Calabaza en Tacha

October treats are not complete without something for the Mexican Day of the Dead, a remembrance of those that have passed, when families visit the graves to tend to them and make offerings. Calabaza en tacha is candied pumpkin (or in this case butternut squash), cooked in a brown sugar syrup then served with the syrup reduction and evaporated milk.

I chose Spicie Foodies’ version of calabaza en tacha because of the lovely spices, but whereas she left her pumpkin in slices (which looks really pretty), my butternut squash wouldn’t have been uniform so I cut it up into chunks. I am not sure why this has brown sugar, sugar, and molasses…but it turned out delicious so who am I to ask questions?

Calabaza en Tacha

Recipe from Spicie Foodie

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 heaping tbsp molasses
  • pinch salt
  • zest of half an orange
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 allspice berries
  • evaporated milk for serving

Bring water, sugars, and all spices to a soft boil. Lower the heat and add the squash, and simmer until very fork-tender (45 minutes to an hour).

Strain out squash and spices with a slotted spoon, then turn up the heat and reduce the liquid to a syrup. Remove from heat. Serve squash drizzled with syrup and evaporated milk.

I saw recipes using piloncillo, which is Mexican brown sugar – I’d love to get some to try. I also think this would be really nice made with jaggery.