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Pumpkin jam

According to the Atlas of Lebanese Traditional Foods, this recipe has been used in the near east for more than 200 years as a dessert and a source of energy during the harsh days of winter. The recipe below is a specialty of the West Bekaa; pumpkin jam is prepared in many Lebanese areas with modifications in the preparation.

Preparation Time: 90 minutes

1 kg of pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
100 gr of Calcium Oxide (limestone), diluted in 2 Liters of water or enough water to immerse the pumpkin cubes
Sugar syrup
2 kg of sugar
2 L of water
50 ml (OR 3 Tbsps.) + 1 tsp. of Lemon Juice

Preparation Steps:

  1. Pinch the small pumpkin cubes with a fork
  2. Dissolve the limestone in water and set aside for about 2 hours, then decant the solution to remove excess limestone
  3. Soak overnight the pumpkin cubes in the prepared solution, making sure that all the pumpkins are immersed in water
  4. Drain the pumpkins from the water used for soaking and soak in clean hot water for 30 min
  5. Wash the pumpkins with running water to remove any sediments of calcium
  6. Boil the pumpkin cubes in sugar syrup with cloves and orange peel (to flavor it) for about 30 min or until pumpkin turns golden and pumpkin cubes are cooked on the inside