Catholic Culture Podcasts
Catholic Culture Podcasts

Catholic Recipe: Dulce de Calabaza (Candied Pumpkin)


  • 2 pounds pared pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons (level) unslaked lime
  • 2 quarts water + 3 cups water
  • 3 cups granulated sugar


Prep Time: N/A

Difficulty:  N/A

Cost:  N/A

For Ages: n/a

Origin: United States California Missions


Food Categories (1)


Feasts (1)

This is sweet or candied pumpkin, one of the traditional foods eaten in the California Missions. So many of these foods are a combination from Mexican, Spanish and Native American cultures.

Foods from the California Missions are a wonderful way to honor Franciscan saints like St. Junipero Serra.


Combine the lime and water, stir well, allow to stand 12 hours, stir again and let settle. Use only the clear lime water.

Pare the ripe pumpkin and cut into strips the size of a finger. Drop the pieces into the clear lime water and let stand overnight. Drain the pumpkin water, cover with boiling water and boil 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.

Make a syrup with 3 cups granulated sugar with 3 cups water. When the syrup begins to boil, put in the pumpkin pieces and boil briskly until the pumpkin pieces and boil briskly until the pumpkin is transparent but firm (about 15 minutes).

Lift the pumpkin pieces from the syrup (save the syrup) onto a large pan or platter and place in the sun until the next day. Then reheat the syrup in which the pumpkin was cooked, return the cold pumpkin pieces to the boiling syrup, and simmer until the pieces are tender by firm. Lift from the syrup and roll in granulated sugar; spread on a plate until cool.

Recipe Source: California Missions: A Complete Pictorial History and Visitor's Guide, The by Sunset Editors, Sunset Books, 1979