Autumn finally arrive and with it the cold weather, this season also bring to us a great vegetable named squash. I confess, autumn is my favorite season of the year, it´s not really cold and I don´t have to deal with the summer very hot temperatures. With Autumn is possible to get a lot of ingredients and experience flavors that always make me prepare great recipes.
I can find in markets a variety of fruits, vegetables and spices for my recipes as: quinces, pumpkins, dried fruits, walnuts and a lot of different kinds of really wonderful season fresh fruits.
For my dear foodies who don´t know the cucurbita squash, I can tell you that the Portuguese pastry would loose one of the most important ingredients if squash doesn´t exist.
There is plenty of Portuguese traditional cakes made with this pumpkin in different locations around my beautiful country, one of the most known is “Tortas da Clarinha” from Guimarães, the tasty “Clarinhas de Fão” and one recipe made across Portugal named “Toucinho do Céu”.
Recently I made an homemade cucurbita squash jam which is a long process of cooking but is very fun to do. Cut the pumpkin is great and funny, receive the help of all family during a rainy Sunday is adorable and please don´t forget that this recipe will make you enjoy every moment.
I always prefer to cook myself but you can find this particular jam in every supermarket in Portugal.
So, foodies here it is the recipe:
What we will need?
2 packages of Marie biscuits (rich tea biscuit)
250 grams of butter
300 grams of cucurbita squash jam
100 grams of almond
18 egg gems
10 egg whites
500 grams of sugar
200 ml of water
How its done:
1 – Melt the butter until it start to get brown and you feel a smell like hazelnut
2 – Grind the biscuits and join the butter already melt
3 – Place the cookies inside a baking tray and press.
4- For the filling we start to place the sugar with water until boil (107ºc).
5 – After separate the egg gems, please make sure you take all white.
6 – When the water with sugar be at the correct temperatura, add the water+sugar (slowly) to the egg gems until it become a more approximate temperature of the syrup. To make sure that egg gems are already warmer simply place hands in the bowl, if the bowl is hot it means that egg gems are good to transfer the pan where the water+sugar where cooked.
7 – Join the hot gems to the remain boiled sugar+water (step 4)
8 – Cook very slowly without stir, please use a spatula because is the best way you control the pressure and velocity.
9 – Add the squash and almonds
10 – Mix everything together until is thick and turn off the fire
11 – Once is tepid fill the baking tray
12 – For the final topping whisk egg whites (use a little bit of salt to help) and place it on the top of the cake.
13 – Take the baking tray to oven (180ºc) for 30 min or until the egg white be kind of gold. Please ensure you only open the oven without take the cake out, because is very sensitive to a suddenly change of temperature.
Translated by André Gameiro