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Portuguese Recipe: Doce de Abóbora (Pumpkin Preserve)

Cooking 2 hours Preparation 24 hours easy
Recipe type: Preserve Cuisine: Portuguese

Portuguese Recipe: Doce de Abóbora (Pumpkin Preserve)

Ever notice how the holidays strips  your cabinets empty of quick nibbles? It’s the cuisine no one talks about. The cuisine that’s absolutely required when family and friends are streaming in from all corners of the planet, but rarely do you find yourself with enough to satiate the masses.

“Honey, Aunt Gertrude is stopping by. Can you please grab a bottle of red and a few appetizers? Just a little something we can enjoy by the fire.”

“Yeah, no. Because the last four ‘unexpected’ visits has left us with a half a bag of popcorn and one pretzel.”

Don’t let this happen to you! Stock your cabinets with something sweet, delicious and very Portuguese! 


  • 1 pound (450g) Pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. Remove the skin and seeds from the pumpkin and place in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon on top and toss to coat the squash. Cover with plastic wrap and place over night in the refrigerator.
  2. Put squash mixture in a pan and cook over medium heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Once the squash is nice and tender, remove the pan from the heat and mash it with a potato masher or the back of a fork.
  3. If the pumpkin preserves still has a lot of liquid remaining, return the pan to the stove and continue cooking over medium low heat.
  4. To check for doneness, spoon out a bit of the preserve and place it on a flat plate in a mound. If liquid separates from the mound it needs to be cooked a bit more.
  5. Serve with either fresh sliced Portuguese bread or queijo fresco (unpasterized Portuguese cheese) or both!