Calabaza En Tacha (Mexican Candied Pumpkin)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Serves: 6-8


2kg pumpkin or butternut squash
3 cinnamon sticks
2 oranges (zested and juiced)
200g brown/demerara sugar
1.75l water


  1. Cut the pumpkin half, then scoop out seeds and stringy flesh. Cut each half of the pumpkin into 6-8 pieces and set aside.
  2. Add 1.75l of water to pot over medium-high heat. Add brown/demerara sugar. Bring water to boil, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar dissolves. Stir in orange juice, orange zest and cinnamon sticks. Add pumpkin pieces to sugar mixture, return to the boil and reduce heat to medium low. Then simmer, without stirring, until pumpkin is completely tender and syrup seeps into flesh – about 30 minutes.
  3. Using large slotted spoon, transfer cooked pumpkin to serving tray. Cover with foil, and set aside. Using slotted spoon, remove and discard cinnamon sticks and any loose pumpkin skins from the liquid.
  4. Return the liquid to boil over medium-high heat for 25-30 minutes. Stir occasionally, and keep on the heat until liquid reduces to thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon (roughly 0.75l).
  5. Drizzle cooked pumpkin with syrup. Serve pumpkin warm, or at room temperature. Alternately, place pumpkin into a small serving bowl, drizzle with syrup and serve up with a side of Chipotle & Lime tortilla chips.