Will you be making sweet potatoes or candied yams for Thanksgiving? If you want to try a twist on the American classic dishes try making calabaza en tacha or candied pumpkin. This is a traditional Mexican recipe that is commonly prepared for Dia de los Muertos, but would make a lovely dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
As the calabaza slow simmers with cinnamon and cloves, it becomes rich, sweet, and tender. The pumpkin slices are then served in spiced piloncillo syrup and then drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. I was ready to lick the plate after I finished my serving. It is rich, creamy, and delicious. The skin softens while cooked and is also edible.
Serve this for a unique and exotic comforting dish. The fall flavors are very similar to comotes enmielado (candied sweet potatoes), which my grandma used to make, but instead of sweet potatoes this dish is made with pumpkin. Both are deliciously festive.
Calabaza en Tacha (Candied Pumpkin)
Spiced Piloncillo Syrup
- Rinse off the exterior of the pumpkin in cool or warm water, no soap. Using a serrated knife cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the pumpkin seeds. Scrape out the stringy layer (pulp) with a spoon. Discard seeds and pulp. Cut the pumpkin into 3- to 4-inch slices leaving the skin on.
- In a large pot, steam the pumpkin in water, cinnamon, and cloves making sure to keep the lid on tight, for 20 to 40 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender. The pumpkin is ready when your fork slides easily into the flesh.
- In a small saucepan place water, cinnamon stick, and piloncillo on a very low heat until the piloncillo melts. Be sure to stir frequently.
- Serve slices of pumpkin with syrup and drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
- The skin softens while cooked and is also edible.
- Sometimes star anise is added along with the cloves and cinnamon. Feel free to try add 1-2 star anise to the pot.