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Dulce de calabaza: who says pumpkin pie gets to have all the fun?

posted on October 19, 2007 at 3:04 pm
Photo found on the web

Even though I grew up eating Mexican food, I continue to learn about new dishes every day–ain’t food grand? On a recent trip to visit the folks, we were trying to figure out what to make for dessert one evening. My mother suggested dulce de calabaza and my father got extremely excited. I had never heard of the dish and asked my mother what she was taking about. She apparently used to make it when I was a kid, but I have no memory of it. There are a couple of different versions of this dish (one being a much more candy-like recipe), but here is the “berry zimple” version according to Mom.

Bliss’ mom’s recipe for dulce de calabaza (with a few tweaks):

  • Take a smallish pumpkin and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for later.
  • Cut the halves into large chunks.
  • Take a large pot and fill with 2 cups of water, a cup of fresh orange juice, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 2 piloncillo cones (you can get these at any Mexican market).
  • Bring to a boil, add pumpkin, and reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
  • While the pumpkin is cooking, roast the pumpkin seeds until they are dry and golden brown. Set aside.
  • Cook until the pieces of pumpkin are soft and the liquid is very syrupy–about 1.5 hours.
  • To serve, place some pumpkin in a bowl and sprinkle with the seeds. You can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream if you are feeling naughty.
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