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Candied Pumpkin

Updated on March 2, 2013

("Calabaza en Tacha" in spanish)

The candied pumpkin (or "calabaza en tacha") is a traditional Mexican dessert that is prepared for the day of the dead, the day of All Saints, which is the equivalent of the celebration of Halloween in the United States.

Image: Pumpkins by will in nashville

  • Prep time: 1 hour
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
  • Yields: 3 lb


  • Pumpkin into pieces (1 kg)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 lb piloncillo
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp calcium carbonate


  1. 1. Put in a heating container 2 cups of water.
  2. 2. When bubbles appear in the bottom of the pot, pour the water into a glass bowl. Add the calcium carbonate and stir until dissolved.
  3. 3. Then place the pumpkin pieces and let stand one hour.
  4. 4. Besides, in a pan add the remaining water, cinnamon and piloncillo or brown sugar
  5. 5. Boil until it forms a syrup of honey-like consistency.
  6. 6. Strain the squash and add to the syrup, let simmer until cooked and is tender (about 35 minutes).
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Three months approximately


Pour into a bowl and let cool. Cover tightly and keep refrigerated.

Interesting Facts

  • This preparation is called in spanish "calabaza en tacha" because the container was used in the manufacture of sugar is called "tacho".
  • Some foods contains much water, which not always flows as juice, but may find trapped in cellular structures, such as pumpkin.
  • One substance that confers structure to the fruits is pectin, which in the presence of water is transformed into gel. As the fruit ripens, the pectin changes its structure and becomes soft.
  • As is the case with maturation, firing degrades pectin, softening fruits.
  • The addition of calcium is to avoid an excessive softening. The calcium can be in the form of lime, which strengthens the structure of pectin and remains firm even after cooking.
  • The cucurbit family, which belongs to the gourd, has four major contributions to the palate and human nutrition:

    1. the watery and very sweet melons,

    2. the sweet, starchy, nutritious winter squash

    3. the not so sweet but watery cucumbers and

    4. tender squash or zucchini.


  • For added flavor and aroma when baking pumpkin add anise seeds, zest of half an orange, guava cut into four or eight parts and pieces of cane
  • It is preferable to rest the whole day pumpkin to soak well with honey.
  • To prepare the whole pumpkin, make many small holes and follow the same procedure. In addition, increase the amount of water to be covered, as the cooking time will increase considerably.
  • Another suggestion is to sprinkle the squash with a little toasted sesame seeds, or add milk.
  • With pumpkin seeds can also be made salty nuggets. When the pumpkin is removed, washed and dried in. Already soaked dried in a bowl with salt water, then roasted on a griddle, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once ready allow to cool and can be eaten.

Halloween pumpkin lantern3 by Free Flower
Halloween pumpkin lantern3 by Free Flower

Craving prepare or try this dessert for the upcoming celebration of Halloween?

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    • TommyPotter profile image

      TommyPotter 5 years ago

      @DeeHayes: Thank you for visiting my lens. Glad to know you're gonna try the Candied Pumpkin. Enjoy it!

    • DeeHayes profile image

      DeeHayes 5 years ago

      I think I have to because thanks to you, I'm craving it now! Thanks for this great lens.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Sounds quite tasty to me!