Pumpkin)cooked in piloncillo(natural cane sugar) is also known as calabaza en tacha. The name tacha is in reference to the cauldrons that the sugar was produced in. This is the sugar used to prepare the syrup and the name tacha(not tacho) became synonymous with this recipe. Most people simple say calabaza en miel(in syrup) or endulzada(sweetened) .
Pumpkins are not just for Halloween!
Most of us see a fresh calabaza(pumpkin) and automatically think of Halloween or fall season. The fact is that pumpkin is absolutely delicious in desserts, but also in savory dishes! Delicious in soups, stews and in lasagna! Yes! Best lasagna I ever had!
Can’t find piloncillo?
If you cannot find piloncillo, you can substitute with molasses. I always have molasses in my pantry. It’s basically like having piloncillo syrup ready to go!
Mom’s Care Packages !
I remember once I move far away from home how homesick I was. Homesick for family and homesick for mom’s cooking. Mom would send me boxes filled with food ingredients. During the fall, she would ship pumpkin empanadas and Mexican cookies.
Calabaza en Miel. Pumpkin in Piloncillo Syrup
- 2 1/2-3 pounds pumpkin
- 1 1/2 pounds piloncillo
- 2 large cinnamon sticks
- 4-6 whole cloves
- 1-2 star anise
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Thoroughly wash the pumpkin and remove all the seeds. Slice pumpkin into 2 inch pieces, leaving the rind on.
- In a large pot, add the piloncillo, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and water. Heat to below medium.
- Stir as needed. When the piloncillo melts completely, add the pumpkin. Mix in so the pumpkin is covered mostly.
- Cover the pot, reduce heat slightly and let it cook for 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally.When the syrup becomes thick and the pumpkin is tender, it’s ready! Serve with a little bit of syrup in a shallow bowl. Some people like to enjoy a glass of cold milk with the calabaza.