Sunday, January 15, 2012

RECIPE - Pumpkin Pudding (Curau de Abóbora)

Pumpkin pie is unknown in Brazil, or it seems to be from what we've discovered researching Brazilian cookbooks, websites and blogs. Nonetheless, Brazilians cook frequently with pumpkins - in fact, with all the hard winter squashes - and they are familiar with pumpkin's ability to shine in sweet dishes as well as savory ones.

In this easy dessert dish, which comes from the northeastern state of Ceará, pureed pumpkin is combined with coconut milk and whole milk, then cooked down to create a thickened pudding. The use of coconut milk adds a distinctly Brazilian touch and the addition of powdered cinnamon at the end of the cooking process recalls the way pumpkin is spiced in North American sweet dishes.

RECIPE - Pumpkin Pudding (Curau de Abóbora) 
Serves 4

1 lb peeled and cubed pumpkin or winter squash
1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
powdered cinnamon
Cook the cubed pumpkin in boiling water until it is very soft. Drain thoroughly. When slightly cool, place the pumpkin in a blender or food processor with the coconut milk, the milk, the sugar, salt, cornstarch and butter. Blend until completely homogenous.

Put the blended mixture in a double boiler and cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, for thirty minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.

Pour the mixture into four ramekins or custard cups. Sprinkle the surface with powdered cinnamon. Place the cups in the refrigerator for at least three hours and serve cold.

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