The Dulce de Calabaza (Pumpkin Candy)

The Dulce de Calabaza is a mexican sweet treat that can be served for dessert; it is also sometimes prepared for special occasions. This recipe is easy to prepare, but you will specifically need its special ingredients, the Calabaza de Castilla squash and Piloncillo. This rather short ingredient list can still be difficult to obtain, for people who live outside Mexico.

The piloncillo, also known as panela outside Mexico, is the result of dried non-distilled sugar cane, just before proceeding to the preparation or the dark brown sugar; it tastes very sweet and it is used mainly to sweeten the atole or the calabaza de dulce, figs and apples, just to name a few. In some parts of Mexico, is also used to prepare chipotle chiles. In Mexico, it is common to refer to it as piloncillo, but in some other latin countries they call it panela. The piloncillo or panela is also used to prepare drinks, such as the traditional drinks from Venezuela, Ecuador or Colombia.

Recipe for the Dulce de Calabaza:

Ingredients for 6 people:

* 1 "Calabaza de Castilla" or mexican pumpkin
* Water, of course
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 1.5 lb. (700 grams) Piloncillo (do not substitute this with anything else)


1) Peel off the skin from the pumpkin and remove its seeds, then cut it in pieces and place in a pot; save the seeds for the many other things you can do with them. A trick used sometimes in Mexico to start preparing the pumkin is to simply put it in a big pastic bag and to drop in to the kitchen floor from as high as you can; this will save you from having to cut through the tough pumpkin skin.

2) Put the pumpkin pieces in a large pot; poke each piece with a fork a few times. Cover with water and start cooking the pumpkin over the stove. When it is cooked, or after 10 minutes add the piloncillo and cinnamon and stir until the piloncillo dissolves itself in the liquids.

3) Bring the syrup to a boil, reduce heat and then simmer until it becomes very thick, or 2-3 hours; serve immediately while hot.

mexican recipes

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