Pumpkin and Amaretti Cake


1 lb 2 oz (500 g) pumpkin flesh (net weight)
18 fl oz (500 ml) milk
5 oz (150 g) slightly stale white bread, crusts removed
3 eggs 2 oz (50 g) caster sugar
3 1/2 oz (100 g) sultanas
3 1/2 oz( 100 g) pine nuts
9 double Amaretti di Saronno (i.e. 18 small biscuits)
softened butter
coarse sea salt


1. Dice the pumpkin flesh and cook in the pressure cooker with 7 fl oz (200 ml) water and a pinch of coarse sea salt for 20 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) mark 4.

3. Prepare all the other ingredients: bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan, draw aside from the heat and place the bread to soak in it. After 10 minutes, remove the bread from the milk with a slotted spoon. Do not squeeze the milk out of the bread but beat it with a fork until smooth. The excess milk left behind in the saucepan can be poured away.

4. When the pumpkin is cooked, reduce it to a coarse puree by crushing it with a fork or a potato masher. Mix very thoroughly with the bread puree.

5. Beat the eggs lightly with the sugar and stir into the pumpkin mixture, adding the sultanas, pine nuts and all but one of the Amaretti biscuits (i.e. half the contents of one of the twists of tissue paper), coarsely crushed.

6. Grease the inside of a 9 1/2 in (24 cm) deep tart tin with butter, sprinkle with a little flour, tipping out excess and turn the mixture into this tin; smooth the surface level with a palette knife.

7. Bake in the oven for a total of 30 minutes; after 20 minutes, open the oven door and quickly sprinkle the remaining Amaretto, very coarsely crumbled, on to the centre of the cake and close the oven door again for the last 10 minutes of the baking time. Serve warm.

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