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Munch on candied pumpkin

The Day of the Dead is a major celebration in Mexico when family members honor their ancestors. Candied pumpkin—or calabaza en tacha—is a classic dessert to serve for that holiday and it is also put on traditional altars. Enjoy this recipe from Dos Caminos Mexican Street Food!

1 (2 1/2 pound) pumpkin
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, preferably
canela (Mexican cinnamon)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 pieces star anise (check the spice or Mexican/Latin food section of your grocery store)
1 pound piloncillo, chopped (find this special Mexican dark brown sugar at a Latin grocery store, or substitute with dark brown sugar)

1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
2. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the skin and seeds, and cut the flesh into 1/2-inch squares.
3. In a saucepan, combine the butter, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is completely melted and becomes caramel syrup. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the caramel on the pumpkin, add star anise, and stir to coat the pumpkin with the syrup.

4. Scrape into a large baking dish and sprinkle the piloncillo on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes; remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and serve warm or chilled.

BY GL ON 10/26/2011 1:25:00 PM

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