Lebanese Pumpkin Jam Cubes

lebanese pumpkin jam

We love visiting Beirut in the winter, especially when “Teta,” the kids grandmother makes her homemade pumpkin jam cubes. Known as Mrabba Etta’ Al-Yakteen in Arabic, pumpkin jam cubes have been made for years by many households in villages throughout Lebanon.

Leah and Jaf are half-Lebanese, half-Hawaiian; we find it easy to teach them about their heritages through food. Lebanese cuisine is rife in history, with some recipes tracing all the way back to Roman times!

Pumpkin Jam Cubes bottled & ready to be eaten!

Pumpkin Jam cubes are most commonly made during the winter, when pumpkins are in season. This recipe needs to be planned ahead, as the pumpkin pieces need to be soaked in limestone for a night, enabling the pumpkin to stay crispy during cooking.

We normally serve this at the end of a hearty meal, but the kids have been known to sneak pieces of it during the day, as a snack!

GRANDMA’S LEBANESE PUMPKIN JAM CUBES

Recipe adapted from Taste of Beirut

INGREDIENTS

  • Pumpkin cubes are soaked in 1 cup pickling lime and 6 cups water
  • 1 lb pumpkin cubes, about 2.5″ in width (peeled)
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp citric acid
  • 2.5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 slice of lemon peel
  • 2 Tablespoons of orange blossom water

INSTRUCTIONS

1. To soak the pumpkin cubes, you will need 1 cup pickling lime and 6 cups water. In a bowl, mix the pickling lime and water till it dissolves. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes before adding the peeled & cut pumpkin cubes. Mix to incorporate and set it aside overnight, for 12-15 hours.

 

pumpkin jam cubes

After that time, remove the pieces from the pickling water, and rinse them thoroughly.

2. Add water, sugar and citric acid to a large pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer for about 10 minutes till the sugar has dissolved.

pumpkin jam cubesAdd in the pumpkin cubes, lemon juice and, and lemon peel. Let it  simmer for about one hour over medium-low heat till the syrup has thickened. We like to use orange blossom, and add it in during the final minutes of cooking the pumpkin & syrup. It adds a lovely flavor to the end product.

3. Transfer the jam to sterilized jars, seal and cool. Best served cold. Yum!

pumpkin jam cubes bottledNOTE: You’ll find pickling lime in the US labeled as food-grade Calcium Hydroxide or Cal.

Lebanese Pumpkin Jam
 
Author:
Recipe type: Kid-Friendly Snacks
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Ingredients
  • Pumpkin cubes are soaked in 1 cup pickling lime and 6 cups water
  • 1 lb pumpkin cubes, about 2.5″ in width (peeled)
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ¼ tsp citric acid
  • 2.5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 slice of lemon peel
  • 2 Tablespoons of orange blossom water
Instructions
  1. To soak the pumpkin cubes, you will need 1 cup pickling lime and 6 cups water. In a bowl, mix the pickling lime and water till it dissolves. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes before adding the peeled & cut pumpkin cubes. Mix to incorporate and set it aside overnight, for 12-15 hours. After that time, remove the pieces from the pickling water, and rinse them thoroughly.
  2. Add water, sugar and citric acid to a large pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer for about 10 minutes till the sugar has dissolved. Add in the pumpkin cubes, lemon juice and, and lemon peel. Let it simmer for about one hour over medium-low heat till the syrup has thickened. We like to use orange blossom, and add it in during the final minutes of cooking the pumpkin & syrup. It adds a lovely flavor to the end product.
  3. Transfer the jam to sterilized jars, seal and cool. Best served cold. Yum!
Notes
You'll find pickling lime in the US labeled as food-grade Calcium Hydroxide or Cal.
 

 

 

8 Comments

  • To the earlier woman who had the excess calcium, is that dangerous to eat? And where can you find this pickling lime to buy?

    • Hi Marieanne, I’ve never had a problem with excess white sediment before – the key is to thoroughly rinse off the pumpkin after it has been in the pickling water. This will ensure no white sediment ends up in your jam cubes.

      In the past when we’ve made it, we got ours from Lebanon, but you can find food-grade pickling lime on Amazon here.

  • I just made this, and it is delicious, but after bottling I am seeing white sediment forming in the jars… I soaked and rinsed the pumpkin multiple times, very well….. but it would seem there was somehow still some there 🙁 I assume as long as I keep it in the fridge it will be ok right? But not on the shelf?

    • It’s soo tasty, isn’t it! Glad you liked the recipe – I believe the white sediment is excess calcium from the pickling lime. We always refrigerate it as we prefer them cold.

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