Living in Australia, I’ve never understood the obsession people have with pumpkin desserts, drinks, savoury foods and snacks. Especially around this time of year. I was browsing my local health food store and came across canned pumpkin puree. I know that it’s such an easy thing to make at home, but thought I’d buy some and try my hand at making some dessert cups with a simple raw crust.
This is such an easy recipe but requires an ingredient that isn’t too easy to find, depending on where in the world you live. Where we live, you can find it in 90% of health food stores and even in some supermarkets. The ingredient is agar-agar: an edible sea vegetable gelatin that helps firm liquids into a more jelly-like consistency. I use this now and then when I want to use either a tea base in a dessert recipe or more of a liquid infused flavour such as rose for a Turkish delight style dessert.
You’ll find that this recipe isn’t overly sweet but has a delicate balance of the pumpkin filling with the date and almond crust that brings it together.
If you wanted to, you could experiment with adding things like allspice, ginger powder or nutmeg into the mixture. I personally tried to keep it simple. We don’t have things like pumpkin pie spice here in Aus, so this is why I’ve used the spices I have in my pantry. It can also be served with some whipped coconut cream.
- 1.5 cups pitted dates - soaked for 5 minutes and drained
- 2 cups almonds
- 200 ml water
- 1/2 tsp agar agar
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence or extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 clove bud
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree or around 425gr homemade pumpkin puree
- For the crust, place the dates and almonds in a food processor using an S blade and blend until you've reached a consistency where you can pinch the mixture together and it sticks.
- Set mixture aside.
- For the filling, put the water in a small saucepan and sprinkle over agar agar. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes.
- While that is soaking, spoon out equal amounts of filling into each silicone cup mould (8 of them) and spread evenly to make a nice cup for the pumpkin puree. Set aside.
- Once the agar-agar has finished soaking, bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until flakes have completely dissolved.
- Add in the coconut sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and clove bud and let it simmer until the sugar dissolves, stirring.
- Add in the pumpkin puree and stir until mixture is well combines. Simmer for a further 5 minutes. The mixture will be quite thick once the pumpkin puree has been added. Taste mixture and check if it is sweet enough for you. If not, add some more sugar and stir until it dissolves. I like it not too sweet as there are dates in the crust to sweeten it up.
- Pour mixture into all cups and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Place in fridge and wait for the pumpkin mixture to firm up. It should take about 30-45 minutes.
- Pop out of silicone cups and serve.
Share with me in the comments below your favourite pumpkin recipe and why you and your family love it. That’s the beautiful thing about food. There’s a story behind every meal. Food brings people together, and great memories are created at the dining table.