Austro-Hungarian Creamed Pumpkin Side Dish Recipe

Creamed Pumpkin
Creamed Pumpkin. © Tara Fisher for "The Viennese Kitchen"
  • 80 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings Creamed Pumpkin

This Creamed Pumpkin recipe is adapted from one in "The Viennese Kitchen: Tante Hertha's Book of Family Recipes" by Monica Meehan and Maria von Baich (Interlink Books, 2011). There is a huge crossover of recipes among German, Austrian, Hungarian and other Central and Eastern European cuisines and, although the names may be spelled differently, the flavor is the same.

When people see the word "creamed" in a recipe, they usually presume that it is a dessert. This is not the case here. It's a side dish of puréed pumpkin that gets a kick from caraway, onion, sour cream and a little tomato paste, that is a nice alternative to a sweet potato side dish.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2-pound pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lard (or 1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower oil plus 1 1/2 tablespoons butter)
  • 1/2 small onion (peeled and very finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet or hot)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • black pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. Wash, peel and seed the pumpkin and coarsely grate the flesh in a food processor. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for no less than 1 hour. Drain.
  2. Heat the lard (or oil and butter)in a stainless-steel saucepan and fry the onion on medium heat until lightly golden. Stir in the paprika and immediately remove the pan from the heat (paprika should not be allowed to fry for any length of time because it turns bitter). Add the vinegar and return the pan to the heat.
  1. Add the drained pumpkin together with the tomato paste and the caraway seeds. Don't be tempted to add any liquids -- the pumpkin will exude enough of its own juice. Mix well and cover. Bring to a rolling boil and then immediately reduce the heat and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Stir a couple of times during cooking time to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sour cream with the flour. Once the pumpkin is tender, stir in the sour cream-flour mixture and bring it back to a gentle simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes, making sure that the heat is not too high. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and add a few grindings of pepper.
  3. The flavor of this dish improves with time, so it can be eaten up to two days after cooking. Serve with roast pork, chicken or turkey.

Note: You might also enjoy this Austro-Hungarian Cream of Horseradish Soup Recipe, which is from the same book.

Pumpkins in Eastern Europe?

Although squash (pumpkins are a squash), along with corn and beans and known as the Three Sisters of agriculture, originated in North and Central America 7,500 years ago, their seeds found their way to Europe via New-World settlers returning to their countries of origin. Today, squash and pumpkins are grown all over the world and are wildly popular in Eastern Europe. Here are 20 Things You Might Not Know About Pumpkin and here is more about squash in general.