Papas de Abóbora | TDAC

Last week for #NationalPumpkinDay I shared this illustration I made inspired by my Grandma’s desserts – her pumpkin treats are a THE best! “Papas de Abóbora” is a portuguese dessert that goes back to my father childhood years and although there’s not much historic background on them, from what I could found, it is a traditional dish that goes way back to when villagers had to leave town to work and would bring this ‘papas’ with salted sardines. Long story short, if you like pumpkin YOU NEED to try this!

This recipe can be made two ways: with cornflour (traditional) or with wheat flour. Personally I prefer the second one because once it cools down, it gets a thin coat on top, almost like a cream brulee, but without being burnt. I asked my Grandma for her recipe, but she told me she just does what feels right, so she doesn’t have exact measurements – I’ll try my best to share it with you guys.

Papas de Abóbora
– 500g of pumpkin (we usually use “abóbora menina”)
– water or milk q.b.
– lemon skin (make sure the white part is not on the peel, just the yellow)
– cornflour or wheat flour (around 2/3 tbsp)
– sugar (to taste)
– cinnamon (to decorate, you can skip this step)
– secret weapon: wooden spoon

Cut the pumpkin into bite size pieces, wash it and drain. Place the pumpkin + lemon skin in a pan and pour just enough milk/water to reach half the pieces – in the end you will need to still have liquid in the pan to scoop 1/2 cup aside and to blend the rest with the pumpkin. Boil and cook until soft.

Once it’s cooked, scoop out 1/2 cup of the liquid you choose and set aside. Away from the stove, with either a fork or a magic wand (this option makes the end result smoother), smash/process the pumpkin with the remaining liquid.


– if you are using cornflour, while ALWAYS stirring with a wooden spoon, slowly pour the flour into the pan. Bring it the stove and let it cook until it boils and starts thickening. DON’T FORGET TO ALWAYS STIR. It’s in this part that you just go by what it feels right, sometimes it needs less than 2tbsp, other times a little more, but it should start to resemble like a thick puree.

– if you’re using wheat flour, in a little bowl, mix the flour with 1/2 cup of the liquid you set aside (don’t use it while the liquid it’s very hot or else it will ruin everything). Then, while ALWAYS stirring with a wooden spoon, pour the flour mixture into the pan and let it cook until it boils and starts tickening.

Once the flour is cooked into the pumpkin, add sugar to taste (ALWAYS stirring with a wooden spoon). Let it dissolve and blend into the mixture. To finalize, pour it into a serving plate, let it cool and serve with cinnamon. ENJOY!

To help you visualize better, here’s a few photos of what it should look like: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Happy Halloween, everyone!


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