Pechena tikva s med i orehi – Roast honey & walnuts pumpkin
If you consider pumpkin to be modest or simple this traditional Bulgarian dessert will make you think twice. It makes pumpkin shine and underlines its amazing flavor and creates “something from nothing”’. Roast pumpkin (or Pechena tikva in Bulgarian) has many variations in Bulgaria but the recipe with honey and walnuts is among the most popular ones. Maybe because all ingredients grow locally and are widely popular in Bulgaria or perhaps because the combination of all components plus the spice mixes make a truly good dessert.
1 small pumpkin (about 1.5 kg), unpeeled, wedged
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
150g walnuts crushed
4 teaspoons honey
Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
Cut pumpkin into wedges and then into uniform pieces, cutting wedges ends and leaving the skin on. Spare wedges for pumpkin soup, risotto or whatever else you like. Don’t throw the seeds, roast them and save for a nice movie nibble.
In a bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves and mix well. Fill a baking tray with water just to cover the bottom. Dip each side of pumpkin slices into the spice mixture and rub the remaining mix, trying to cover all pieces evenly. Place them on a baking tray skin down. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven.
Roast pumpkin until it is fork-tender (30-40 minutes, depending on the size of pieces) then uncover roast for some more time until the top has caramelized (approximately 10 more minutes). Take from the oven and add a some honey to every piece and sprinkle with some walnuts.
Optionally, like we did, you can sprinkle some sugar powder and golden raisins on top of each piece – it makes the dessert even more tempting.