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This pumpkin dessert is originally made from white pumpkin which is grown in Antakya.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.
Here is the recipe for Antakya Kabak Tatlisi:
- 1 kilo pumpkin, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 kilo sugar
- 200 ml water
- ½ lemon
- To prepare pumpkin:
- 500g slaked lime
- 10 liter water
- 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.
- Then wash them well. Wait them in clean water about 1 hour.
- Put them in a large pot, pout sugar and 200ml water on them.
- Cook about 1 hour until it has right consistency and pumpkin slices get golden.
- Add a few lemon drops and cook a few minutes more.
- Let it cold. Don’t put it in refrigerator.
- Serve it as it is, it doesn’t need any topping, you just grab one slice and eat it.