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Calabaza en Tacha or Piloncillo Recipe (Pumpking squash with Piloncillo)

por Sabores de México

This traditional Mexican pumpkin dessert is prepared in October and is part of the offerings for the altars of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead celebration), originally cooked in the «piloncilleros» jars (glass jars, you could use mason jars). This recipe came from the book «Las Senadoras suelen guisar» published 1964. One of the main things about this Squash in Piloncillo is to pick the best type of squash. To be honest, the Jack O’Lantern is the closest to what we found in Mexico. Here we get the Calabaza de Castilla which you can found as Musque de Provance.

Ingredients for the Calabaza in Tacha or Squash in Piloncillo

  • 1 medium-sized, pumpkin squash also known as Castilla squash or West Indian pumpkin
  • 3 oranges
  • 1/2kg of sweet potato
  • 2 pieces of sugar cane
  • 3 kg of piloncillo also called Panela or Brown Sugar blocks
  • 100 grams of all spice
  • 3 pieces of cloves
  • 5 big Fig leaves

Calabaza en Tacha o con Piloncillo


In a clay pot or crockpot add half a cup of water; at the bottom put the cane, cutted in the form of grids, the pumpkin previously washed and divided into pieces, the piloncillo also divided, the tejocotes, the oranges peeled and in slices. Then inside a piece of cloth or in tea bags put the crushed pepper and cloves and tie it tightly to add it to the pot.

Cover the fruit with the fig leaves and let everything boil until the fruit is cooked and the honey thickens.

Serve with sour cream and cafe de olla. If you want to build your own Day of the Dead altar don´t forget to put a clay dish with a little bit of this calabaza en tacha.

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