This is the second week running I find a wedge of pumpkin in our vegetable box. I am a little surprised to find pumpkin in late Spring which takes me on a search of seasonal vegetables in Australia.
I am thinking of Pumpkin & shrimp cake – a recipe from my book; something I would be making during this time of year back in the UK. My sister and I usually order a large box of pumpkins from Riverford to share between us. Mostly it is boiled, mashed and mixed with all that aromatic crispy onions, fried shrimp and ground rice.
Then tubs of pumpkin mixture are steamed; some are eaten immediately and the remaining are frozen. It’s like finding a gold nugget in the darkest days of February when the fridge is bare and you discover a tub of Pumpkin & shrimp cake in the back of the freezer.
To my disappointment, I have all the ingredients for Pumpkin & shrimp cake except the main ingredient – ground rice. I prefer to use ground rice rather than rice flour as the coarse grain really gives the cake a good texture.
After much digging around for inspiration, I decide to try a recipe my mother has translated for two-layer pumpkin pudding. This would be partly guess work as some measurements are stated in teacups!
700g peeled pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
250ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
4g packet of agar powder
for the top layer
1 egg yolk
400ml full fat milk
a pinch of salt
Put the chopped pumpkin into a pan and pour over enough water so it is just covering the pumpkin. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain and mash the pumpkin thoroughly with a potato masher.
Add the coconut milk, sugar, salt and agar powder to the pumpkin mash. Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir the mixture for a couple of minutes then pour into a glass dish (approx. 20cm x 20cm x 6cm). Level the mixture with the back of a spoon.
Preheat the oven to 160C/315F/Gas2.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt. Heat the milk in a saucepan for a few minutes so it is just warm and slowly pour into the eggs, stirring to combine. Ladle the egg mixture over the pumpkin and place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the custard is set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once the mixture is cold, the pumpkin layer will set.
Cooking time: 35 mins
Has anyone come across this pumpkin pudding in Burma? I’d love to hear from you.