Egyptian creamy pumpkin bake

Moushira Abdel-Malek , Tuesday 27 Apr 2021

Egyptian creamy pumpkin bake
Egyptian creamy pumpkin bake

Serves 6



1 kg net weight pumpkin (after being peeled, seeded), cubed

1 cup castor sugar

1/3 cup mixture of (raisins and crushed hazelnuts)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp brown sugar

Extra brown sugar to sprinkle on top of bake


Béchamel Sauce:

6 tbsp All Purpose flour

6 tbsp powdered whole milk 

2 cups pumpkin juice (usual quantity released after stewing pumpkin)

2 cups whole milk 

100 ml pouring cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

40 gm butter + 2 tbsp corn oil



In a wide colander, held over a wide deep container; distance kept between both bases; place pumpkin cubes.  Sprinkle castor sugar on top of pumpkin and allow to release its waters for 24 hours; covered with a fitting lid.  Sugar will be dissolved within the pumpkin, releasing juices down in the container below.  Pour pumpkin and its juices in a wide cooking pot.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Lower heat to medium, and stew until pumpkin is soft enough to mash.  Leave aside to cool down then tilt pot over a container; with lid kept ajar, pouring down released juices.  Repeat process several times with an interval of five minutes between each time; allowing more juices to collect; reaching two cups.  When no more juice is released, mash stewed pumpkin with a fork.  Mix raisins, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon together.  Stir mixture into mashed pumpkin.  Add one cup of béchamel sauce; or more, to pumpkin mixture, stirring it in well to incorporate and mixture becomes less dense.  Slightly butter inside base and sides of a 25 x 20 centimetre rectangular baking dish.  Pour mixture onto buttered dish.  Spread top evenly with a spatula.  Top with remaining béchamel sauce.  Sprinkle extra brown sugar; in one layer, enough to completely cover top.  Bake into a preheated oven of 180-200 degrees Celsius; until top is lightly golden browned.  Remove from oven.  Allow to slightly cool and serve warm.


Béchamel Sauce: 

Heat a medium pan on high.  Add butter and oil.  Lower heat to medium low.  Stir in flour until colour changes to light beige.  Away from heat; stir in pumpkin juice.  Mixture will thicken.  Dissolve powdered milk into whole milk; until no lumps appear.  Bring back pan to heat.  Stir in milk mixture.  Béchamel sauce consistency should now be as thick as beaten yoghurt.  Remove away from heat.  Stir in vanilla.  Cover and allow to rest for a while.  No more sugar added here as pumpkin juice is sweet enough.



*A version of this article appears in print in the 28 April, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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