Greek Squash Preserves

Source: Aglaia Kremezi, Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on November 15, 2014.

Makes approximately 2 pints

1 cup pickling lime
2 pounds peeled and seeded firm winter squash or pumpkins, cut into 1 inch cubes or into balls using a melon cutter (or make spiral, fusilli-like pieces with a decorative potato/fruit cutter, as Greek women do)
5 cups sugar
2 4-inch cinnamon sticks
¼ cup fresh lemon juice


1.    Dilute the pickling lime in 4 quarts water and add the cut squash. Leave the squash to soak for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight), and drain.

2.    Rinse the squash thoroughly under cold water. Drain and lay on paper towels to dry. 

3.    Make the syrup by boiling the sugar and 3 cups water together with the cinnamon sticks for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the squash and lower the heat. Simmer, tossing often, for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook another 5 minutes or more, until the squash is pleasantly crunch and sweet, and the syrup has thickened. If the squash is cooked to your taste and the syrup is still watery, remove the squash with a slotted spoon and continue to cook the syrup to thicken it. Once the syrup has thickened, add the squash again back to the syrup, bring to a boil and transfer to clean, sterilized jars. 

4.    Process the jars in a water bath (or store in the refrigerator). To process in a water bath for longer term storage, heat the sealed jars for 10 minutes in a pot filled with boiling water that comes to approximately 2 inches above the top of the jars. Remove the jars from the pot, let them cool and store them in a cool, dry place.

Preserves shown served on yogurt. Photo by Jennifer Kregear.

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