a crispy texture. We can find it at construction products store in Turkey, so you can search for it in a store selling building materials like cement.

    • says

      It’s great to see people already know this pumpkin dessert. I thought it was known in a very small region. Isn’t it a great way to sweeten pumpkin?

  2. says

    I’m intrigued by the slaked lime…never used it before and the candies are such a beautiful color. I wish I could buy one and walk around eating it right now!

  3. says

    That looks delish. I have been trying to make something similar but it wasn’t not working. Yours looks great.

  4. OysterCulture says

    I never would have thought of making candy from pumpkins let alone using lime. I’m curious if we’d use lye here, I have not heard of this process before. Its no wonder you’re a teacher, I always learn something new and come away with something delicious to make.

    • says

      I’m not familiar with lye, but I can say this method with lime works pretty fine for these goodies.

    • says

      OysterCulture, don’t use lye. It is not a substitute for lime. You can find lime in the pickling and canning section of the supermarket. Our Walmart has it but many stores carry it.

  5. megi says

    Dear Zerrin, the photo is absolutely gorgeous. We were talking about this technique with my mom just the other day. Thank you for sharing this!

    • says

      Oh, so you know this method? I hardly meet someone familiar with this version. Isn’t it just great?

  6. says

    I remember these from my childhood! I am amazed it is a Turkish recipe because the country of my childhood is Argentina. It’s travelled a long way. :)

    I’ve always wanted to make this but I’m a little nervous using the lime. Do you have to be careful handling it?

    • says

      So you know it too! Great! I thought it is just known and made in the south of Turkey. I am so surprised that it is also known in Argentina! What a long way!
      Lime doesn’t hurt your hand, but it might be better to wear gloves. So easy, don’t worry!

  7. says

    Hi! I want to impress my turkish boyfriend and make him these pumpkin “candy”. But I am confused about preparing the pumpkin! It’s that slaked lime….do you cut the pumpkin in those slices and put them in 10 l of water mixed with the slaked lime and then let it soak or what?? and then do as the ingredients says?? Cuz I really do want them crispy! Someone please tell me! I’m from sweden, lol :)

    Because of the answer to A canadian foodie I dont understand if the slaked lime should be used or not in the recepie??

    Someone please answer fast! :)

    • says

      Hi Lissy, you will first wait slaked lime in water without pumpkin slices. You will wait until lime sinks for 7 or 8 hours. Then you will just use the water on the surface, not the lime. Put pumpkin slices in a large pot and transfer that almost clean water on the surface into it. Wait pumpkin slices in this water for 7 hours. Then follow the rest of the recipe. Hope this clarification is helpful. Feel free to ask if it is not.
      Although he is Turkish, your boy friend may not know these candies as it is a regional food special to the south of Turkey. I’m sure it will still be impressing for him though. Would love to hear the result.

  8. Nadine says

    I have been looking for this recipe for ever and ever, we also make it in Lebanon and it is delicious.thank you

  9. Lark says

    Wow – I had pumpkin candy made this way from a visiting Hispanic lady who was from Texas – something like 50 years ago. She didn’t go into the details, but said that you treated the pumpkin with lime somehow. I loved it, but had forgotten about it until reading this.

  10. says

    Thanks for another way to cook pumpkin. My husband and I were blessed this season with an abundance of it.
    Slaked lime can be found in the pickling section of the supermarket….not pickles but pickling and canning section. It is used to make things like pickled watermelon rind.

  11. Samira says

    I would like to ask, Could you substitute Alum for the Lime in the recipe for the Candied Pumpkin, I have just been very curious about this. My Mum says she used to use it back in the Village before she came to Canada, but I wanted to make sure before I attempt it.

    Many thanks,

    • says

      Hi Samira, never tried or heard that Alum can be used for this dessert. I made a quick research on Turkish websites, but can’t find any posts telling about the use of alum in recipes. If your mom says she used it before, I guess it’s ok though.

  12. Hala says

    I followed the recipe as you instructed. They turned out very good as far as taste. Are the pumpkin pieces supposed to be soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside? If not, what would i have done wrong?

    • says

      That’s right Hala, these are crunchy outside and soft and juicy inside. As for the other question, I’m not sure what pickling lime is, never used any type of lime for pickling before, but we do use slaked lime for some jams to keep the fruit from getting mashed.

  13. Ferhad says

    My Mom is making this right now, as jam not as candy. so she waits the pumpkin in the slaked rime only for one hour. We live in Easter Kurdistan( in Iran).


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